Kimya and Vida spent six months just passing. No shots, no slick dribbling tricks. Just the basics.
Now, the Denton sisters are headed to bigger and better things.
Thirteen-year-old Vida is traveling to Toronto to represent the U.S. on its first 14-and-under girls national team for futsal, a five-player version of soccer, while 14-year-old Kimya has been invited to Barcelona, Spain, to play Saturday on the 13-and-under boys futsal team at the World Cup.
“Some players on the field are so fast but they can’t pass,” Vida said. “The whole game is simple, and if you can’t pass or dribble, you can’t really get to the big leagues if you can’t do the small things first. There was a lot of emotion, too. I wanted to score and juke everybody out, so I got frustrated.”
Having immigrated to the U.S. from Iran, Tim Raietparvar and wife Sharzad decided to get their girls involved in soccer. Not many teams were interested in adding them, so Tim and Sharzad decided to take matters into their own hands and coach the girls themselves.
“I wanted them to pass and receive the ball,” Tim Raietparvar said. “I didn’t expect them to be good at first. I took them to a couple of teams to try out, and they got rejected. It just kind of hit me. I said, ‘You know what, there’s no reason that my kids can’t be good at something that I know how to teach and play.’
“I think one of the reasons they became so good and are so passionate is because I’m so passionate. My wife had a lot to do with their development in their hearts.”
Kimya and Vida, who attend charter school so that they can get out of school early and practice for several hours a day, play on traditional 11-player soccer teams, but they are representing the U.S. in Toronto and Barcelona in futsal.
“At their age, U.S. Soccer Federation recommends to play small-size games,” Tim Raietparvar said. “It’s about the development of the kids at early ages up to 14, 15 and 16. They get more action. The speed of the play is higher. They touch the ball a lot more, and their decision-making gets better.”
Kimya has quite the opportunity at hand with her trip to Barcelona, as she was invited to play with the boys to be scouted for a girls team in Barcelona, but things didn’t start picture-perfect for her.
Some coaches told her she was behind the level of her sister, so she dealt with a few more rejections. In spite of that, Kimya stayed disciplined and fought to get better every day.
“At the beginning, I didn’t really care,” Kimya said. “I just kept playing, and eventually I kind of noticed that some of the people that said that they didn’t want me came back for me. It kind of motivated me to play better and still prove them wrong. I’m doing pretty good, so I guess I’m proving everyone wrong.”
Now that she’s playing with the boys, she said she isn’t intimidated. She just wants to earn the respect of her teammates regardless of the fact that she’s the only girl on the team.
“There wasn’t any disrespect, but I had to earn my respect so I could play with them and be in their group,” Kimya said. “They kind of know me as a defender, so as long as I keep the goals out and go forward, then I’m respected.”
In contrast to the defensive-minded Kimya, Vida is more offensive-minded. Each sister appreciates the skills of the other because they can help each other get better in those areas.
“My weakest thing is basically defense and hers is offense,” Vida said. “Usually I’ll be in goal and try to stop her from scoring. We try to put ourselves in the weakest spots so we can learn.”
With each sister motivating the other, including some heated arguments in the car after games about who played better, Vida said Kimya playing with the boys and on older teams has been a big inspiration for her soccer career.
“We started playing at the same time, and as she grew I wanted to be in the same place as her,” Vida said. “If she wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be playing soccer right now. When she achieves something, I want to achieve it too. When she plays with the boys, I want to play with the boys. Whenever she plays with the oldest group, I want to play with the oldest group.”
Vida and Kimya credit their parents for their support and recognize that education is equally important, so on their respective plane rides they’ll be doing homework. Each has dreams to play soccer in college.
“My dad plays soccer, my mom plays soccer, my sister plays soccer and even my little dog plays soccer with us in the house all the time,” Vida said. “They give us everything that we need. If we needed tennis balls for juggling, they would get them for us. They know that this could be something big for us.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
North Texas Futbol Club (NTFC) Is a new select soccer club established by John Hedlund and a highly respected North Texas based coaching staff. With over 250 boys and girls playing on over 35 teams from U-7 to U-19, NTFC is committed to the development of the youth soccer player. NTFC has teams playing in the Lake Highlands Girls Classic League, Chamber Classic Boys League, Plano Premier League and local Academy Leagues.
North Texas Futbol Club offers an innovative and unique environment that separates us from other clubs. Much like a college athlete, our players (and their family members) are provided with full access to our indoor/outdoor training facilities and a professional sports performance staff to support both team and individual development. Every select coach will tell you they want their players putting in the extra time on skills training and sports performance training. We have made it easier for our athletes by providing training opportunities in house as a part of our core offerings.
Director of Soccer Operations
Director of Coaching – Girls
Director of Coaching – Boys
Academy Director – Boys
Academy Director – Girls