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Lucas Diaz Embarks on Exciting Journey to IDA Valencia, Spain in 2025

May 19, 2024

Lucas Diaz is a talented 2009 prospect at DME Academy in Sarasota. He’s now entering his second year and has continued to improve through the rigorous year-round DME training program and his private coaching and personal training efforts. The results are starting to capture the eyes of players, coaches, and teams.

“Lucas is great. Good size, athletic ability, and is a strong leader on the pitch. I saw him make some crazy saves against a 2007 team from Orlando. Good prospect for sure and he can hold his own against kids two years older,” says Thales Peterson, DME National High School Team Coach.

Diaz was recently selected to represent the Elite Academy League National Team on a trip to Spain to compete in the coveted MIC Cup. He and fellow DME athlete, Lucas Turasz, made an impressive quarterfinal run together, and Diaz was a big reason for that. The trip proved to be a pivotal life experience for Diaz as his dream to compete at the next level and on an international stage grew stronger. While in Barcelona, Diaz came into contact with the IDA Valencia team, and it quickly turned from dream to reality.

DME Academy and International Development Academy have been partners for three years now. Together, the organizations provide four residential options for aspiring student-athletes across the globe. Athletes who want to take the next step from the traditional club soccer world to a more committed investment via a full-time residency program have all the tools and connections needed between DME and IDA.

“It’s been an amazing year for Lucas and the entire Di­az family this past season at DME. Jared and his team have put together a high-level soccer program in Sarasota and we are grateful to be a part of it. DME has helped in developing my son’s talents as a player and perspective as a teammate. He’s been exposed to diverse opportunities to play at a higher level in area tournaments as well as guest playing gigs with partner clubs and a truly one -of-a-kind experience playing with a select team from the US to play in Spain.” Julio Diaz, Parent of Lucas Diaz

Diaz is going to play half the year at DME Academy in Sarasota in 2024/2025 and then transition to a six-month stay in Valencia with IDA. The move will allow Diaz to get a solid amount of trainings and games in before the move overseas. He will still play a vital role in what promises to be a top 2009 team in the EA next season. Come December, Diaz will move to Valencia and immerse himself in a full-time residency program that has already placed multiple athletes in top professional soccer leagues. In the last season alone, three athletes from IDA/DME have set foot on the world’s biggest stage. Jeremy De Leon is playing at Real Madrid and training with the first team, Adrian Biaggi is playing for the Puerto Rico National Team, and Neville Knowles, who played with our 2010 DME Sarasota Boys in Spain and trained at IDA Valencia, is now with Villarreal FC on a two-year contract.

Stay tuned; maybe we’ll have a Premier League signing announcement this fall?

Next season, we’ll follow the journey of Lucas Diaz both in Sarasota and Spain. The club plans to send more athletes in 2025/2026 in a similar manner, and Lucas is our eyes and ears on the ground in Valencia. While the Sarasota location will surely miss his leadership and presence on and off the field, this is the exact type of opportunity that we can get behind.

“We support chasing dreams and provide opportunities to see the world through soccer. Our belief is that our training, staff, and network are everything a player/family needs to play at the highest level. We are seeing athletes from Tampa through Cape Coral drive to us now to play, its refreshing. Athletes can play in Sarasota, improve, get seen, and via our network, literally play across the world with a direct line to pro opportunities. Lucas is going to do great things over there, and whether he decides to prolong his stay or return to us, we’ll do everything in our power to see him reach the next level,” says Jared Antista, GM/Owner.

Ignite The Dream, Lucas.