BARRIO – We talk to a lot of footballers, but our conversation with Yoana Peralta was different. Born in Toronto, from a Dominican dad and a Uruguayan mom, Yoana got her soccer start at age 5 with Club Uruguay futsal team! I swear, I think everyone in Toronto played for Club Uruguay at one point in their life LOL. This is where Yoana fell in love with the sport.
Yoana then moved on to play for El Salvador Toronto (Coach Louis, @northyorkfctoronto), Glenshields, King City, Aurora, Vaughan, and more. She is a natural winger, but can play centre mid as well. When you speak to her, she sounds super humble. We’re pretty sure she can play every position on the pitch LOL.
Her love of the sport, and the fact that she’s just a baller, landed her a spot on the York University Soccer team, but that was cut short as she sustained a torn ACL and meniscus. Not surprising, she made a quick and full recovery.
The most interesting thing happened in 2021. I promise, you can’t make this up. The Dominican Republic National Soccer team (Selection Dominicana Futbol) started following Yoana on Instagram, naturally Yoana followed back. Afterwards, they posted a picture of Messi on IG, and Yoana liked it. AND THEN, a scout calls her to confirm the nationality of her dad and asks Yoana if she wants to try out for the national team… They fly her out, and she makes the team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!
She got very little, to no playing time in her first two exhibition games vs Bolivia. Yoana was then called up once again to play in two exhibition matches vs Panama where she played a few minutes the first game, and the entire 2nd half of the second game. Que orgullo!
Of course her dad and their entire family are just completely over the moon about this. Yoana explained that putting on that jersey is an incredible feeling that she’s unable to explain.
It gets better. In 2022, Yoana signed her first pro contract with Club Einherji in Iceland. She was there for a full season and absolutely loved the experience and freedom. While there, Yoana lived in a small town of 700 people which was 8 hours away from the main city. The team was made up of mostly locals, and 5 international players. Of course she missed home, but her mom called her daily which helped a lot. When the season was over, Yoana decided to leave Iceland and return to Toronto.
Yoana is currently enrolled at Seneca College and yesterday (Oct 28) they won the OCAA championship against Humber College, 3-1. Yoana scored the 3rd goal and won ‘Man of the Match’…. LFG
Next week they’re off to PEI where Seneca will compete with other teams for the CCAA championship.
Yoana, it was a such a pleasure talking to you and getting to know you. Keep inspiring!!! We out here. Latinos Rompiendo!