Real So Cal is one of most successful academies in Southern California, continually battling with MLS Academy sides LA Galaxy and Chivas USA for the top young talent. Real So Cal will again be loaded with some top national players.
Real So Cal’s U18 will be headlined by a key returner Collin Liberty, a 2014 Stanford commit who started 91% of the matches last year for the U18s. Field commander and #10 Jorge Jimenez, Daniel Mondragon, a sneaky goal scoring substitute in 2012-2013, and Kevin Cervantes round out the notable U18 returning players.
It is returning ’96 usynt left back John Requejo, Jr., who will be the star for the U18s this season. Requejo was an automatic starter for the US U17 team for over two years. His defensive prowess, along with his darting runs up the left flank, became a vital weapon for the US side in international competition. His international experience should elevate him to another level in USSDA play.
Real So Cal has promoted a number of U16s, who led the way to a 3rd place finish last season. Nile Chau, Sam Strong and Fernando Orellana will pair with ex-LA Galaxy defender and 2014 Stanford commit Jorge Miranda. In Miranda and Liberty, Real So Cal are more than formidable in the back. The Real So Cal offense will be led by U16 star Carlos Gonzalez, who combined with Mondragon for 19 goals last season. Jimenez will be joined in the midfield by U16 call-ups Robert Gonzalez and Spencer Held. The U18s might also welcome usynt Justin Vom Steeg (’97) into their net. Vom Steeg, the son of UCSB’s head coach, could see time with the U18s as they do not currently have a GK on their roster. Justin is more than capable of holding his own at this level.
Only time will tell how the Real So Cal U16s will shake out. ’98 usynt defensive midfielder Eric Calvillo was one of the most impressive players at this summer’s U15 BNT camp and will likely accept a residency invitation. Calvillo captained the US U15 BNT at the recent Copa Naciones in Mexico City. He formed last season’s core with fellow midfielders Luis Carbajal and ’97 usynt striker Chet Castellaw. All three are listed with the U16s, but are talented enough to play with the U18s. ’97 defender Benny Lorca, Jr., will be an integral part of the defense, as will Angel Cova, who enters his third season with the RSC U16s. Lorca and Cova might play in front of Vom Steeg. The 6’3” goalkeeper started nearly every match last year, and will be even more important to his team this season.
The U14 team will be lead by ’00 usynt midfielder Taylor Davila and ’00 playmaker David Ruiz. The talented midfielders are nearly a year younger than some of their Real So Cal teammates, but are seen as two of the brightest talents on the West Coast. Davila and ’99 midfielder Leonel Alvarenga were involved in the final id2 camps, and Ruiz is the squad’s #10. Look for ’99 goalkeeper David Preys to have a nice year, along with ’99 defender Matthew Rivarola-Gomez.
Academy Star: ’98 Eric Calvillo
Academy Talisman: ’97 Justin Vom Steeg
Academy Prospect: ’00 Taylor Davila