Welcome To Our Interviews Page!

On this page, you can find access to our latest interviews from friends of Integrative Soccer, The Footy Lab, Kore Vibration, and Kaito Athletic Studio. If you have anyone you’d like us to interview, please contact us at

Table Of Contents:
1. Alexa Genas – High School to Pro (Video Interview) 08.11.23
2. Brianne Cremer – Maui to Pro (Video Interview) 11.10.23
3. Merrick Tambio – Hawaii to MLS Next (Video Interview) 02.01.23
4. Dante Perez – From Maui to DI (Written Interview) 04.05.23
5. Sunshine Fontes – DI National Champ to USWNT (Written Interview) 04.22.23
6. Brennan Joaquin – From Hawaii to Spain & Australia (Written Interview) 05.31.23
7. Moses Mensah – How to Make Big Transitions (Written Interview) 07.24.23

Moses Mensah – How to Make Big Transitions (Written)

We spoke to Moses Mensah, current USL Championship professional for Birmingham Legion FC, former MLS Draft pick, and previous 3x DI Champion. Moses made the transition from Ghana to DI college in 2019, before moving to the MLS, and then the USL Championship. He shares his wisdom on how to make big transitions with confidence.

Q1. How was the transition moving from one culture to another when starting to play soccer in the mainland USA?

The transition for me wasn’t that easy, I had to adapt quickly to the culture in US, I had to be frequently aware of the do’s and don’ts whenever I am around my colleagues, professors and coaches. There were a lot of things that were culturally acceptable back home in Ghana which were unacceptable here so I had to constantly remind myself when I am around the people here in the US.

Q2. How do you foster confidence in yourself when joining new teams or making big transitions?

First of all you should always have confidence in yourself no matter where you find yourself. I already had that confidence in me and then I was so lucky enough to be among some incredible teammates and coaches who boosted my confidence to the extreme. But, mostly you should hype yourself, believe in yourself, and keep working hard even when things are not going on well with you.

Q3. What are the top 3 things youth players can control/or practice to give them the best platform when playing in college?

Work ethic is one thing you can control, there is no room for laziness. When things become tough on the field you have to keep going. Don’t ever give up, and you have to always be at your best in practice and in games, you have to be consistent.

Q4. If you could choose any area below, that you believe is overlooked in youth coaching, what would it be and why?

Technical Ability
Mindset Training
Communication / Teamsmanship
Off-Field Discipline

I think communication/Teamsmanship and off field discipline is overlooked. I think most student-athletes forget that they represent the soccer program off the field so they think they can do whatever they want. I remember a situation like that cost us our championship in 2020. We missed a lot of players through suspension because they broke COVID-19 protocols. So it was a lesson learned that we should always think about the team even when we are off the field because those little things can sometimes hurt the team.

Q5. Which soccer icon do you look up to and why?

As a defender (LB) I adored Marcelo a lot. I mostly watched his videos to give me an idea on which areas I can work on to improve my game. Not only is he technically disciplined, good on the ball, and match smart, he has perfect timing, crosses well, can score, and is a humble. These are some qualities I would love to possess throughout my career so he was the perfect player for me to analyze.

Brennan Joaquin – From Hawaii to Spain & Australia (Written)

We interviewed Brennan Joaquin, former St. Mary’s Collegiate Athlete and current player for Alicante City FC in Spain.

Q1. Can you give us a small insight into your background playing in Hawaii, college, and abroad?

When I was a kid, I played for Maui Elite, Rush 98B, Davis Legacy, as well as trialing for West Ham United, Real Madrid, and LA Galaxy. Later on, I went to a D2 University in San Antonio, Texas for a year. After college, I moved and played for multiple teams all over Spain before moving to Australia in 2019. As COVID hit, I went briefly played with Coach Micah in Hawaii before moving back to Spain for year to play for a team called Alicante City. Now, I’m back in Australia and playing for a team called Altona North.

Q2. Do you feel that private training/ training on your own outside of a team setting has helped you get to where you are now and how so?

Absolutely. My first touch is all muscle memory because I constantly trained technical skills with my dad when I was younger. It’s good to always freshen up and gain back your confidence with private sessions.

Q3. What are some of the obstacles playing overseas and how are you able to over come them as a player coming from Maui, HI?

