Just because the season has ended doesn’t mean that the San Jose Earthquakes Academy is resting during the offseason. They have been holding camps and tryouts while preparing the next crop of talented players for the road ahead. For the last week, 70+ players have been living the life of an up-and-coming soccer star, including living together in a college dorm, training everyday with top flight coaches, and learning what it takes to succeed at the next level.
The men at the top of the Academy pyramid have put the right people in place to encourage and inspire the next group of players that will be under their tutelage for years to come. Leaders like Stanford head man Jeremy Gunn, Cal assistant coach Leonard Griffin and USF head coach Erik Visser were among the decorated group of men to come and speak to the players throughout the week. Academy alum Brian Visser (former University of San Francisco University keeper) also stopped by to discuss everything the kids needed to move on to a top college program.
A few of the topics from the week include nutrition, team building, impact testing and training. On top of the training and talking points, the players were able to work in a few matches during their time on the campus of Cal State East Bay. Overall, it was a phenomenal learning experience for the players, and it hopefully shed some light on the level of dedication and commitment it will take to succeed at the next level and beyond.
This summer has also seen the Academy host camps and tryouts for the upcoming campaign. The addition of an under-14 program has given the Quakes brass plenty of things and players to consider going into the 2013-14 season. Camps were held throughout the summer both in Union City and San Jose, and from there, select individuals were invited to the next level.
Raquel Ledezma, the mother of 10-year-old Gabe, a camp participant, said, “(Gabe) had an amazing experience at the camp. He couldn’t stop talking about the friends he made and the things he learned. This is the first camp I enrolled him in that I thought he would actually get a lot out of.”
Gabe plays with a highly ranked local club and has expressed definite interest in the Quakes Academy when he comes of age. “Getting to play with other kids my age that are on the same skill level was really cool,” he said. “I hope I can do it again next summer!”
There is still one camp left, Aug. 19-22, and it will be held at Shorty Garcia Park in Union City and is open to all skill levels ages 4-14.
Whether it is a residential camp at a local college or just something at your local park, the Quakes have channeled a lot of energy and time into their youth program and it’s starting to pay dividends. After just 3 years together, the premiere youth team for San Jose, the U-18s, made the postseason and had a valiant run in Dallas back in June. Things will start to ramp up in the coming weeks as they prepare to get the teams and roles defined and get things moving towards a late September start to the 2013-14 campaign.
- Richter Media