America’s First Government Accredited Soccer High School

The International Soccer Academy of America is the first in-person high school in the United States targeted toward soccer players.

Official Youth Academy of Villarreal CF

Earn a Diploma

Our students receive a high school diploma while preparing themselves for collegiate academics and/or soccer, and potentially a pathway to the professional soccer. Diplomas offered are the Indiana Core 40, and Indiana Core 40 with Honors.

Prepare Mentally

ISAA implements a mindfulness curriculum, a course in which students focus on the mental side of their overall performance, which includes academics, athletics, mental health, and more. This curriculum includes meditation and yoga amongst others.

Play Soccer

Each year, ISAA plays approximately 18 colleges and Universities. We plan to play in select club tournaments that will pose a challenge and provide skill development for our student-athletes beginning spring 2025.

ISAA Provides Students a Path to the Pros

Students train in spain

A minimum of two students are sent to Villarreal, Spain for free each year, for one week on behalf of ISAA/Villarreal Indiana to train.

Play Against Collegiate Teams

To prepare students for collegiate soccer, ISAA takes a dozen monthly trips to colleges and universities each fall, and a half dozen each spring, to scrimmage against their reserves teams. Matches are typically played in the late afternoon or evening, therefore, ISAA students spend the morning and early afternoon touring the college/university, receiving financial aid packages, and preparing for college life.

Play for ISAA

Our academy soccer team goes by the name Villarreal Indiana. We are partnered with Villarreal CF and our fellow Villarreal sister academies around the world, and proudly wear the Yellow Submarine kits. Wearing our kits is an honor, earned, and not guaranteed.

Our founding

Ethan Hunt Founder, Executive Director

Masters in Sport Management, Johan Cruyff Institute & the Autonomous University of Barcelona; BA Sport Management, Bethel University, cum laude.

Director Hunt has obtained his National Coaching Diploma from United Soccer Coaches, has completed Sports Management Worldwide’s “Soccer Management and Scouting” & “Soccer Analytics” courses, and is CPR certified. Ethan was Bethel University’s Kinesiology Student of the Year in 2017-18 and Bethel University’s Servant-Leader of the Year in 2018-19.

"America is in desperate need of a soccer academy that develops young women and men academically, athletically, mentally, and emotionally. Meanwhile, soccer academies around the world are in need of the resources and investment that America has to offer. So I decided, 'Why not combine the most popular sport in the world with the American Dream?'"

Ethan Hunt

Director Hunt has known for a long time that the American soccer system is not properly aligned with the rest of the world, and he has made it his goal to fix it. His vision for the ISAA came from knowing that student athletes and parents were finding a difficult time balancing the importance of both school and soccer.

Ethan opted toward another option, the European/South American model, where students go to school and play club soccer under the same umbrella. This allows students and parents more flexibility, less commutes, better team chemistry, and most importantly more successful young women and men. So for his Masters degree thesis, Ethan wrote a 100-page business plan with proof of how it would work, how it would be financially viable, and most importantly how student-athletes would benefit from this proposed model. Presenting it to faculty of the Johan Cruyff Institute and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Ethan successfully defended his thesis in front of the best minds in sport management in the world. Now, he is turning his dream of a soccer-specific, private high school into a reality.

The Board

Spataro, jodi chair

Why did you join the ISAA board?

“As a firm believer in the transformative power of both learning and sports, I am excited to contribute to an initiative that not only enriches young minds but also harnesses the unifying force of soccer to create positive change. Together, we can empower the next generation, instilling values of teamwork, discipline, and resilience while ensuring access to strong education for all. I look forward to being part of a team that kicks off opportunities and scores goals in the realm of education and beyond.“

Jodi Spataro is a seasoned executive with a passion for creating positive change and driving growth in the nonprofit sector. With close to three decades of experience in strategic fundraising, philanthropy, and organizational development, she has consistently demonstrated a commitment to advancing missions that make a meaningful impact on society.

Over the years, Jodi has developed and executed comprehensive fundraising strategies for several prominent nonprofit organizations. Her ability to forge partnerships with both individuals and corporations has resulted in substantial funding for critical projects in areas such as education, food insecurity, and community development.

