The Sound of Gol Foundation is a global not-for-profit organization that supports youth development using the “world’s game” of soccer and the arts to empower social and personal growth. The Foundation was inspired by the animated series, La Golda, that engages kids to take action and do good around the world. With its vision of Saving the World One Game at a Time, the Foundation has created programs that follow the same prosocial endeavors to make a difference and impact lives.
Soccer in the U.S. has become a pay-to- play model; the better you get at it and the higher you want to climb in the sport, the more families have to pay. The chances of going to college on a soccer scholarship or becoming a professional becomes difficult. However, due to spending cuts across physical education, parks and recreational centers, the sport can become a path to class mobility.
MISSION: Our mission is to build strong leaders for tomorrow. We create opportunities to shape youth into well-rounded leaders in their communities. Under the guidance of coaches and mentors, they become active and confident as Sound of Gol’s athletes and ambassadors of good will.
Sound of Gol Foundation
Founder, Sound of Gol
George is the creator of LA GOLDA and formed the Sound of Gol Foundation as the prosocial arm of the animation. He is a well-established director, writer, and producer. Valencia has won numerous awards including SHOWTIME’s ‘Best New Latin Filmmaker’ in 2002 and ‘Best Film’ at the HBO NY Latino Film Festival in 2005 for his feature ‘Glow Ropes. In addition to writing, directing, and producing films in Italy and Argentina, Valencia has worked with FIFA and produced soccer content for broadcast and web and worked with clubs such as Bayern Munich and AS Roma.
Judy is an Dominican American actress born in the Bronx, NY. Best known for her role as Carla in the iconic television show, SCRUBS, Judy also stars in Lifetime’s hit show Devious Maids and has worked in theatre and television for the last twenty years. Judy is thrilled to be expanding her role in Hollywood by serving as a board member for the Sound of Gol & executive producing LA GOLDA.
Tax Partner, Ernst and Young
Belinda Pestana Fernandez is a seasoned finance professional with over 18 years of experience. Belinda is a Tax Partner at Ernst and Young. She advises her clients on such matters including but not limited to federal, state and international tax planning, accounting for income taxes, fund launches including AIV structures, investor reporting and withholding, transfer pricing and compensation matters.
Belinda is Cuban American, born and raised in New Jersey. She is an active member in her community where she volunteers in initiatives such as Junior Achievement, Women’s Professional Network and the Latino Professional Network.
Director of Marketing & Sales, Pertech Corporation
Marlon is currently the Director of Marketing & Sales at Pertech Corporation – specializing in servicing the Graphic Arts Industry. In addition, Marlon has produced award winning films with George Valencia, the creator of LA GOLDA.
Laura Dergal is a digital and social media content and youth brand expert who helps traditional media companies evolve to reach new audiences and platforms. While at Telemundo/ NBC Universal, she launched the first national bilingual pay tv network, “mun2.” While at Univision, she developed the content offering, programmed, and produced for all On Demand, OTT, and syndicated digital platforms, including 14 YouTube channels. She currently oversees digital and social content and pan-regional marketing at Discovery Latin America.
Laura has been a Multichannel News “Woman To Watch,” a National Society of Hispanic MBA’s “Top Hispanic MBA,” and a Cynopsis Media “Top Woman in Digital” award recipient, among other honors. She holds a BA in Sociology from UC Berkeley and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Justina Machado is an American actress of Puerto Rican descent. She is known for her roles as Vanessa Diaz on the HBO drama series Six Feet Under, and as Penelope on the hit Netflix series One Day At A Time. Justina has delivered cheer and food to the families who are undergoing hard times as their children receive treatment for cancer and other chronic illnesses at the Children’s Hospital of LA with the foundation.
Ana Ortiz is an American actress and singer. She began her acting career in theatre and has starred in the hit comedy-drama series Ugly Betty from 2006 to 2010. Ortiz also starred in the Lifetime television comedy-drama series Devious Maids, for which she received the Imagen Award for Best Actress. Ortiz is a dedicated philanthropist and activist who accompanied our girls team to the United Nations last year. She formed part of a powerful seminar that educated the girls about female leadership and the importance of voting. She has also volunteered at our Meals of Love with the Ronald McDonald House.
Ambassadors of Goodwill:
Our Ambassadors of Goodwill have pledged their support to represent social responsibility by addressing the challenges facing children and engaging kids to take action and do good around the world through soccer. They are committed to raising awareness and making a difference in the lives of everyone they touch through various soccer initiatives.
Oympic Gold Medalist, USWNT
Brandi Chastain is the most iconic female player in U.S. history. She was a professional soccer player for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team for sixteen years. Among her many accomplishments are winning two Women’s World Cup championships and two Olympic gold medals. As an Ambassador of Goodwill, Brandi led a soccer clinic in Garfield, New Jersey in 2015 where she taught soccer fundamentals to young aspiring athletes. Brandi has joined and supported the Foundation since its inception. She continues to advocate for the equality of girls and women in sport.
Analyst-Los Angeles Galaxy, Former USMNT
Cobi Jones is a former United States Men’s National Team soccer player and current analyst for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Cobi joined us in January 2016 at Sound of Gol’s very first Health & Wellness weekend in Los Angeles where he discussed the benefits of nutrition and taught valuable soccer tips and tricks to over 150 elementary school students.
Soccer Analyst, ESPN
Monica Gonzalez is a former professional soccer player, who played forward and defender for Mexico’s Womens National Soccer Team. She is currently a soccer analyst for ESPN. She is the founder of Gonzo Soccer Academy, a non-profit organization that teaches Hispanic girls the game of soccer and fundamental life skills.
Former Watford FC Soccer Player & USMNT
Jay DeMerit is a former Watford FC soccer player, MLS Vancouver Whitecaps captain and part of the United States Men’s National Team squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Jay was also a special guest at our Health & Wellness clinic in Compton, CA where he had the opportunity to promote good health by encouraging mind and body fitness among elementary school students.
U13 Soccer / Team Management:
Trained and certified as a head soccer coach, Jorge has an important leadership role providing the most interaction with our U13 team. He serves as a role model and sets an example for each player. Jorge runs practices and games and applies the laws of soccer for this age group, teaches good sportsmanship on and off the field. *Jorge is a retired Colombian-born American soccer forward having played for the US National team and Major League Soccer in the 80s & 90s. He currently coaches youth athletic soccer.
Michelle supports the head coach and manages team logistics. Duties include organizing team schedules, practices and games, securing ample insurance and providing parents/legal guardians with helpful information. *Michelle is a mother of three and does per-diem work for attorneys. She spends most of her time volunteering in the school system, coaching soccer, basketball and softball.
Team Social Leader
Marlene is the team’s support counselor providing a range of helpful services and resources; she additionally leads the girls team & their volunteer efforts in various communities. *Marlene is a school counselor in special education. For 18 years, she has counseled youth who have social, emotional, and behavioral struggles. She is fluent in both Portuguese & Spanish.