Rising star: A look at Quakes Academy player Trevor Long

The Academy's Trevor Long has been a defensive sparkplug

One of the stars on the Earthquakes’ unbeaten under-18 academy team, Trevor Long appears to have the whole soccer package.

He's an intelligent team leader with skill, talent, and great role models. His future looks blindingly bright.

"He's one of our more consistent players,” said Chris Leitch, academy technical director. “He's one of our co-captains and a guy that I think all of his teammates respect."

A senior at Granada High School in Livermore, Long carries a 3.8 GPA and has earned a scholarship to play for the California Golden Bears next season.

Moreover, Long, at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, is an integral part of the U18 team's stout back line, which has helped the Quakes (4-0) allow just three goals total in four matches.

Selecting Cal for major college play was really a no-brainer for him.

“Cal is where I’ve always wanted to play," Long said happily. "I get to stay in the area where I’ve grown up and be near both family and friends.”

Long said that entering the academy program has been beneficial in many ways.

For one, he's playing in one the country's most competitive youth leagues, often in front of multiple college coaches. Plus, he's had the chance to interact regularly with soccer icons, such as Chris Wondolowski, a Danville native.

Long is hoping to follow a similar path to the one Wondo has taken, going from high school phenom, to local college star, to professional soccer stardom, all within a 40-mile radius of home.

While many young soccer players aspire to play for the Quakes’ academy, saying yes wasn’t all that easy for Long after his sophomore season at Granada.

One of the best things about high school sports is getting to play with your childhood friends. Long stared that choice in the face and made the toughest call of his young athletic life.

“It’s definitely not the same; I miss those guys a lot,” he said of leaving the varsity team. “But playing for the Academy just provides me with so much more exposure and opportunity that I had to take that chance.”

Long, who is interested in studying physiology or biology at Cal, would like to stay in the game he loves sand eventually become a coach and a mentor to young players.

In a perfect world, Long will captain the Quakes senior team some day. His resume shows a young player on the rise after he started out in the Livermore Youth Soccer League.

He's played in the Nike Manchester Cup, Gothia Cup in Sweden in 2008, district/state/regional ODP teams in 2008-09, the ODP Inter-regional Championships in Florida, two years of high school ball (18 goals, 13 assists), and two-plus years of Quakes Academy involvement.

The global appeal of the game is not lost on Long. He’s been overseas already, and he yearns to return.

“It was an amazing opportunity; in Europe, the game means so much more,” he said. “I would love to have a chance to play over there again someday; in Europe, soccer is life.”

In the meantime, though, he couldn’t be happier to be where he is.

“It’s an honor and a blessing to play for the Quakes Academy,” he said. “It’s opened so many doors for me in terms of my soccer future.”

Clearly, this academy player is in it for the long haul.

The U18 academy team next will face the San Juan Soccer Club on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. at the Mather Soccer Complex North Field.