About us

In 1999 a small team of soccer players participated in a Christian tournament held at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. The team represented the Metro NY district and played against other Christian teams while enjoying fellowship and teachings. Their coach, Abel Espada, realized this could be the start of something bigger in serving the Kingdom. Having fallen in love with soccer after arriving as a young boy from Puerto Rico, Rev. Espada played through college and his sons fell in love with the game as well. After much prayer and organization, Athletic Advance was born in 2003 and the team set off for Nicaragua and Costa Rica, stopping in Florida first.  Twenty people went on that first trip and to say the Lord blessed them is an understatement. Since then, Athletic Advance has embarked on 8 international and domestic missions trips with a full soccer team and a team of volunteers of all ages who have donated their time, love and talents in order to share the gospel. Athletic Advance ministers through soccer games and tournaments, children’s soccer clinics, medical clinics, conferences, seminars, retreats, dance, drama and compassionate ministries. The goal is one and the same, to spread the love of Jesus.