Soccer has always been a part of Lukas Fernandes’ life.
The Rochester, New York native started playing the sport at a very young age. And through the years, Fernandes’ father has helped him along each step of the way.
“He was the first person to introduce me to soccer,” Fernandes said. “He played his whole life growing up. I think it was important for him to push me to get to where I am now. He used to train me very often. We'd go in the basement and run through drills. We’d watch games together, and he’d tell me to watch certain players and tell me to do what they do. He taught me to have fun with it.”
When he and his father would run through drills in their home, sometimes it wouldn’t be without a cost. As different drills and action would rev up, there would be times different objects would meet their fate and break on impact.
Both of his parents are originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2012, the Fernandeses returned to Brazil to visit extended family on Lukas’ mother’s side. During their visit, Fernandes and his father were able to watch Flamengo, their favorite Brazilian club, play a match.
Watching Brazilian players like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho through the years, he is looking forward to exhibiting a similar energy and love of the game once he steps back onto the pitch.
“I’m just excited to get going,” Fernandes said. “Once the ball starts rolling, I think we have great things in store for this season. I’m most excited for that first game and getting the jitters out.”
Fernandes said he’s looking forward to helping his teammates win games, whether that’s by scoring goals or being victorious in his tackles.
“We want to get the best out of each other and play for each other in order to win a championship,” Fernandes said. “It’s very important as a group to be collective. If we focus on that, we’re destined for big things."