Beyond her professional achievements, Jodi enjoys traveling with her husband, volunteering in the community, and fostering her passion for music as a member of her church’s handbell choir. Her multifaceted approach to life and work reflects her belief in the power of diverse perspectives to drive innovation and meaningful advancement.

Beckman, Becky Vice-Chair

Becky is a distinguished community leader with immense respect across St. Joseph and Elkhart counties. She is a Principal and Employee Benefits Consultant at Gibson Insurance, and has spent a long period of time in philanthropy.

Why did you join the ISAA board?

“I tend to gravitate towards visionary thinking – ISAA is visionary. I also believe that sport (soccer or other) has the ability to bring communities of diverse people together to celebrate a common goal.

Tell us a little about you: “I have been married to my husband, Isaiah, for 13 years. We have 3 daughters – Hayden (8), Makena (7), and Adrian (4). We have a golden retriever puppy named Wanda!”

Bellina, Matt

Why did you join the ISAA board?

I joined the Board of Directors at ISAA because of my passion and 30+ years of youth development. Much like our students, my opportunities have grown while being associated with ISAA. I am excited to bring my expertise of STEM education to our students through hands-on STEM curriculum and community partnerships.

I am currently the Director of DoD STARBASE-South Bend, a STEAM Academy focused on igniting students interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. During my 30 yr. educational career in the South Bend area, I have had proven success at expanding educational programming and community engagement at DoD STARBASE, Purdue Extension, City of South Bend and HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum.
 
Introduction to past involvement in the community?
 
My volunteering in the community includes being a Founder and current administrator for the South Bend Lions, now rebranded Michiana Lions of United Soccer League.
 
I am excited to bring my 30+ yrs of Educational Leadership and Coaching to ISAA, our students and the Board of Directors.

De Jesus, Bruno

Why did you join the ISAA board?

“I joined ISAA because it was an ambitious project attempting to challenge the status quo on how soccer is currently developed in Michiana and the US.”

Tell us a little about you:

“Married to Lisa, with three sons, Alex (19), Tiago (19), and Mateus (17) – all three have represented ISAA.”

Tell us a little about your involvement in the community:

“Led many humanitarian/mission trips (soccer and family-focused) to Africa, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Brazil. Founded a futsal academy (Sports With a Purpose), served on Church Community Services, and YMCA of Elkhart County.”

Francisco, David

Why did you join the ISAA board?
“I grew up loving soccer, playing club and high school soccer in Southern California. My high school team, the Redlands Terriers, shared the 1992 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section 3A title with Long Beach Milliken, and won the 1993 title outright. It was this lifelong love of soccer that attracted me to the International Soccer Academy of America, and I am honored to have been invited to join its board.”

Tell us a little about you:
I am an attorney and founding partner of Francisco Britton LLP, a criminal defense firm located in South Bend, Indiana, and established in 2016. I defend persons charged with offenses across the entire range of Indiana’s criminal code, from minor traffic offenses to murder. Prior to starting my own law firm, I was a deputy prosecuting attorney in Elkhart County, Indiana from 2005 to 2016. I am a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles and the Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law.

David is married and has two daughters, who are, in his own words “the light of his life.”

Jones, Sharon

Merrit, Doug

Why did you join the ISAA Board?

“I believe in the power of education. I believe in the mission of ISAA to help any young person achieve his or her educational goal. ISAA affords an opportunity of soccer and an education that is unrivaled in the United States.”

Tell us a little about you:

“My amazing wife (Ann) and I have been married 21 years and we have one son (Aaron) who is 20 years old and attends Trine University and one daughter (Amelia) who is 13 years old and attends St. Pius X Catholic School.

Tell us a little about your involvement in the community:

“I am a Mishawaka native born and raised. I have traveled for business throughout the United States and I am fortunate to call Mishawaka my forever home. I serve as a Commissioner to the City of Mishawaka, Historic Preservation Commission and participate in several business related groups.”

Ponce de Leon, David

Rodriguez, Jose

Becky is a distinguished community leader with immense respect across St. Joseph and Elkhart counties. She is a Principal and Employee Benefits Consultant at Gibson Insurance, and has spent a long period of time in philanthropy.

