For the love of the game
Becoming a professional soccer player is something that millions of kids dream of. They work hard every day, overcome many obstacles and make plenty of sacrifices, but at the end of the day, only the strong, and talented, make it to the top. Last Monday, 16 year-old midfielder Marco (aka Marky) Delgado signed his first professional contract as a homegrown player for Chivas USA and getting there was no easy task that happened overnight.
Growing up in Glendora, Calif., both of Marky’s parents are from Mexico and he comes from a family of five; he has two older brothers, and a younger brother and sister, all of which have participated in the Pomona United Youth Soccer League. Marky’s mother, Mireya Delgado, recalls that the young Marky has been kicking a ball ever since he was in a walker. At the short age of 4 ½ years old, Marky started playing club soccer with the Pomona Youth Soccer league, where, because of Marky’s outstanding talent, many questioned his age.
“Marky always wanted to be playing soccer,” said Mrs. Delgado. “Every time a game with his team would end, he’d be looking for another team that he could play in. My husband and I just wanted to go home, but Marky would end up playing three games in one day.”
Marky would continue playing soccer in Pomona until he was 14 years-old, and would join the Cosmos West Academy, now turned the Chivas USA Youth Academy. In the same year, Marky joined the U.S. U17 Residency Program in Florida, where he stayed from during the fall of 2010 and spring 2011 semesters. Since joining the Chivas USA First Team in preseason, Marky has participated in four games with the Reserve Team since preseason.
Being just 16 years-old, Marky is not able to drive everyday to training, which obligates his mother, joined by his little sister Ruby, to drive the 40+ one-way miles every day to The Home Depot Center. Both Mrs. Delgado and little Ruby wait for Marky, and then head to El Segundo where the young player is currently completing his high school diploma, while his father works a full-time job to provide for his family, including all of Marky’s needs.
“All of the things that we’ve been through and all the sacrifices he’s made, they’re paying off,” said Mrs. Delgado. “Now it’s up to Marky to work hard and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”