For nearly 20 years, Mo Keita has been coaching and training young athletes across New England. The launch of Skillz Check Soccer Academy was yet another way for Keita to provide his expertise year round to a broader group.
What began as a series of specialized clinics and camps has grown into one of the most comprehensive soccer training programs in New England which has helped to produce scores of elite and national-level players. Recent Skillz Check success stories include Nina Dooley, Porter Dooley and Olivia McKenelley, all recent commits for Northeastern University, as well as Sophie Woodland, the Cape Ann League Player of the Year from Masconomet Regional High School who will be one of 11 freshman to join the Boston University women’s soccer team in 2019.
“We work on their game year-round through indoor practice, and the most important part is the technical fine points that build confidence,” said Keita, who was a member of the U14 U.S. national team, received a full scholarship to the University of Rhode Island and later trained in Germany with Ismanning and 1860 Munchen. “We want to make them so comfortable with the ball on their foot that it becomes second nature.”
One former Skillz Check regular, Sam Lofton, has witnessed the benefits of Keita’s first hand and credits her longtime trainer for her success at James Madison University and now as a professional player for Breidablik in the Urvalsdeild league, one of Iceland’s top premiere soccer league.
While Lofton, McKenelley, Woodland and the Dooley twins have achieved exceptional success thanks to Keita’s training the program offers players of all levels an opportunity to develop a passion and love for the game that Keita has dedicated his life to since his early days playing in Guinea.
“We take players of all ages and skills,” said Keita. “The goal is to work on all the skills needed to improve and to help them build confidence which they can use on the field and in life.”
In addition to personal and group training, Skillz Check offers seasonal clinic series, 3vs3 tournaments, a junior elite program and a residential summer camp held in July and August.
“Skillz Check Soccer Academy began with a simple goal of providing easier access to our training for more athletes,” said Keita. “While we are proud of what we have built as a business, we are humbled by the incredible athletes who have committed to the program and used it to reach their potential. Each one of them is our own success story.”