The 5-foot-5 wing said he’s preparing for the upcoming professional soccer season with the Minnesota Thunder in the United Soccer League First Division.
Question: What’s it like to play with some of your former Estancia teammates?
Answer: It bring backs memories. It reminded me of the 1996-97 season. I’ve seen people I haven’t seen since I left. I finished my freshman year and I left in the middle of my sophomore year, a little bit before the season. I played one year and we lost in the semis in [the] CIF [Southern Section playoffs]. The 2000 team, the year I was supposed to graduate, Estancia had an amazing team. The Eagles won CIF. I missed it.
Q: Did the former players show you their CIF Southern Section Division IV championship rings at the alumni match?
A: I haven’t seen them. It was either a CIF title, or [professional] soccer in Mexico. I will never give up anything for that opportunity.
Q: How tough a decision was it for you to leave high school for the professional ranks?
A: I’m happy I left. I went for my dream to play professional. When I left here, there was no [Major League Soccer]. High school soccer and college was all there was. I wanted to play pro and that’s why I left.
I went to Guadalajara, Mexico. I decided to leave everything and go play soccer over there. I played for Tecos, six, seven years over there.
Q: Were you guaranteed anything when you arrived in Mexico?
A: I was lucky. A scout asked me if I wanted to try out. I did. I went straight to Tecos and after a week they offered me a contract with the third team. I started playing there for a year. After that year, they moved me up to the third division. I only played five or six games and they moved me up to the second division and I played a full season there. After that season, the major league coach saw me, and he moved me up to the major team in Guadalajara, the Tecos. There are three [Primera Division] teams in Guadalajara, Atlas, Chivas and Tecos.
Q: What was the experience like?