Quincy’s Eduardo Perez seeks path to the pros in statewide soccer league
Once they were rivals, bitter foes on the soccer pitch.
But now they are brothers in yellow jerseys, working toward a common goal, both on and off the field.
That’s the story of Wenatchee FC Capitals, the semipro Evergreen Premier League of Washington’s Wenatchee franchise, that comprises players from around Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties and beyond.
Two of the team’s players are reserve Frank Medina and starter Eduardo Perez, Quincy products who have found a soccer family among both familiar and unfamiliar faces.
Among the familiar faces is that of last year’s league-leading scorer Eleazar Galvan and first-year coach Jamie Richards, both of whom faced Perez’s Quincy High School team when the Jacks played Chelan.
Richards is still the coach in Chelan and Perez said he remembers thinking of Richards as a dreaded opponent. He can’t help but compare that with how he feels about his coach now, a profound admiration borne out of many a training session with the Capitals. Same with Galvan.
“We started as opponents, but we played in a club together my junior year and that’s where I got to know him,” Perez said.
Later on, Galvan and Perez would go on to play junior-college ball together at Skagit Valley College.
The 21-year-old Perez graduated from Quincy High School in 2013. Although born in California, his family made it to Quincy when he was 8, after spending a while living in Mexico.
He attends Western Washington University, seeking to major in physical educationalthough he doesn’t play for the Vikings’ soccer team.
“Probably next year,” Perez said.
The Capitals are 3 years old, but Quincy alum like Jesus Zafra and Jose Garcia have already played for Wenatchee.
The leap from prep sports to the EPLWA was big.
Teams in areas like Seattle, Vancouver and Spokane load their rosters with top college thus raising the quality of play in the young league, Perez said.
“It’s more faster, more physical and more skillful,” Perez said.
The dream for Perez is the same as many other players, to reach the pros. Signs exist that the three-year-old EPLWA might well become a pipeline to the pros someday. Galvan went to Peru for a tryout with a pro team there this year.
If the pros don’t happen, it would be cool to play in the NCAA’s top divisions, Perez said.
“Wherever this game takes me, that’s my dream,” Perez said.
Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org