Why did you join the ISAA board?

“I tend to gravitate towards visionary thinking – ISAA is visionary. I also believe that sport (soccer or other) has the ability to bring communities of diverse people together to celebrate a common goal.

Tell us a little about you: “I have been married to my husband, Isaiah, for 13 years. We have 3 daughters – Hayden (8), Makena (7), and Adrian (4). We have a golden retriever puppy named Wanda!”

Wright, Theresa

Why did you join the ISAA board?

“I joined the board because I believe in its transformative potential to revolutionize education, aligning it with the dynamic needs of today’s students. This initiative not only considers their academic pursuits but also integrates their career aspirations, providing a personalized pathway to success. Moreover, it offers invaluable exposure to sports, enriching students’ experiences beyond the traditional classroom setting.”

Alumni Spotlight

Ana Hernandez (in white)

“Don’t just believe you can do it, be patient, consistent, hard working, kind to yourself and others, and do it in the name of God and doors will open, doors you could have never imagined that could be discovered.”

ISAA: “What year did you join and what year did you graduate?”
Anna: “2021 – 2023”

ISAA: “Were your scholarships academic or for sports? How many did you get?”
Anna: “I got a scholarship for my academics and soccer.”

ISAA: “A quote about college soccer”
Anna: “Don’t just believe you can do it, be patient, consistent, hard working, kind to yourself and others, and do it in the name of God and doors will open, doors you could have never imagined that could be discovered.”

ISAA: “How they feel ISAA prepared them for college soccer”
Anna: “I feel like ISAA prepared me for college especially in the soccer part of it. I say this because I was the only girl to play in the first year of ISAA with very talented boys. The practices were intense and the competition was very high. We also played versus male college teams. This really helped me in switching from a regular high school competition to a more physical and competitive environment, so that college soccer wouldn’t seem too difficult.”

ISAA: “How did you feel better prepared than your peers from other schools”
Anna: “I believe that anyone can get to where I am no matter what school they are in. The biggest difference is what environment you’re in. It should be an environment that betters your mentality and helps you to keep on pursuing what you love. Luckily for me I found ISAA and I was surrounded by people that had the same dream and expectations as me. So I think I was better prepared than my peers from other schools because my environment was more competitive and driven to have a better future in soccer and in their education.”

ISAA: “What they would recommend for someone attending ISAA”

Anna: “What I would recommend to someone who attends ISAA is to work hard and have good character no matter the circumstances. Growing up some people might tell you “don’t work harder, work smarter “and I say why not do both? What do you have to lose? At the end of the day you’re learning and becoming a better person with a better reputation. And also don’t stress about what the other person is doing or not doing. You do you. Do whatever you think is going to help you have a better future and a better mentally. Remember it’s always going to be you vs you at the end.”

ISAA: “Ways in which ISAA helped your student and ways ISAA can help future students?”

Parent: “ISAA helped my child in opening doors a regular high school wouldn’t. Such as having the ability to play vs men’s colleges soccer teams, go to Las Vegas to qualify to play in Spain, go to Spain to practice with the second team of the women’s National soccer team, and to have education and soccer as the foundation of the school. ISAA can help future students pursue their dreams while being in a highly competitive environment while having education as one of the biggest priorities.”

ISAA: “Any advice for parents when making decisions?”

Parent: “Your child is going to succeed and have a great future if they want to put the work in. But as parents we do have the ability to help our kids have the right environment and opportunities they wouldn’t receive at a regular high school. ISAA gives the opportunity to be in a school that is smaller so there is more one-on-one learning. They can also have the opportunity to be a part of a little family that pushes and strives to have a better future in their education and soccer careers.”

Erick Ramirez

“As a college soccer player, the field becomes my classroom, lessons of discipline and teamwork unfold with each practice, and the game itself is a canvas where dedication paints the story of passion,perseverance, and pursuit of excellence."

ISAA: “What year did you join and what year did you graduate?”
Erick: “”

ISAA: “Were your scholarships academic or for sports? How many did you get?”
Erick: “”

ISAA: “A quote about college soccer”
Erick: “As a college soccer player, the field becomes my classroom, lessons of discipline and teamwork unfold with each practice, and the game itself is a canvas where dedication paints the story of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence.”

