FRISCO - As the 2019 Generation adidas Cup gets underway this weekend, Matias Asorey is set to begin his first full-fledged tournament since joining the FC Dallas Academy in January. His tenure might only be a few months old, but his relationship with the former U-17 head coach has spanned nearly an entire lifetime.
Asorey and Luchi Gonzalez grew up together in Hialeah, Fla., playing with and against each other since they were 8 years old. From U-10 all the way through U-18, they were the attacking duo that led Strikeforce to six state championships and two national titles, Gonzalez as the striker and Asorey the midfield playmaker.
Luchi Gonzalez (left), Luchi's brother Kristian Gonzalez (center) and Matias Asorey (right)
"We always had a close bond together," Asorey said. "It made it really easy when we worked together because we were also friends."
The duo were originally supposed to even play college ball together at SMU, but Asorey instead took a different path to Florida International. They would cross paths again at the 2002 MLS Combine, Asorey receiving a red card in the very first match for a tackle on his childhood friend.
With his college career behind him and turning down a pro offer from the Atlanta Silverbacks, Asorey moved into coaching at Kendall Academy in Florida. Years later as Gonzalez was making the move from player to coach, it was Asorey who gave the now-FCD head man his first coaching job, serving as Co-Directors there. Gonzalez coached the U-17’s and Asorey the U-19’s. Asorey knew working with his friend made a huge difference within Kendall Academy.
"We took over a club that was struggling, and (we) were able to progress the club really well in a short period of time," Asorey said. "I think that because of the connection we had, and the fact that we played together and worked together on the field so much made it really easy for us to coincide together as coaches and directors."
After a few years, Gonzalez moved to take a position at his alma mater, Gulliver Academy, where he remained until FC Dallas came calling in 2012. When he left, he gave a ringing endorsement for Asorey to replace him, which he did for seven years before his old friend came calling.
“When the opportunity opened up this year it was clear," said Gonzalez, who recommended Arosey as an addition to the Academy staff after taking the first-team job this winter. "He has all his licensing, his director’s course, he’s bilingual, he fits our culture, he fits our philosophy, so it was a no-brainer.”
The GA cup adds another level to their intertwined coaching history. It marks Asorey's first large-scale tournament with the club, while Gonzalez was in his shoes for this very tournament just a year ago.
“The level of interaction between the Academy players, first-team players and second-team players is a daily thing. I don’t think any other program in the country has anything as connected as what FC Dallas has,” Asorey said. “As time progresses things will become clearer, but the fact that the boys have these opportunities is good.”
Their relationship has made many twists and turns through years, but Gonzalez believes that Matias has already done a great job navigating the obstacles and challenges of his new position.
“Matias has only been here a short amount of time and I already see him evolving. So (just) imagine (what he can do) in the future.”