The San Jose Earthquakes Academy has enjoyed a momentous 2023, and the past two months have been no different. From league success on a domestic level to international acclaim, here’s a brief snapshot of some recent highlights and achievements surrounding our Academy, which leads all Major League Soccer clubs with 13 current Homegrown Players.
MLS NEXT Success
The Under-13 and Under-14 teams were recent league champions, while the Under-17s made it to their league tournament’s semi-finals. Meanwhile, the Under-15s ranked first at MLS NEXT Flex showcase with three wins, 12 goals, and zero goals against.
Earning Pro Experience Early
Nine current Academy players received opportunities to play at the professional level in MLS NEXT Pro with Earthquakes II this year. A total of 33 Academy members have played with the second team over the past two seasons of the league’s existence.
Duo Shines at U-17 World Cup
Homegrown Players Cruz Medina and Oscar Verhoeven were among 21 players called to represent the United States Under-17 Men’s Youth National Team (MYNT) in the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup in Indonesia. Both featured throughout the USA’s run, which ended in the Round of 16 in a narrow 3-2 loss to Germany. In group stage action, Medina scored the go-ahead goal against the Korea Republic and captained the squad against France, while Verhoeven started three games on the back line.
Doolittle to U-16 MYNT Camp
Brooks Doolittle of the Earthquakes’ Under-17 Academy team was selected to join the United States U16 Men’s Youth National Team Training Camp cycle from Nov. 12-19 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2008, were age-eligible for this one-year cycle. U19 MYNT head coach Michael Nsien, who previously served as U-16 MYNT head coach, led the camp.
U-14, U-15s Inundate MYNT ID Camp
Thirteen San Jose Earthquakes Academy players were selected for participation in MYNT Talent Identification Camp in San Ramon, California from Nov. 13 through Nov. 17. Marcelo Avalos, Warren Boyce, Damian Gonzalez, Will Ostrander, Edgar Rodriguez, Roi Shalon, Kaedren Spivey, Jorge Torres Perez and Matthew White were selected from the U15 squad. Julian Christy, Orion Joliff, Jeremey Lara, Xavier Rodriguez, and Zaid Olivo were chosen from the U14 group.
U-16 Pair to Portugal
Kaedren Spivey and Jorge Torres Perez of the U15s are set to participate in the U.S. U16 MYNT Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Development Tournament in Portugal from Nov. 25 through Dec. 6. UEFA's youth development tournaments provide elite young players with the opportunity to put their talents on display while gaining vital international experience.
MLS NEXT Fest Approaching
The Quakes Academy will be participating in MLS NEXT Fest in Phoenix, Arizona. The U17s will play from Dec. 5 through Dec. 8, while the U15 squad plays from Dec. 7 through Dec. 10. The week-long event hosts more than 800 matches in a single location and is the most attended event by college, national team, and professional scouts and coaches during the entire MLS NEXT season. Results can affect MLS NEXT Cup Playoff standings.