ISAA: “How did ISAA prepare them for college soccer”

Erick: “ISAA helped me build social skills, resilience, and the ability to adapt to new challenges, which have been valuable in my college journey.”

ISAA: “How did you feel better prepared than your peers from other schools?”

Erick: “ISAA is really different from any other school, ISAA helped me raise my GPA from a 2.5 to a 3.8 this was possible because of having small classes, this helped me and the teachers have a better understanding of the classes and knowing each other better.”

ISAA: “What they would recommend for someone attending ISAA”

Erick: “ISAA is a really special place, not just because it’s the “first high school for soccer players accredited by a state in USA” but for the teachers, students, and board of directors. ISAA is a FAMILY and we all treated the same way I doesn’t mater where you are from or your background we all treat each other the same, so my recommendation if you’re thinking on attending to ISAA is to enjoy it as much as you can because there’s no place like ISAA

Gaston (Manny) Logines

“College soccer is a place to make another family and get to know people similar to you. It’s great if you like to play and are looking to easily make friends. It is very competitive and will make you strive to be better.”

ISAA: “What year did you join and what year did you graduate?”
Manny: “I played for ISAA while going to Marian Highschool during the 2021-2022 school year. I fully joined ISAA, by going to school there in the 2022-2023 school year.”

ISAA: “Were your scholarships academic or for sports? How many did you get?”
Manny: “I received a soccer scholarship and also received money from Bethel for having good grades and test scores.”

ISAA: “A quote about college soccer”
Manny: “College soccer is a place to make another family and get to know people similar to you. It’s great if you like to play and are looking to easily make friends. It is very competitive and will make you strive to be better.”

ISAA: “How they feel ISAA prepared them for college soccer”
Manny: “ISAA prepared me really well for college soccer by giving me the opportunity to play against other colleges and universities.”

ISAA: “How did you feel better prepared than your peers from other schools”
Manny: “Some of the schools I played against at ISAA I played again during the college season. I knew some of the players already because of that I was able to know what to expect. I was better prepared because I already knew what I would need to do to play against the college teams. I was not there expecting to see a lower level, and I was not nervous. I was not thinking that these are college players and that are better than me. Instead, I saw them as peers and was ready to take them on.”

ISAA: “What they would recommend for someone attending ISAA”

Manny: “For someone attending ISAA, I would say to trust the process. Learn to play soccer in your mind before stepping on the field. You can always improve your touch, passing, and shot, but if you can understand the game and positions, you will stand out. Listen to the people around you, they are in the same boat you are. Listen to the older people guiding, they have seen what it takes to get to the next level.”

Kennedy Mills

"Just Enjoy the Game"

ISAA: “What year did you graduate?”

Kennedy: “Joined in 2021, graduated in 2023.”

ISAA: “Were your scholarships academic or for sports? How many did you get?”

Kennedy: “Academic full ride to Goshen College”

ISAA: “A quote about college soccer”

Kennedy: “Just enjoy the game”

ISAA: “How they feel ISAA prepared them for soccer better?”

Kennedy: “The best preparation ISAA gave me for college soccer, was the opportunity to play against men’s college teams. Thanks to this opportunity, I knew what it was going to take to be a college athlete, and what to expect when it was time to step on the field as a college athlete. ISAA didn’t only prepare me athletically, but academically as well. ISAA taught me how to manage my school work, soccer, while still being able to prioritize myself.”

Dylan Krueckeberg

"quote"

ISAA: “What year did you graduate?”

Dylan: “Join ISAA in 2021 graduated in 2023”

ISAA: “What scholarships did you get?”

Dylan: “Soccer.”

ISAA: “How did the ISAA help prepare them for college soccer?”

Dylan: “ISAA allowed me to get a glimpse at college, and compete a college level far earlier than any of my peers. This allowed me to adapt to the quicker style of play far faster than most freshmen.”

ISAA: “What they would recommend for someone attending ISAA?”

Dylan: “Take as many duel credit courses as possible.”