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INTERVIEW WITH MLS SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES MIDFIELDER ERIC CALVILLO

Eric Calvillo is a 22-year-old native of Palmdale, California. He played his youth career at Real So Cal before signing his first professional contract with the New York Cosmos in 2016 at 18 years old. He made 21 appearances and scored 4 goals for the side and was with the team when they won the Soccer Bowl 2016 and was the runner-up for the Soccer Bowl 2017. He was also the runner-up for the 2017 NASL Young Player of the Year.

On January 20, 2018, the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS signed Calvillo to a multiyear contract.

Calvillo has represented the U.S. internationally at the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels. He was named to the United States’ 21-man roster at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he teamed alongside players such as the RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams and Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic. He also wore the captain’s armband for the U.S. at the 2016 U-19 Copa del Atlantico against the likes of France and host-nation Spain. Eric has been a player many have identified as a “highly talented prospect”. Which is understandable as player with significant amount of professional and youth national team experience at just 22 years old. Currently playing for the San Jose Earthquakes, how is playing in the MLS?

It’s been interesting and amazing at the same time. Being able to live out a childhood dream of playing pro just gives me the satisfaction that the hard work and sacrifices paid off. The league itself has improved throughout the years which is great, but I still have a lot to learn.


You played in the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, how was that experience?


The U-17 WC was literally an experience of a lifetime! Representing my country was always an honour and then to do so it that type of high competition was another dream come true. I played against a lot of different countries and in that WC, being able to play in those different stadiums and different cities in Chile is something I’d never forget even though the results weren’t nowhere near what we wanted and expected.


You also captained the Under-19 USA side at the Copa Del Atlantico, how big was the moment when you knew you would be captaining your country?


So being named captain was amazing and something I’ve already had the privilege of doing before. I was captain majority of my youth career, club and country. So yeah from U15-19, every time I would put that jersey on and the armband after, the honour and the confidence it gave me was just the best feeling in the world.


Any advice for younger players looking to make it to the MLS or play professionally?


I would just say like probably majority of people will tell them is to continue working hard, and to really work on your mental toughness, being able to stay patient, and to really pay attention to what others tell you especially the ones who have been playing the longest in the league.


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