San Diego based Crusaders Soccer Club is home to an immense amount of talent in the community that can’t go unnoticed. Crusaders SC is honored to include Alan Vasquez amongst its pool of players. In February, Vazquez was awarded the 2018 Cal South Player of the Year Award. For those who know him, this achievement is no surprise. Vazquez has a work ethic and skillset that combine to make him a formidable player and an excellent reflection of the values of his club Crusaders.
We reached out to Vazquez in order to get a better understanding for who he is and what pushes him to excel.
Crusaders SC: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Alan Vazquez: My name is Alan Fabian Vasquez. I am 17 years old and I am in my third year of high school. I am from and currently reside in Tijuana, Baja California.
Crusaders SC: How old were you when you got started playing soccer and what caught your interest about starting to play?
Alan Vazquez: I started playing soccer at the age of 6 years old when I was kindergarten. I wanted to play when I saw all the kids play soccer so seeing all the other kids play motivated me.
Crusaders SC: What position(s) do you play and what do you like most about that position?
Alan Vazquez: I play goalkeeper and what I like the most of that position is that I have the whole view of the game and have more self-control to be able to have the capability to make a good play.
Crusaders SC: You are a member of the ODP, how has that experience impacted you as a player? What has been the best part about being part of that squad?
Alan Vazquez: The impact that ODP has had on me as a player is that there is a great pool of talented players and the amount of work to be in that roster. I meet players with different styles of play and different levels of experience and learn from what they bring to the squad. You also get to build a really nice relationship with these players that come from different places.
Crusaders SC: You were just awarded the 2018 Cal South Player of the Year. How do you feel about receiving such an honor like that and how has that influenced you as a player?
Alan Vazquez: This award made me realize that all of those trips of me having to cross the border 3-4 times a week to train, play my games and all the hard work that I put in on my own time made me realize that it was all worth it. It gives me a sense of satisfaction, but at the same time I am the same person, I will still keep working hard and I am the same person as I was before.
Crusaders SC: How long have you been at CSC? How has your experience been with the team and your coach?
Alan Vazquez: I have been playing for Crusaders for 3 years now and my experience with my coaches has been great. I have learned a lot. I have learned how to be a leader and how to treat my teammates because everyone is different. I have had a lot of support from my coaches on how to make decisions and learning how to stay focused and concentrated during games.
Crusaders SC: It’s not been easy for you to get to the ODP, how did you make this happen?
Alan Vazquez: How I managed to get to ODP was during National Cup with one of my teams we played three successful games and also which I had a lot of goalkeeper action. In one game my coach Victor Melendez at that time told me that Steve Hoffman Director of Player development for ODP wanted to offer me an opportunity to play in ODP because of the way I played. Afterwards I was called in a giant pool of approximately more than 100 players. After that cuts were made I managed to make the 22-player roster. After I participated in an ODP camp in which they made 4 more cuts to finalize the 18 player roster.
Crusaders SC: You are one of the hardest-working players at CSC, what drives you to work so hard and can you describe a typical week for you?
Alan Vazquez:A typical week for me is pretty hectic.
- On Mondays I have school, after school I cross the border to go to training, come home and do homework, dinner and go to sleep.
- I have the day off on Tuesdays and Wednesday and Thursdays, same routine as Monday. Fridays at times I go train with goalkeepers in Tijuana to get some extra training in. I play on Saturdays and on Sundays I have the day off.
What motivates me to keep working hard is the support my family provides me with bringing me to training crossing the border multiple times during the week and the sacrifices they make for me to able to do this.
Crusaders SC: What has been the best soccer experience you had so far?
Alan Vazquez: One of the best experiences I have had so far as a player is being able to play in three consecutive ODP championships in which I have the opportunity to win 2 out of the 3 Regional and National championships. Just the experience of being able to be part of ODP has been amazing. Of course, being Cal South Player of the Year was also a great experience that can’t be missed.
Crusaders SC: What are your long-term soccer goals?
Alan Vazquez:: Some of my long-term goals is to be able to earn a soccer scholarship to be able play at a University or to try and play professionally. It is hard for me focus on something outside of soccer because it is something I am very passionate about.
Crusaders SC: What advice would you give younger players at CSC especially boys?
Alan Vazquez: What I would say is to not pressure yourselves too much. Train as hard and as much as you can, something that coach Rene Miramontes told me “What is worth it to you is worth the work.” If you want to reach something work hard for it. It’s ok to make mistakes and make sure to enjoy playing the game. Play free and play comfortable.
I want to first and foremost thank Cal South for giving me the confidence and the opportunity to be part of their institution that helped me grow as a player as much as it did as a person. I thank my family for all the support they have always given me to help reach my dream. I thank Crusaders Soccer Club for receiving me as a player for more than 3 years. To my coaches Victor Melendez and Rene Miramontes for giving me the support in my player development always helping me make the right choices. To the Martinez family for always being there when I need you and last but not least to my teammates and friends that have given me the most beautiful thing… futbol.