Being a part of the Chivas USA Academy

U18 keeper Jake McGuire talks about his beginnings and how the Academy has helped him improve

Jake McGuire

Photo Credit: 
Olivia Cervantes

Being a part of the Chivas USA Academy opens doors to opportunities and growth both on and off the field. Among the perfect examples lies Chivas USA U18’s goalkeeper Jake McGuire. McGuire has been a part of the Academy for over four years and has even trained with the First Team for two consecutive summers.

McGuire started playing AYSO soccer when he was eight years-old when his mother signed him and his sisters up for the sport. Although he did not start off as a goalkeeper, the Chino Hills native liked to learn about the different positions in the game. When he was 9, the starting goalkeeper broke his arm, forcing his coach to find a replacement.

“As a joke I volunteered to be the starting goalkeeper,” McGuire said. “I turned out to be pretty good; came out with clean sheets in the first six games. When I was 12, I started getting pretty serious about goalkeeping and I started taking classes.”

When McGuire was 14, a family friend told McGuire about Chivas USA’s Youth Academy tryouts when his family was on vacation. McGuire begged his mom to take him, jokingly saying “it could be the start of his career.” And McGuire was right. Since then, he’s been the starting goalkeeper for every academy team he plays for and had the opportunity to join the U.S. U17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida, a one-year camp that trains players on the field and provides a first-class education.

“Joining the Academy has really opened many doors for me,” McGuire said. “Clubs are at a local level, while Academy is at a national level. You get to meet coaches from different academies, college coaches that follow you throughout the years to see how you’re doing and you also get to meet so many great people that help you grow as a person.”

McGuire is currently in search of a university to commit to, and thanks to the Academy, has a variety of options to choose from. But one thing is for sure, McGuire will be training with the First Team this summer, for the third consecutive time.

“I think Jake has worked very hard in the Academy and has done many things, being named Goalkeeper of the Year twice and was selected to two All-Star Games,” said Chivas USA’s First Team Goalkeeper Coach Daniel Gonzalez. “His future is immeasurable for what he can do. He’s a smart kid and a hard worker.”

If you’d like to join Chivas USA’s Youth Academy, this might be your chance. Chivas USA is holding I.D. Camps in search of talent in the 1999 and 2000 categories. Click here to register now for one of the three dates scheduled, and you could be the next Youth Academy success story!