By Tamas Mondovics

It was only last month that the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center opened a new Academic Enrichment Center, an approximately 700 sq. ft. $15,000 room equipped with a dozen iPad learning stations as well as a smart board, adding to the impressive list of athletic as well as academic programs so many have come to enjoy.

But that was last month, and today BSAC officials were proud to announce that the list has once again grown with the addition of Strikers Pride Soccer Academy, coached by Edmar “Dimas” Amaral.

As a coach, Amaral brings more than 25 years of experience to the center after playing all levels of youth soccer, up to his professional career with the Brazilian club, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, Belo Horizonte.

Prior to joining BSAC, Amaral was the head coach and trainer of both competitive and developmental programs with the Players Club of Tampa Bay for six years, and was also the head coach and trainer for the Bay Area Youth Soccer League (BAYSL) for two years.

He presently is head coach for the Houston Dynamo, and holds FYSA, F, E and D licenses.

Commenting on what young soccer fans and athletes can expect from the academy, Amaral emphasized his focus on technique, goal keeping, striking and team building just to name a few.

“My mission and goal is to teach children the technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of playing soccer in a healthy environment,” Amaral said, but added that in all of that having fun will remain the program’s main focus.

“While I want the kids to master all aspects of the sport, I want them to enjoy it and have fun learning,” he said.

Strikers Pride Soccer Academy will hold training sessions in team activities, private sessions, goal keeping and striking, all to be held on a field located behind the tennis courts.

Daytime hours will also be available for home school groups as well.

Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, a community-based 501c3 nonprofit organization, located at Aquatic Center, 405 Beverly Boulevard in Brandon has dedicated more than four decades to enhancing the lives of our community by providing fitness, character, and athletic programs for all ages and abilities.

For more information or to register for Strikers Pride Soccer Academy please contact Coach “Dimas” at   503-2337, or email

For more information on educational and athletic programs at The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, please call 689-0908.


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