Tomo Allen is establishing himself as one of the best strikers in the Quakes Academy. At the young age of 10, Allen is already the top goal scorer for the U-12s this season with 28 goals in 22 appearances. His ability to take defenders head on and create goal-scoring opportunities makes Allen a key player to watch at the Academy.
“Tomo is a unique player,” said Earthquakes Academy U-12 coach Mark Christie. “He can perform skills, turns and tricks that are very hard to defend. Tomo has matured a lot this season and is constantly looking to work on his strengths and weaknesses. He’s definitely the type of player we need to develop here in the U.S.”
SJEarthquakes.com: Tell us a little about yourself and where your family comes from.
Tomo Allen: I come from a mixed background. My dad is African American and my mom is Japanese. My mom's hometown in Japan is famous for soccer and my dad was born in Berkeley. My name is reflective of my heritage. My first name Tomo means wisdom in Japanese. My middle name Kamil means bright and smart in Swahili and my last name is American. I come from an athletic family; my great grandfather is in the Hall of Fame for three sports at San Jose State University. My grandfather and uncle both played professional baseball and my dad played baseball and football in college.
SJEQ: Why did you want to join the Quakes Academy?
Tomo Allen: I played and trained at Villarreal in Spain a couple of years ago and it was very professional. Once I got back, we wanted a similar environment so I came to the Quakes. We have some of the best players in Northern California so practice is challenging every day. The coaches are always challenging me to play and perform against older players. This is only going to help me get better.
SJEQ: Your coach tells us you have an incredible drive to get better outside of practice, what do you do at home to improve your skills?
Tomo Allen: I spend a lot of time training in my backyard and the soccer fields near my house. My coach gives me a lot of training videos so my dad and I can run drills in the backyard. Sometimes after practice, I'll come home to train in the backyard and my mom has to bring portable lights so I can play. When I’m home, I'm always touching a ball so I think that helps my touch and dribbling ability.
SJEQ: Do you have any other favorite sports?
Tomo Allen: When I was younger, I liked playing futsal. I was lucky that the coach of my futsal program let me play with kids that were two or three years older than me. Many of those kids that I trained with now are playing in the Development Academies at other clubs. I like the speed of futsal and the fact you get a lot of touches. When I was seven, I had a chance to go to Barcelona to play in the Futsal World Cup. We won the tournament and to this day we are the only team from the U.S. to win that tournament at any age. Even though I was playing against older kids, I was one of the leading goal scorers in the tournament.
SJEQ: How do you express yourself on and off the pitch?
Tomo Allen: Ever since I started playing I wanted to look different and stand out. My favorite players are Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba. They stand out with their skills and hairstyle. I like to show off my personality by having crazy designs and hair colors.