To a local Orange County family, the Izumitas, TOCA Training Centers foster a family-friendly environment as well as premium indoor soccer training. TOCA’s Orange County location has created a lasting impression on this soccer-crazed family.
It started with a drive on Bristol Street in Costa Mesa, California. Kristina Izumita and her Brazilian husband, Francisco “Douglas” Sousa, noticed a sign that read “TOCA,” which means “touch” in Portuguese. Naturally, as soccer fanatics and proponents of the ‘toca toca’ style of play, it grabbed their attention. So, they stopped in to check out the studios and immediately were drawn by the scene.
Initially, Kristina’s love for the game prompted her to sign up her three children – Maile, Kika, and Kaleo – for individual TOCA sessions. However, her children’s growing bond with the trainers and extensive development on the pitch has kept them returning to TOCA.
The children’s new appreciation for soccer, according to Kristina, stems from TOCA’s highest standards of professionalism, ethics and positivity poured into each training session.
“The TOCA Trainers make us feel welcome,” Kristina noted. “Every time I bring my kids here, everyone from the trainers to the staff greet and treats us with respect. I noticed the trainers know all the parents and their kids by name. Every trainer knows the personalities and soccer abilities, the strengths, and weaknesses, of each of my three children.”
Kristina, who also currently serves as a soccer coach, is elated that she found a soccer training center that focuses on mastering fundamentals without sacrificing fun. As a coach, Kristina always fosters a love for the sport first. Once the passion for soccer is established, the desire for improvement will follow as Kristina advocates, “At TOCA, I want my kids to love soccer, learn and improve their technical skills while also having fun. TOCA is the perfect setup.”
The Izumita children have improved not only within their technical abilities but have excelled in the competitive aspect of the sport by attending regular TOCA sessions. Their parents and coaches have observed the difference in the development of their footwork and quickness on the field resulting from the personal connection with the TOCA Trainers. As their skills and soccer knowledge improves, so does their confidence – thus resulting in more energetic soccer players on the pitch.
TOCA has been like a second “home” to the Izumitas for over three years. They used to train once a week, but since December 2017, Kristina’s three children have ramped up training to twice a week due to the staff’s flexibility to work with the Izumitas’ schedule.
Ten-year-old Maile Izumita-Sousa, the oldest of the three, has quickly turned from an average soccer player into an elite force for her club, LA Galaxy OC, because of the extra touches on the ball. She’s sharper, smarter and more confident on the field.
“Maile has improved tremendously,” said TOCA Trainer Marco Pineda, who has trained Maile for two years. “She went from only knowing how to toe-poke a ball to have an incredible first touch. Her dedication for the sport has grown immensely. She has not stopped impressing me, and I cannot wait to see the type of player she will become in the future.”
To Kristina, TOCA is not only a safe and comfortable center for her children to grow as soccer players but a place where they can share the love of soccer with their extended family.
“At TOCA, the athlete’s best interest always comes first, just as you would expect from your own family,” Kristina said. “So, when we go to TOCA, we know we are going home.”