Monterey Bay FC signs Santa Cruz native as first-ever player for team’s inaugural season
SEASIDE, Calif. (KION-TV) Monterey Bay Football Club announced the club signed Santa Cruz native, Walmer Martinez as its first official player.
Martinez transferred from USL Championship club Hartford Athletic club after playing his first season in the league in 2021. He's also spent time playing for the El Salvador international team on their recent Gold Cup run.
"My family is super excited and I know my friends who I haven't told are going to be excited when they hear about this," said Martinez. "It will be great to play in front of old classmates and teammates."
Monterey Bay FC Union Coach Frank Yallop said since the USL announced a team in the Monterey Bay, the club has had its eyes on Walmer Martinez.
Yallop said Martinez is a two-way type player whose "got a bit of everything."
"He works hard off the ball, which if you're on my team, everyone's gotta work hard if you don't have the ball," added Yallop. "Walmer's a great story. He's made it and is a great young player who has played for his country."
Martinez talked a bit about his upbringing growing up in Santa Cruz with his mom and siblings who have supported him through the years.
"I only had my mother and my siblings. We grew up a working class family," he said. "My mom worked in the fields and my brother worked in construction. I did a little construction myself. I've always been motivated to exceed to the next step in my life."
With Martinez now playing closer to home, he said he hopes to inspire other young athletes to potentially do the same to even potentially play internationally like he has in his career.
"Be ready for when the time comes because your opportunity might come when you least expect it," said Martinez. "I was ready to give up on soccer and things just started lining up for me."
Monterey Bay FC Union has yet to have its USL schedule announced but expects those dates to be revealed in the next few months.