Taylor Lubianski Becomes a Pirate After 3 Year Spell With Cruz Azul

Great player news has emanated from the Pirate training camp this week as ex Cruz Azul youth player Taylor Lubianski, was persuaded by the silvery speech and Irish charm from Coach and owner, Brendan Keyes, to up sticks from his base in San Antonio and come join the Pirate ship as they continue to plot their NPSL course.

The 19 year old midfielder/forward has signed with immediate effect for the Galveston side and although still a teenager, he will add some well gained experience to the side as they continue fleet of foot through the HFA season, galloping toward April's kickoff time on the National stage.
While in Guadalajara, playing and training at Cruz Azul, Taylor played in La Liga Animales de Guadalajara. "Animales" is similar to the NPSL in that it is a semi-pro league designed to showcase upcoming players as well as those with previous professional experience.

In addition, Taylor also had the opportunity to play against teams from both the Primera (1st) and Tercera (3rd) Divisions of La Liga Mexicana. (Tijuana/Primera; La Mecca/Tercera; Cocula/Tercera; Zapotlanejo/Tercera)

Although playing with Cruz Azul, Taylor found that he couldn't progress any higher than the third level due to the Mexican ruling that a non Mexican national cannot rise to the top tier.

"Yes, I was aware of the ruling issue from the start. However, the benefits and value of training and playing at that level far outweighed the fact that advancement was not possible." Taylor told us.

Speaking about the reasons for choosing Mexico at the time he said:"I picked Mexico because I had played and trained in Mexico each summer since I was 13 and still a freshman in high school. My club trainer at the time was "Profe Memo", a former pro player from Mexico and going with him during the summer was the reason I chose Mexico."
"I felt comfortable with the style of play there and the initial language barrier wasn't an issue as I felt it was the natural next step in my development as a player."

Continuing on about his time in Mexico he spoke of playing:"I also played in another league that was similar to Animales/NPSL, it was called Liga de Castores. I trained and played for Cruz Azul as my first priority, but the schedule also allowed me to play in that Sunday league with both these leagues being designed like the NPSL where you have players with a variety of experience levels."

Born in Texas, Taylor had an impressive school and college pedigree, managing TASCO/UIL all area, all district and all region sides in three concurrent years and also the NSCAA/Adidas All region southwest team in 2009. During this time he scored 39 goals and had 26 assists to his name.

This is the type of scoring and assist record that drew Taylor to the Pirate attention in the first place.

"I knew that coach Keyes had a lot of experience and that it would be their first season in the NPSL. My short term goals are to do whatever is necessary to ensure that we have a successful first season in NPSL and build on that foundation for the following season. Long term is to continue advancement and ultimately play at the highest level possible." said Taylor.
"The biggest difference I have found so far is the reduced training schedule. I am used to training 12 - 16 hours a week in addition to games but I'll work out on my own, go to the gym and keep myself in peak physical fitness so I am ready for the HFA games and then the NPSL season."

Brendan Keyes spoke of the young lad saying:"Taylor is a great player, just what we need up front as we head towards the NPSL season."
"We have signed him so he can get to know the current crop of players and hopefully build a bond with them as we head towards the pointy end of the HFA season. We want to finish in a promotion spot and also gain entry into the State Cup;Taylor will help us do that, I have no doubt."

Like myself, the Irishman, gets a bit excited once he gets started and continued on:"The lad made a trip up from San Antonio for a team meeting last Thursday. We weren't training, there was no ball work, just a team talk so he could meet the other players. That shows commitment and professionalism and I admire that."

"It's just unfortunate for him that we have had a three week break in matches so he hasn't been able to perform on a competitive field yet but it gives us all time to gel as a team and prepare mentally and physically for the challenges ahead, one that I am sure Taylor will meet head on and excel in."

Finishing off, Keyes couldn't commend Taylor high enough saying:"He's a winner, always has been. He sees what he wants and goes for it. Not many 13 year olds would have the audacity to keep going to Mexico in the hunt for professional soccer. He did and he found his dream. This move to us is a stepping stone for Taylor, I know that and I am under no illusions that this boy will make the step up to at least NASL level in the next year or so and from what I have seen, he can go further."

No pressure then!

Taylor would also like to thanks the people that got him this far in his career to date saying:"Without Profe. Guillermo " Memo" Espinosa and Cruz Azul Occidente Centro de Formacion for their involvement and direction in my development as a player I would not be at this point. I would like to also thank Coach Keyes for his willingness to be a part of my continued growth and development and to my family for their commitment and belief in my success.

Sounds like a lot of people over a long period of years have put time, effort and commitment into making sure this young soccer starlet could achieve his dreams. The Pirates are just the latest in that story, one that will gain benefits for both parties involved and have a fairytale ending.

We look forward to seeing Taylor in action and showing the watching public what he's made of!

To see some video clips of Taylor in action click here.

by Marc Roseblade