Watsonville born Andrew Mendoza-Arteaga made the Chivas U.S.A. Academy U15-16 Soccer team and scored two goals during his first tournament of the season.
Mendoza-Arteaga grew up in Watsonville until the age of 5, before moving to Bakersfield with his mother Arcey.
His coach of his club team, the Roadrunners United FC, Greg Knittle said it was only a matter of time before he made an academy team.
“He excels at forward, and he’s a powerful goal scorer. Chivas really liked his technical abilities.”
The professional soccer team in the Liga MX, the Chivas of Guadalajara, owns Chivas U.S.A. The academy is one of the first steps in making it into the pro rankings. The academy is a part of the same league as the local Santa Cruz Breakers, but they are in the Southwest division.
After failing to make two academy teams before Chivas, he was recommended to the Chivas by Knittle and after one day of tryouts the academy team knew they had to have him.
“They came to Bakersfield all the way from Los Angeles,” said Arcey, “and they wanted him to play with a full ride. What’s amazing is the fact that he was able to score two goals in his first tournament. Usually it takes time for them to get used to the new team, but he played so well. I was really proud of him.”
So know the family drives from Bakersfield to Los Angeles for practice four times a week to that he can be a part of the academy, but his academics are not suffering in the slightest. He keeps a 3.8 grade point average at Frontier High School in Bakersfield, and his goal is to play soccer at the Stanford.
He has played on the varsity squad since freshman year and is going into his junior season.
“He’s a great kid,” said Knittle. “He’s started off as a role player (with the Roadrunners United FC), but he grew into the captain. His drive is something special.”
Mendoza-Arteaga is part of the Arteaga family that is well known in the Watsonville community for their achievements in sports. Arcey also played soccer in high school. She made the varsity team as a freshman at Aptos High School.
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