Xoloitzcuintles de Tijuana have made it clear that they can conquer all. On March 29, 2015 they offered a soccer clinic at San Diego State University right before the friendly match that was held against the SDSU Aztecs. With a total audience of 1,572 spectators and the tied score of 1-1, Xoloitzcuintles used their under 19 players against SDSU. The main reason for Xoloitzcuintles to play vs. SDSU and impart a soccer clinic was to promote their soccer in the U.S. Xoloitzcuintles is a team that wants to make better soccer and players on both sides of the border.
Xoloitzcuintles counts with an Academy in the city of Chula Vista where their goal is to train players from an early age and help them develop with the team. Alma Carranza is an administrator for the Xolos Academy and she said she has seen this while working with the Xolos Academy, who is affiliated directly with Club Xoloitzcuintle.
“We are forming the players for the under 17 team, the sports director of the team, comes by twice a week to see the children and see who has potential to be on the club.” she said.
Xoloitzcuintles of Tijuana is one of the few teams who focus on their players in their early development. Carranza explained what she has noticed from the club.
“I have worked with other teams but have never seen what I see with Xolos.” she said. “What they want is for every kid to form, if we get them as mini Xolos that is what we want, to work with them until they make the first team, even as 12 year olds we take them to Tijuana.”
The club focuses on the physical and also the internal part of the player.
“It is all adjuncted, the sports director is in Tijuana and they look closely to the Academy. We have physical trainers, goalkeeper trainers, a Nutrology professor, psychology professor, and a chef. It is a future that they have here” explained Carranza.
The teams focus on the young players has paid off. Nineteen-year-old Luis Chavez who scored by penalty against SDSU at minute 64 has been with the club for three years. Chavez made his debut with the team on July 18, 2014. He as a young player shared part of his experience as he has developed with the team.
“It’s a nice friendship maybe the teams results are the way they are because we have played together since we were in minor categories,” he said.
With regards to Xoloitzcuintles having influence and forming players in the U.S Chavez looks forward to share the field with these up rising talents.
“I think it’s a good project for the kids to start here and then go to Tijuana and play with the team,” said Chavez.
The concept of training with the players at a young age is something that has worked for the team up to this day. Fernando Arce a former player of Xoloitzcuintle has seen the product of the team’s dedication with the aspiring athletes with one of his own.
Born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California Fernando Arce is currently playing for Club Chivas de Guadalajara. Arce was one of the base players in Tijuana that was with the team when they won their first Apertura Tournament in 2012. Arce has also played for the Mexicans National soccer team. He left Tijuana but he left a part of him in Xoloitzcuintles.
Eighteen year old and native from Chula Vista, California Fernando David Arce is the son of Fernando Arce, Arce Jr debuted in professional soccer at a friendly match against Club America on the Torneo Clausura of 2014. The day that Arce Jr touched the field for first time in a professional level was a historic moment for the Arce family and the club. With a kiss on the cheek Arce left his spot on the field to his eldest son Arce Jr. Arce Jr also debuted in 2014 with the U.S National Soccer team in the under 20 category. Arce Jr is currently playing for Xoloitzcuintles under 20 team and for this match against SDSU Arce came to see his son play.
Arce explained his thoughts on the project of the Xolos Academy.
“The idea was for the kids to get close to the club and with this the club grows and there will be more players on this side of the border,” he said.
Also he has mentioned how he has seen his son’s progress since he entered the club at fifteen years of age and now at eighteen.
“It has been great because the formation that is given to them in the institution is becoming very important , there is a lot of follow up that is given to the players as well as preparation so they grow as people and also as players,” said Arce.
There has always been a rivalry between the U.S and Mexico, it is said by many coaches, players and spectators that there is no such thing as a friendly match between Mexican teams and teams in the United States. Clearly Xoloitzcuintles thinks differently. Promoting soccer to the children at a young age with the goal of making them future stars where they can represent their club proudly and represent their National team on both sides of the border.