A Salinas teen has signed a homegrown player contract with the San Jose Earthquakes Monday, making him the second youngest player to ever sign a deal with a Major League Soccer team, according to KPIX in the Bay Area.
Emmanuel ‘Emi’ Ochoa, 14, from Salinas has been in the Quakes Academy developmental program and is one of five teens San Jose has signed to a professional contract.
“Emi plays with a technical ability and confidence well beyond his age and is one of the top prospects in the youth national team system,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “He has already worked extensively with our goalkeeper coach Carlos Roa and we have put a personalized development plan in place to ensure the best learning environment for him moving forward.”
Ochoa started with El Camino FC before joining the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy and then the Quakes Academy.
KPIX said he is rated by Top Drawer Soccer as the country’s No. 1 goalkeeper for the class of 2023. He is also the first teenage goalkeeper to sign a professional contract with the Earthquakes.