Derrick Thomas (1993-1994)

Dear Fred,

Greetings! You may not remember me from 22 years ago, but I went on two tours with NSA as a player back when it first started. I remember both tours vividly and consider them among the best experiences of my life. I will never forget waking up as a 12-year-old in our hotel in Helsinki, Finland to find my picture plastered across the newspaper’s sports page on one side and Romario scoring a header in the 1994 World Cup on the other. I have that newspaper framed along with a translation of the article!

The memories of playing with NSA teammates, some of whom I still keep in touch with, and against international teams will stay with me forever. I’m so glad you and NSA have continued the tradition of exposing kids to other cultures through competition in top youth tournaments across the world. The two tours I went on really opened my eyes at an early age and instilled in me a love for traveling, and even more so, futbol. Soccer is still my passion in life and always will be.

With my playing days largely behind me (I notice the NSA website notes me having been a past player with NSA and having gone on to play at UC Davis) I’ve become involved in coaching and really love it. Last week I attended the NSCAA Premier Course in Denver, Colorado and learned a great deal about systems of play in a 11v11 game.

Over the years I have often thought of NSA and so I thought I would take this opportunity to reach out to you and say hello. I currently live and work in Sacramento. I also coach two youth boys teams for Union FC, a Sacramento based competitive club.

Whenever you have a chance, I would love to hear from you and catch up. Also, please tell Fred and Anthony I said hello. We all went to St. James School together and on those two tours. I hope you and your family are doing well.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Derrick Thomas
NSA Alumni (’93 & ’94)
(530) 867-0266 (cell)