04B Force captain Jorge Villasenor Jr. makes another big step in his soccer journey as he represents AJAX East Bay at the ODP Inter-Regional Showcase December 18th-22nd in Bradenton, Florida. A fixture on the Cal-North roster, this is Villasenor Jr's. 1st inter-regional call up. This event will feature more than 72 of the nation's top players selected from the US Youth Soccer State Association and Regional level evaluations.
"I was nervous at ODP regional camp and I knew it was going to be a tough road to make the travel roster with the competition" said Villasenor Jr. "The five days at camp consisted of the same schedule. Every morning they would post the list of players that made the pool, and it changed every morning. I never took it for granted when I saw my name and #75 on the list. I knew it wasn’t over and I had to keep proving myself."
"The last and final day came and we still had to play one game at 8:00 AM which would determine the final 32 players for the 2018 Regional Pool. This is the day I played my heart out and left it all on the field. I blocked, 3 1v1’s, 3 shots outside the 18, and 2 corners all in 1 half. I felt so proud of myself, and was at peace with whatever decision the coaches made because I knew I gave my all."
"After the game we went to the closing ceremony. When it was time to announce the 04’s, I got extremely nervous. It was only a matter of minutes before I knew if my that hard work paid off and I made the team. The coach went up and the first name they called was Jorge Villasenor Jr. ! I walked up there with a big smile on my face, knowing God was watching over me keeping me safe and giving me the strength to be able to do this. I knew my parents would be proud of me regardless but most importantly I was proud of myself. Proud because I didn’t give up. Instead of sitting on the couch, I put the work in and it paid off."
When asked if he had any advice to any players with OPD dreams and aspirations, Villasenor Jr. added, "Believe in yourself and know that you are good enough. Invest the time in getting better and remember that there is always someone out there working harder than you! Money can’t buy you a spot on any roster, but your hard work and commitment will get you where you dream to go."
A freshman at Freedom High School in Oakley and a captain on his 04B Force team, Villasenor Jr. has established himself as a dependable presence that commands respect and makes his teammates better. His story still has yet to be written, but with his growing list of accomplishments, Villasenor Jr. is making a strong case to be the greatest player ever to wear the club crest. Despite his success, he still reaches a hand back to help others and motivate the next ODP hopefuls.
"If anyone needs help, or motivation talk to me. I’m always on the field and willing to help. Don’t be afraid. Stay the course and DON'T QUIT!"