Lots of high school athletes talk about their aspirations of making it to the pros, but few of them are as serious about it as Jose Silva. The Algonquin goalkeeper has been playing soccer his entire life and really understands the importance of winning. He eventually won over the New England Revolution Under-18 team with his work ethic - but he still had to compete against other top goalkeepers in the nation. While Silva gleefully embraces his role as a goalkeeper, he also provides usable value as a striker for the Tomahawks.
Northborough Patch recently caught up with Silva to discuss his season with the Revs, his transition as a goalkeeper, and who he believes is the best soccer player in the world today.
Your third season has just started with the New England Revolution Under-18 team. What are some ways in which you look to improve your game?
I look for ways to improve by going to practice everyday and training hard. I try to mimic what my coaches ask of me and have it transition to an actual game.
What is the main difference between playing for Algonquin and competing for a franchise like the Revolution?
The speed of soccer for the Revs is much faster than high school. The academy league is played with the ball on the ground. Meanwhile in high school soccer players try to keep the ball, but mostly end up playing a kick-and-run game.
I’m sure pressure has a lot to do with it, too...
Yes, the kids in the academy league can handle some pressure and they know where to play the ball and when to knock it out. I feel that kids from high school can’t handle too much pressure which leads to the kick-and-run game.
With other goalkeepers trying to earn a spot on a professional team, does the competition get fierce? Or, do you help one another out?
Everyone fights to earn a spot in the starting eleven. So yes, it is competitive but we always support one another to help each other get better.
Have you got the chance to meet any MLS stars? If so, what advice have they given you?
I’ve only got to see them train, but never spoke to them personally.
If you could save a penalty kick against one player in the world, who would it be?
If I could save a penalty kick against one player in the world it would be Lionel Messi, because it would be a good feeling shutting down the best player in the world.
Today, soccer goalies are much more complete players as their roles consistently change on the field. Tell me what the transition has been like from being the goalkeeper to playing as a forward during your senior year at Algonquin.
I used to be a striker back in the day before I played in goal. It felt good being out there and have a striker point of view of the goal. It has helped me a lot to know what a striker is thinking about.
We all know soccer is very popular outside of the United States. What do you think we need to do to get more people in this country interested in soccer?
People just need to have the love for the game. That's really it!