By Liliana Marquez
The final whistle echoed across Weingart Stadium marking the end of another season for the men’s soccer team, but for Galo Moreno it marked the beginning of a new chapter on his life.
Moreno, 19, born and raised in Monterey Park has been part of the men’s soccer team for the past two years, making this season his last playing for ELAC. He grew up having soccer as part of his life, “My dad used to play soccer for a second division team back in Mexico, so I basically grew up watching soccer everywhere.”
His interest in soccer started because of his father who formed a soccer team with Moreno and his three brothers in order to keep them away from doing bad stuff, “What I do, I do it for my dad. He taught me and my brothers everything we know about soccer.”
For Moreno, soccer is his favorite thing to do, “What I love the most about soccer is playing it. It makes me feel good, and forget about everything. Playing soccer is my favorite thing to do,” said Moreno.
For this reason, Moreno wanted to become a professional soccer player since he was a little boy, but as he grew up he started realizing how hard it was, and that a lot of sacrifices needed to be made in order to achieve that goal.
Moreno attended Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School from 2006-2010 and was part of the Track and Field team for three years. During those three years he set records for the 200 meters, 200 meters-relay split, 400 meters, high jump 2007, 2010, and long jump 2007, 2008, 2010.
He also played four years for his high school’s varsity soccer team as a forward/midfielder scoring a total of 32 goals for the Bravo Knights. During three of those four years, he played along his ELAC teammates Dean Ramos and Cesar Benitez.
After finishing high school, Moreno went to try out for the Mt. San Antonio men’s soccer team, but later ELAC Assistant Coach Felipe Bernal convinced him to play for the Huskies.
During his two years as part of ELAC’s men’s soccer team, Moreno played as a defender scoring a total of seven goals. Moreno was also able to score three goals in a game, making him the second Husky to accomplish this in over three decades along with teammate David Farias. He was also named in the SCC All Conference First Team for the 2011 season.
His first year playing for ELAC was memorable and great, “In overall, we came, played and made it to playoffs. It was great for the Huskies, as a team we did good for ELAC unlike previous years,” said Moreno.
As far as his second and last year playing for the Huskies, Moreno smiles sharing his experience as part of the team, “It has been great. They are all great guys and I was able to form different bonds with them. The coaches really care for us. We are a family.”
For his ELAC coaches and teammates, Moreno is a very talented player and a great human being. Head Coach Eddie Flores shows pride when walking about Moreno, “He is one of the best players we have. He is strong and I’m sure he will do well on the next level. As a person he is quiet, not the leader type, but all his emotion comes out on the field.”
Teammate Cesar Benitez has known Moreno for over five years, and he feels proud to know him and to have shared the field with him. “Galo has taught me to never give up and not play scared. As a player I am happy to say he has been the best captain I’ve ever played for. He will do anything to make his team win and he never gives up, he leaves everything on the field. It’s an honor to say I played with Galo Moreno for five years,” said Benitez.
For Benitez, Moreno has been a role model, and he has always tried to give him good advices. “He has told me to never let anyone bring me down. People said I sucked in high school and he made me work hard to make the cut for ELAC’s soccer team. I thank Galo for believing in me, if it wasn’t for his support I don’t think I would have ever made the cut,” said Benitez.
For Moreno one of the most important person in his life and an inspiration for what he does is his father. “My dad’s life has been all about making sacrifices for his family and for soccer. When I was young I didn’t see that, but as I grew up I realized what he was doing for us,” said Moreno.
Having his family’s support has been a key factor in Moreno’s performance for the Huskies, “My parents and my brothers support me, they go and watch me play when they can. I always feel motivated knowing they are there to support me and watch me play.”
This is why Moreno’s parents do not hesitate to show how proud they are of their son. “When I see my son playing soccer I feel proud and satisfied. He is a very talented player who takes advantage of his physical strength. He is a strong and technical player,” said his father, Gustavo Moreno. “Outside the field he is a hard working person He is a good person and a role model for his brothers,” said Moreno’s father.
Moreno’s mother, Martha Moreno shares with pride and joy what she feels when she sees her son playing soccer, “For me is the something great, I have seeing him play since he was little. He always gives the best of himself.”
If Moreno were to become a professional soccer player, his mother would support him no matter what, “I will support him wherever he wants to go. Even if I can not be present, my thoughts and support will always be with him.”
Moreno believes he has the potential to play at a professional level, “I could play at a professional level, but I will need to make more sacrifices and work more.” If he were to become a professional soccer player, Moreno would like to play for English soccer team Chelsea FC because he likes the fact that they play strong and fast.
Moreno also takes the time to give them some advice to other college players that are also searching to become professionals, “Work does really pay off, if you really want something, you have to do all what it takes to be where you want to be. Never blame somebody else for your mistakes, but yourself,” said Moreno.
Soccer season at ELAC might be over, but for Moreno this marks the beginning of new adventures, experiences, and challenges to face.