by Sherida Mock

This month, we put the spotlight on Brandon Medina, who graced the cover of our September 2005 issue. Turns out, Medina has never put down the soccer ball. He is one semester away from a bachelor’s degree in sports science and athletic training, and this month he and his father Tim open Austin Soccer Apparel, a gear and clothing store focused on all things related to The Beautiful Game. We sat down with Medina to catch up on his memories of the cover shoot and what he’s been doing lately.

AF: What do you remember about the cover shoot?

I remember going into Soccer Zone, and there were a couple of cameras. I did a few things to get the feel, a few juggling moves, just playing around, passing, shooting. I remember trying to take it as naturally as possible, but it was fun. It felt awesome; really, really cool. I do remember seeing myself on the cover. It was me and my buddy Zach. We both looked at each other and went, “Wow, we’re on the front of a magazine!”

AF: What drew you to soccer?

My dad was a commissioner at Town & Country Optimist Club. He just stuck me into the sport. I did okay from 3 to 4 years old, and when I was 5 and 6 is when I fell in love with it. It took some energy out of me; I got to blow off some steam. I caught on to how unique soccer is. Every goal is so valuable and powerful. The crowds are so loyal. It was just the most energetic sport I’ve ever been introduced to. I wanted to know more.

AF: Do you follow professional soccer?

Oh, yes, I do. My favorite team is Chelsea FC, the “Blues.” I am a strong supporter. My car is Chelsea blue, and I have a Chelsea decal sticker, and my laptop is blue. I love all teams, though. I don’t have a team that I hate or dislike. I can’t support Manchester United, because they are the rival team.

I love all leagues; I love international teams. I even love the lower-level leagues, the leagues below the English Premier League. I love watching MLS, which is fixing to blow up in the United States. I can’t wait for that.

AF: Tell us about the new store.

I saw Austin growing and the potential for a top-level, premier soccer store. We have the Lonestar Soccer Club, which is affiliated with one of the biggest clubs in Texas. I want kids to come in and be blown away by what we offer. I want to supply them with what they need to go out and have fun.

It’s called Austin Soccer Apparel, or ASA. We love the name; it’s easy to remember. The location is fantastic. The store is in The Hub shopping center, where US 183 and Toll Road 45 intersect.

I love the size of the store. We have a lot of amenities like a 12’ by 20’ soccer field. You can actually test your products: try on a shoe, whack the ball or shoot at a goal. We can weigh the ball and check the PSI. We’re going to have a heat steamer, so if you have a top-level boot [soccer shoe]—synthetic or leather—we can custom fit it on you. We will have a heat press, so we can put numbers and names on jerseys and t-shirts. The grand opening will be February 7.

AF: What do you do outside of starting this business?

I’m very busy, so I don’t play soccer as much as I used to. But I either play pickup soccer, or I spend time with my lovely girlfriend. I take my beagle for walks. I hang out with family. I love movies.

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