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RISING STAR: Chivas USA's Omar Becerra
by Joe Addison, September 4th, 2008 9AM
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Omar Becerra joined the Chivas USA U-18 team through Sueno MLS, a program that offers a series of open tryouts for professional soccer hopefuls. Becerra traveled three times a week from his home in San Diego, where he has a young daughter and attended an alternative high school, to Bell Gardens, a community about five miles south of downtown Los Angeles, where Chivas practiced.

Name: Omar Becerra
Birthdate: Sept. 20, 1990
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Youth Club: U-18 Chivas USA. I previously played for the Del Mar Sharks.
High School: Audeo Charter School
Position: I am a sweeper.
Professional Plans: I'd really like to play for the Chivas USA first team. I've had the opportunity to practice a few times with them and it's been a great opportunity. I've also played a few games for the reserves.
International Experience: I don't have any international experience yet. But if the United States and Mexico called on the same day, I'd play for the United States.
First soccer memory: When I was younger, I remember playing with my older brothers. They were bigger and faster than me, so I was always trying to keep up with them.
Strengths: I'm often well positioned on the field. I'm also very strong technically.
Weaknesses: I could improve the speed of my game.
Highlight: With the U-18's, we closed out this past season with seven wins in a row. We were playing really well at the end.
Lowlight: At the beginning of the season, I was not playing that much. But I kept working hard and eventually broke into the starting group.
Who do you play like? Some people have compared me to Chivas USA defender (and former Mexico national team captain) Claudio Suarez.
Other Sports: It's mostly been soccer for me.
Academic Interests: In high school, I liked biology.
Role Models: My parents and my brothers. They've always told me to keep going no matter how hard it gets.
Memorable advice: My coaches have always told me that hard work will always pay off. If you put in the time, the rewards will come.
Favorite team: Barcelona
Favorite players: Didier Drogba and Claudio Suarez
Favorite Show: That 70's Show
Favorite Movie: Batman
Favorite Music: Reggae
Best moment on the soccer field: We were playing in a tournament in Guadalajara and we were playing against a team that was supposed to beat us. We ended up tying, and it was the best team performance I have ever been a part of.



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