San Juan SC has been home to some of No Cal’s most talented prospects. But the presence of nearby USSDA giants San Jose Earthquakes and De Anza Force often seems to overshadow the good things happening in Sacramento.
San Juan finished last season near the bottom in both the U17/18 and U15/16 divisions. Returning core players and new blood should propel the club to new heights in 2013-2014.
Central to San Juan’s U18 efforts will be the returning midfield which returns core players Eric Gylling (’95), Xavier Juarez (’95), Grant Mook (’95), Matthew Waldron (’95) and Jose Ochoa (’95). All five saw minutes on last seasons U18 squad and will be relied upon for leadership moving forward.
San Juan will likely look to smooth striker Anthony Herrera (’95). Herrera saw action last year with the U18s and previously spent time with Pachuca Academy. Herrera will be joined by promoted U16s Claudio Celis (’96) and Mitchell McPartland (’96) to score the team’s goals. ’96 usynt midfielder Alex Martinez will be given the figurative keys to the car and asked to fill the #10 role, as he did with the U16s last season. Martinez has spent time with Club America, and was included in US U17 pool for the last cycle.
The defense will be lead by goalkeeper Alexander Waldron, who tended the net last season for the U16s, as well as U16 defenders Kyle Panganiban (’96), Jacob Lustig (’96) and Matthew Waldron (’95).
The U16s do lose a number of their more important players, including A. Waldron, Panganiban and Martinez, but they will also welcome ’98 usynt pool player Ryley Kraft to the fold. Kraft has been included in past U14 and U15 nationals camps and has trained in Italy with Fiorentina. U16s also return key members David Burns (’97), Nathaniel Maas (’97) and Heriberto Melgoza (’97), all of whom saw major minutes last year.
The U13/14 division is packed with a full roster of talented No Cal kids that we will keep our eye on. A couple names to watch are Alecxis Trejo (’00) and Ricardo Miranda (’99).
Academy Star: ’96 Alex Martinez
Academy Talisman: ’95 Grant Mook
Academy Prospect: ’98 Ryley Kraft