Earthquakes sign 14-year-old goalkeeper Emi Ochoa

The San Jose Earthquakes made 14-year-old goalkeeper Emi Ochoa the second youngest signing in MLS history, 23 days older than Freddy Adu was when he signed.

Ochoa is the youngest to sign a Homegrown Player contract and one of five Homegrown players on the Earthquakes roster currently under 18 years of age, joining Jacob Akanyirige (17), Gilbert Fuentes (17), Casey Walls (16) and Cade Cowell (16).

“The work we have done to prepare ourselves for the future at the goalkeeping position gave us an opportunity to offer a contract to Emi, even at his young age,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. “We have established players we are going to lean on for 2020 and the years to come, which will allow Emi to develop at his own pace with achievable goals year over year, including ones from an academic and life perspective.

Ochoa, native of Salinas, Calif., began his youth career at his hometown club El Camino FC before joining the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy and later the Quakes Academy. The high school freshman has previously represented the USA at the U-14 and U-15 levels.


The  is currently rated by Top Drawer Socceras the nation’s No. 1 goalkeeper for the Class of 2023. He is the first teenage goalkeeper to sign a professional contract with the Earthquakes.

3 comments about "Earthquakes sign 14-year-old goalkeeper Emi Ochoa".
  1. R2 Dad, November 12, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.

    I didn't know you could poach another DA's player like the Quakes did. Yes, Santa Cruz has always been the bottom of the table--it's a very small market and not attached to an MLS team, but Salinas to San Jose is 60 miles one way in bad Silicon Valley traffic. Why is USSF promoting this?

  2. Ric Fonseca replied, November 12, 2019 at 9:55 p.m.

    R2D2 Dad, I "thought" we were/are in favor of promoting players, whether it is the El Caomino FV, SC Club, or Earthquakes and even ayso (though this group would be a real stretch of the imagination!) I rather think that it is a neat process to have other clubs implement, if for anything, to prevent that Alianza group of Identifying them for Liga Mex club and then cry at having "lost" the talented players to "foreign club..."  

  3. R2 Dad replied, November 13, 2019 at 12:46 a.m.

    In general, I am all for the player taking their best path, whether it's Alianza or otherwise. But the DA obviously favors clubs affliated with MLS, to the detriment of independents and I don't think that is fair. My disagreement is not with the family and their choice, only with how independents get the short straw in these situations. He is also not a field player, and DA keepers wouldn't have to drive that long way every day to get good training and reps. But look at him--he's a huge kid, highly rated, bright future--he is not fighting the "too small" label many skillful players face getting to higher levels and those are the ones I think we need most.

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