“Gala FC is not just a soccer club. We teach respect, honor and teamwork,” says the youth club’s Founder and Technical Director Daghan “Dagi” Kesim. “We ask our players to be responsible in school and in soccer field. We have classroom sessions to teach the game in detail, so college coaches will not have to teach new tactics. College-bound layers fit into their system because they’re educated about the game.”
Perhaps that is why the relatively small club has been able to create 52 college soccer scholarship placements in the last four years. Kesim’s phone often rings with college coaches on the other end looking for a certain kind of player and just the right fit.
Gala FC lives by the mantra that they teach details and address each player personally. We connected with a few of them to see what they had to say and the responses revealed a bit more about player experiences at the club.
Elijah Flores says, “I choose Dagi and Gala because it’s amazing training. Dagi helps and interacts with everyone, points out mistakes and helps guide us to fix those mistakes. Pushes us to be better. Positive environment with everyone. Not only is Gala a place to learn but it’s a safe place. A place I can call home and have a family that actually cares for my growth in soccer and outside life. Best decision I’ve ever made.”
Nate Thompson, former Gala player who now plays with Kesim’s elite adult team the Snohomish County Steelheads, says “Dagi trained me prior to Gala at Legacy and I knew that he was a coach that would tell me my weaknesses and he would be able to actively show me the right way and show me how to do next level soccer.”
Ahmed Elsir says, “I chose Gala because I was tired of playing recreational soccer and I had no more room for improvement at that level. Dagi sees many weaknesses in my game and he can help me improve my game more than any coach I can sign up for.”
Fabian Panduro has transitioned from Gala to the Snohomish County Steelheads and is currently second on the teamin goals scored. “My Dad told me that anyone who doesn’t demand better from you isn’t someone who is going to get you anywhere. That’s why I choose Gala — because Dagi demands the best from you. He knows your ability—if he didn’t believe in you, you wouldn’t be on the team. No one ever became the best from hugs and kisses.”