It’s easy to get lost making comparisons between Towson youngster Toshi Davis and professional—adult—soccer players.
Just look at the attached video.
His skill with the ball is reminiscent of a certain young Brazilian who dazzled the world with his tricks on the national stage for years.
At 9 years old, he is a third grader at Rodgers Forge Elementary School and the known as the “magician” of Pipeline Soccer Club’s Under-10 Black team.
“He’s technically and tactically better than anyone in his age group,” Pipeline co-founder Sean Rush said.
Toshi’s coach Barnie Spencer-White added, “He seems to always be a step ahead. He understands not just what we’re doing be why we’re doing it … We call him the play-maker, the magician.”
Toshi’s father Bret Davis said his son started playing on a team at just 4 years old. Toshi was part of the first class of Pipeline players, when the club was created in 2011. Read more about Pipeline and co-founder Sean Rush.
Toshi returned to his native Japan in 2011, while his father—a professor of philosophy at Loyola University—was on a research sabbatical.
“He really got into soccer over there,” Bret said. “They practiced four, five, sometimes six times a week.”
Bret and his wife Naomi Davis say they want to encourage their son to pursue whatever makes him happy, although they're not ruling professional play.
“He loves to win. He loves to play well, but we want to make sure he’s having fun,” Bret said.
Toshi's dream is one day play for either the United States Men’s National Soccer Team or the Japanese National Football (soccer) Team.
“He could go either way,” Bret said. “That’s the dream in his head. We just encourage him to smile and pursue his dreams.”
There is also a chance Toshi might try baseball in the spring, Bret added. But coaches Rush and Spencer-White hope he sticks with soccer.
“The way he glides past players he looks like a young Kaka in his prime,” Spencer-White said.
Spencer-White, now in his second year coaching the Pipeline team, played in college in the United Kingdom. He’s been surrounded by talent his entire life, and he now hopes to inspire American youth with his wisdom on the pitch.
“[Toshi's] unbelievably confident and cool on the ball … If he gets knocked down he gets right back up.”
Rush, a Cockeysville resident, added that were it not for Toshi’s size, he’d recommended sending Toshi to play with the 13-year-olds.
“We see that his growth as a player is unbelievable,” Rush said.
Rush added that Pipeline is starting an organized recreation soccer league after signing a long-term deal with Friends Soccer of Baltimore, where he also coaches the high school team.
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