The biggest obstacles are dealing with different cultures, being away from family, and adjusting to different styles of play in different countries. Coming from Hawaii is difficult because we are thousands of miles away from everything. My main solution to everything is having an open mind and calling your parents as much as possible.

Q4. As a player playing in Australia, what do you think players in Hawaii need to work on or do to prepare them for college or pro?

Play in small sided games as much as possible. 1 on 1 trainings are a great way to improve ball mastery but when coupled with playing small sided games with mates, you became a better player. I learnt a lot about new scenarios of play and it helped me add more skills to my craft.

Sunshine Fontes – DI National Champ to USWNT (Written)

We interviewed Sunshine Fontes, former UCLA DI National Champion and current USWNT player, born and raised in Hawaii.

Q1. Can you tell us where you grew up playing football? For which club team? and what team you’re currently playing for now?

I grew up on Oahu and played for Hawaii Rush (2007-2014, 2018-2019) and the Honolulu Bulls (2015-2017). I currently play for @uclawsoccer where I have received my undergraduate degree and am pursuing a Master’s Degree.

Q2. What do you do ON and OFF the pitch to continuously play at the highest DI collegiate level?

On the pitch, your mentality is everything. When I am on the field, I try to hold myself to the highest standards and compete to win. Both of these things have elevated my game and have carried me through my soccer career as they allow me to perform at my best. Another thing that I try to do while playing is to implement what I’ve learned from my coaches and training into the game in whatever way that I can.

Off the pitch, I hold myself to a high standard as well. This means making sure that I am on top of my schoolwork so that I am eligible to play. Also, this can be making sure that I am being very proactive about my nutrition, recovery, and the work that I’m putting in inside of the weight room as these directly translate to my performance on the pitch.

Q3. What is your favorite memory throughout your career so far?

My favorite memory would have to be winning the 2022 National Championship with UCLA. We played UNC in the national final on December 5th, 2022. We were down 2-0 and ended up tying it up with 16 seconds left on the clock. We scored in double overtime to pull ahead 3-2 and ended up bringing the trophy home. My team never gave up and it was clear to see the love we had for each other which I believe ultimately carried us through that game!

Q4. What advice do you have for our youth football players in Hawaii?

A piece of advice for the youth football players in Hawaii is to not be afraid to take risks and to be comfortable being uncomfortable because these are the moments when you grow and learn as both a person and a player. Another piece of advice is to make sure that you’re having fun. That’s truly what it’s all about and when you have fun, it allows you to play freely and at your very best!

Dante Perez – From Maui to DI (Written)

We interviewed Dante Perez, former Maui United player who just graduated from the DI soccer program at Seattle University.

Q1. Where did you grow up? Who did you play for during your youth career? & Who do you play for now?

I grew up playing for a small club on Maui called Maui United soccer club which later became @albionschawaii. I later got the opportunity to play for @barcaacademyaz in Arizona before being recruited to play in college for @seattleumsoccer. I am currently studying at Seattle University and pursuing my masters degree in kinesiology.

Q2. What do you do ON and OFF the pitch to continuously play at the highest collegiate level?

On the field I try to keep an open mind and always strive to learn from my teammates/coaches. I absorb all the pieces of knowledge and tips someone shares with me and try do do my best at the simple things.

Off the pitch, I carry myself as if I was a professional football player and work hard keeping my body and my mind in the best form possible. This includes countless hours in the gym, recovering by stretching, yoga, eating healthy, and reading.

{Plug – click here to learn about gym work with Coach Jamie, and here for mental wellness with Coach Kanda}

Q3. What advice would you like to share with our youth footballers in Hawai’i?

As an athlete coming out of Hawaii you realize that there are so many new experiences to come once you take the next step in your career.

You do this by being consistent with your training and maintaining a high-level. There may be days where you don’t feel like training, but those are the days that you need to get out and get some touches on the ball.

Another big thing is having a group of friends/teammates that you can train with outside of designated practice time.

The last, and most important advice I can give is to always have fun when you’re playing. As you get older, there can be moments that are intense, and there could be failure or adversity, being able to exceed and have fun in these moments when you’re playing the beautiful game will bring much more joy into your football career.

Q4. What are your plans after you graduate?

I plan on playing football as long as I can but when I’m done with my career I hope to continue being involved with football as a strength and conditioning coach for a professional team or academy.

Merrick Tambio – Hawaii to MLS Next (Video)

We interviewed Merrick Tambio, former Whitfield SC player now playing in the MLS Next.

