The San Jose Earthquakes have just announced their new eMLS player, Ben Remez, or more commonly known online, BENR. A native of Israel and current resident of Sunnyvale, Calif., the 20-year-old is ready to represent his home club.
SJEarthquakes.com: Tell us a little bit about your background.
Ben Remez (BENR): “My mom relocated here for her job so I moved to Sunnyvale from Israel when I was 12. It was a life-changing opportunity for me and my family to have a better future. Obviously, there’s so many more opportunities here in the U.S. so coming from another country, it’s a blessing.”
SJEQ: Was it difficult moving to a new country right before high school?
BENR: “It was really tough after I built a lot of great relationships in Israel. It took me a lot of time to get used to the culture, the language and everything else. It was difficult, I’m not going to lie, but I wouldn’t trade away the last few years because I’m proud of where I am today.”
SJEQ: Since you’re local to the South Bay, what has been your connection to the Quakes?
BENR: “It all started when I went to Quakes games at Buck Shaw stadium in Santa Clara. I was watching the Quakes for as long as I can remember because I was strongly connected to soccer. I was actually one of the first people to visit [Earthquakes] Stadium when it opened up.”
“Experiencing a stadium like this and the culture that the club has, it’s truly amazing because it’s a community-based club and a strong organization that connects with the people around them. To watch soccer at a high level is amazing and this is the perfect place for that.”
SJEQ: How long have you been playing FIFA?
BENR: “I’ve been playing since I came to the United States when I was 13 years old but competitively, I’ve been playing since 2016. I really started to take things seriously when playing FIFA 19 [in 2018].”
SJEQ: When did you realize that you could start playing FIFA competitively?
BENR: “FIFA 19 was the first game I thought I could start playing competitively which was right after high school for me. I started competing in qualifiers for tournaments at an international level and I actually got in a couple tournaments. I went to Brazil, Singapore and Atlanta during my first season and I thought, wow, this could be a life-changing opportunity and could open up experiences that I’ve never had before. I took advantage of that. I continued grinding, practicing, and I’m happy where I am right now.”
SJEQ: Why were you interested in joining eMLS?
BENR: “First of all, it’s a very competitive league. The best players in the region come to play in this league. Everybody wants to win it all. There’s a lot of skill, intensity and ups-and-downs. It’s a long season with a lot of good players, older players and younger players like me. It’s super competitive and anything can happen. I’m just here for the ride and I want to represent the Quakes in the best way possible by putting them on the map in FIFA.”