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Young player's funeral draws 1,000
November 26th, 2008 9:01AM



The funeral of 10-year-old youth player Jonathan Manzo Chavez, killed in a car crash on his way home from a NorCal qualifying tournament in Manteca, Calif., on Nov. 15, drew 1,000 family and friends at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in South San Jose.

Teammates on Manzo's Santa Clara Sporting Green under-10 team pulled off their jersey and threw them into the hole where his coffin was lowered at the Gate of Heaven cemetery in Los Altos.

"For us, it was just like, wow, Jonathan really united this whole soccer community," Ligia Brasil, the team manager for the Santa Clara Sporting Green under-10 team and coach's wife, told the San Jose Mercury-News. "He made everyone come together. For these little guys, the power of their teammate, the bond that they had, it's just amazing."

Manzo died of internal injuries after the minivan his mother was driving back from the NorCal qualifying tournament in Manteca was hit head on by a car. He asked the emergency personnel not to cut off his jersey because he said he had a game the next day. His mother and brother and sister who were in the car survived.

A fund set up to provide financial support for Manzo's family -- his father is the sole provider for the family, which does not have health insurance -- received about $20,000 in donations.

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