Merrick first made the transition from Hawaii to mainland USA when he was just 14. Originally at the Barca Academy and now with Nomads SC in San Diego Merrick lives on campus while training and studying simultaneously.

He provides valuable advice for any Hawaiian players looking to follow his path to an MLS Next club, including how to manage the transition moving away from home at such a young age. Check it out below.


0:00-1:01 Introduction
1:01-1:40 When were you first interested in playing soccer?
1:40-2:40 When did you start thinking about playing on the mainland?
2:40-4:00 Did you know about MLS Next prior to the tryouts? & How were the tryouts?
4:00-4:35 How did you first contact the Barca Academy?
4:35-5:18 How was the transition moving away from home?
5:18-6:40 What was your schedule like at the Barca Academy?
6:40-8:00 What did S&C look like at the Barca Academy?
8:00-9:00 What was the expectation around workload and your mentality?
8:00-10:47 Why did you move to Nomads SC? & How did you first contact them?
10:47-11:32 What is the training like at Nomads SC?
11:32-12:52 Do Nomads speak to you about College / Professional? & What are your goals?
12:52-13:10 What piece of advice would you give to a player in Hawaii looking to make the same move as you?
13:10-14:40 How is the standard of play & mentality in MLS Next?
14:40-17:11 What is the biggest differences between Hawaii & MLS
17:11-18:38 What area of development is most needed to play in MLS Next?
18:38-18:47 Outro

Brianne Cremer – Maui to Pro (Video)

We interviewed Brianne Cremer, former high school MVP, D2 athlete, and college coach. She now competes professionally in Budapest, Hungary.

Bri was born and raised in Maui. Throughout her childhood, she played multiple sports including track, volleyball, basketball, and cross country before choosing to follow her passion into professional soccer.

She provides valuable advice for any Hawaiian players looking to follow her path, including how to manage training loads, and balance club and high school soccer. Check it out below.


1:48-2:50 When were you first interested in playing soccer?
2:50-6:45 Managing training loads with soccer and other sports through childhood.
6:45-9:52 Did playing other sports have a positive or negative affect on your soccer development?
9:52-11:15 Why Bri took a break from soccer during high school.
11:15-13:02 High school and/or club soccer?
13:03-17:41 Bri was driven, but planned to take a break before college for certain reasons. What changed?
17:41-23:29 How was your recruitment process for college? Did you use a recruiter?
23:29-26:20 What piece of advice do you have for a player who may not be sure if college sport is the right route for them?
26:20-29:50 What was the hardest transition for you between high school and college sport?
29:50-35:10 How did you get the opportunity to play abroad?
35:10-37:05 What piece of advise would you give to a player who may be unsure about making the transition from Hawaii to play abroad (or on the mainland)?
37:05-38:16 What are two things you’ve consistently done to ensure longevity throughout your soccer career?
38:16-38:57 How can players train with you this winter?
38:57 End

Brianne is also a private soccer trainer on Oahu. She will be on Oahu coaching this December (2022) and booking sessions. If you’d like to schedule a session with Brianne, DM her on Instagram. Her handle is @briannecremer.

Alexa Genas – High School to Pro (Video)

We interviewed Alexa Genas, former D1 soccer athlete who went pro.

Alexa Genas was born in New Mexico and entered soccer at a young age. She went to Campbell University to play collegiate soccer and is now playing professionally in Europe.

She discusses her path from high school to college soccer and her (and her parents’) decisions throughout the way.


0:55-1:18 Alexa Genas intro
1:18-2:22 How did you get into soccer?
2:23-5:44 How was your high school soccer experience?
5:45-6:39 When did you decide you wanted to go to college for soccer?
6:40-8:25 Did you play any other sports?
8:26-12:51 What areas did you focus on to attract colleges?
12:52-15:20 How did you find a trustworthy college recruiter?
15:21-20:54 Did you have any setbacks on your journey from high school to college? How did you overcome your injury?
20:55-23:25 How would you describe your college soccer experience?
23:26-27:17 What expectations are placed upon you in college?
27:18-30:17 What can high school players do now to prepare for the demands of college soccer?
30:18-33:18 Looking back, what did you do really well to prepare for college?
33:19-36:50 What are the 3 key attributes needed to become a collegiate soccer player?
36:51-37:17 What’s 1 piece of advice you would give an aspiring college athlete?
37:18 End