Eight months ago, Anthony Ruiz packed his things into a suitcase and moved to San Diego, California to join the Nomads Academy SC.
At a two-hour drive, in Rialto, he left his home, family, school and friends, all for the love to fight for his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
“It was hard to leave the family, the school, but talking to my parents I understood that it was the best for me,” says the midfielder of Mexican origin.
The invitation to join the team that plays in the US Soccer Development Academy came through Ignacio Ruvalcaba, director of the basic forces of Xolos de Tijuana.
“We knew that we would no longer be with him, the first few days he was not at home were hard, but deep down we knew that it was going to help him grow athletically,” says the player’s father, Martin Ruiz.
Now, Anthony lives with 11 teammates in a team’s clubhouse. His parents and siblings sees him very little, hopefully, once a month when they go to visit him or to enjoy their games; the rest of the time he is focused on his work with the squad and in his role as captain of the U16 division.
“The thing that changed was the social life, because at school I had my friends and we went out, but now as everything is online and there is not much interaction,” explains the 16 year-old boy. “At first it was very difficult, but now I got used to, because that’s what I want.”
Anthony believes that this sacrifice will be rewarded when he does sign with any major football team.
“Every professional leaves home at some point in his career, so I thought it was time to do so. To fulfill my dreams or any dream it takes a lot of discipline and a lot of sacrifice,” says the young man.
A Born Captain
His experience at the Chivas USA Academy, where he attended for two years, and several calls to the youth teams of the United States have been decisive in Anthony’s sports development and it was this experience, along with his skills and work in the field that allowed him to quickly be named captain of Nomads SC U-16 .
“He is a player of strong character, very energetic. He is devoted to the team and is always encouraging his teammates. His coaches say he always excels and takes control. He has leadership,” says the father.
Anthony is a persistent and motivated young man who wants to meet his goals, and he is aware that it is a long and challenging road.
“It is difficult to fight for this dream because my teammates are my competition. You want to get there, but they do too. But I know that, with hard work and dedication, I can achieve it.”
- Name: Anthony Ruiz Sandoval
- Date of birth: November 1, 1999
- Birthplace: Los Angeles
- Position: Midfielder
- Favorite team: Real Madrid
- Favorite player: Xabi Alonso
- Favorite TV Series: Lie to To Me
- His best quality: Humbleness
- Favorite food: Tacos
- Instagram: ruiz_anthony99