May 8, 2006
Juventus players meet Mexican legend Enrique Borja and ex-Americanista Vinicio
Porterville Juventus players had a once in a life time opportunity to talk with
Mexican legends and ex National players Enrique Borja and ex-Americanista
Vinicio Bravo after participating in the Toreno Mexicana prelim games where
they found themselves leading the U16 group of competition.
"If meeting them was not enough after speaking with Vinicio Bravo, there might
be the possibility of sending some of our players for tryouts in Mexican teams
like Toluca, Santos and San Luis", said coach Gilbert Hernandez. Our players
had an awesome opportunity of meeting two major icons of Mexican soccer and
after talking with Vinicio Bravo their might be the possibility of our players
tryout for Mexican teams where currently Mr. Bravo is a scout or is affiliated.
"I can speak enough of how humble and professional Mr. Vinicio Bravo is. He
went out of his way during is busy schedule (autographs, conducting a clinic,
etc) to talk to us for over an hour about insights on training youth players
and more importantly the "contacts" need in order to ask for a tryout."
Juventus players Omar Davila and Carlos Loza with Enrique
Professional soccer player in Mexico for Pumas and América and one of the most
successful goal-scorers in Mexican soccer's history. He formed part of the
Mexican National Soccer Team for the 1966 World Cup in England and the 1970
World Cup in Mexico and was selected for the “Rest of the World” soccer team in
1968 and 1971. As a businessman, he was President of Aztecas (US soccer team),
assistant to the Executive President of Televisa (1977-1981) and Vice President
of the Special Olympics for Mexico (from 1985). He was also Vice President and
Director of América's soccer schools, President of Necaxa and Tigres and
President of the Mexican Soccer Federation, as well as member of the FIFA
Organizing Committee (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) for
the Korea-Japan World Cup 2002.
Best known for his play in the 80's with America played along side people like
Héctor Zelada, Adrián Chávez, Alfredo Tena, Mario Trejo, Guillermo Huerta,
Guillermo Naranjo, Armando Manzo, Carlos De los Cobos, Cristobal Ortega, Javier
Aguirre, Daniel A. Brailovsky, Eduardo Bacas, Carlos A. Santos, Gonzalo Farfán,
Carlos Hermosillo, Juan Antonio Luna y Alejandro Domínguez.
Apr. 19, 2006
Taking Valley soccer to a higher level
Mark A. Peinado, The Porterville Recorder
(Article in Aug. 19, 2006 edition of the Porterville Recorder)
The players - most attend Porterville schools with a few from Visalia - are
looking for a brighter future for themselves. That's what their three coaches
have instilled in them.
“Our goal is to try and get these kids scouted at a higher level so that they
get a free ride on scholarship. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to afford to go
to college,” coach Esmaldo Hernandez said. “Our plan for these kids is that
they get seen through the Olympic Development program or through some of these
high-ranked tournaments that we attend.
The Hernandez siblings — Alexis, 13 left, and Amber, 12 — were
selected to the state Olympic Development Teams for their age group. They
started playing at a young age. (Recorder photo by Chieko Hara)
“What we noticed here in the Valley is that there is a high level of talent but
nobody takes them anywhere.”
Esmaldo along with his brothers Gilbert and Juan Hernandez have taken it upon
themselves to try and get these athletes to another level not only athletically
but academically as well by coordinating the under-15 Porterville Juventus
The idea behind the club team was for the players to be scouted by Division I
schools from across the country but with some emphasis on the West Coast
considering the team isn't exactly wealthy.
The exposure is already beginning to bare fruit with Esmaldo Hernandez's two
children, Alexis and Amber. Both made the state ODP teams and each has schools
looking at them and they're only 12 and 13-years-old, respectively.
“That's exciting [to be looked at],” Amber Hernandez, who plays club ball for
the Bakersfield Gunners yet will practice with her dad's team, said. “I think
it's great what my dad's doing because the guys get exposed and they should
really appreciate that.”
Getting players noticed is the main reason why the coaches take the team to
some of the top-tier tournaments across the state. From Irvine to as north as
Turlock, the team travels so that the players are seen and scouted.
“I've had good experiences with this team. It's been fun,” Cardenas, a
sophomore sweeper and in his second year with the team, said. “These coaches do
a lot for us. We want to pay them back with hard work. I've been thinking about
the scholarship and doing well in school. I didn't think about it before I got
to this team. It would be big for my future if I got the scholarship.
“We're here to give our town a name. We have to represent. We're starting to
get known for our skills and talent.”
Porterville Juventus SC has represented itself so well that there has been talk
- it's in the early stages - of starting a Chivas USA soccer academy for
Porterville and the surrounding communities.
“They're trying to develop what they have in Mexico which are academies,”
Gilbert Hernandez said. “What we're looking at is starting from ages 5 to 18.
They'll offer us they're method of teaching and their name because they want to
start forming all-star teams.
“If we're able to showcase these kids to professional teams then it works.”
Things didn't start all that great when the team was born five years ago as an
AYSO team. The Hernandez brothers were taking the team to the bigger
tournaments and there wasn't much respect given to the team.
“A couple of years back it was who is Porterville and where is it?” Esmaldo
Hernandez said. “We've met a lot of people such as Steve Sampson, Landon
Donovan and Paul Caliguiri. Now when you mention Porterville Juventus, they
know who we are.”
Now with the winning has come exposure for the players. And amazingly enough,
in this day and age of greedy professionals and over-enthusiastic parents,
that's all these coaches want out of it along with the satisfaction of teaching
a game to players who want to listen.
“It's great to play for them. It's the best team in the Valley,” said Campos, a
sophomore forward. “It's great that these coaches care about us and want us to
be seen. I've learned to play soccer better and go to school.”
There are no aspirations of becoming these players' future agents or wanting
the headlines to read that it's all about the Hernandez brothers.
No these brothers take pleasure in the fact that the players will someday
fulfill their dream of playing Div. I soccer at schools like UC Santa Barbara,
Chico State, Cal Poly-SLO, UC Irvine or even UCLA.
Most of the players don't even pay to be on the team and all the expenses are
covered by the three coaches through fund-raising, sponsors and a small group
“Most other coaches, if we didn't pay, they'd fold the team,” Willy Hernandez,
a forward who's been with the team for a year and is unrelated to the coaches,
said. “They're just trying to help us get out of Porterville and take us to
another place. They're good coaches.”
The team also has its own personal Web site,
www.geocities.com/portervillejuventus, that has news and notes on the comings
and goings of the team along with a roster and schedule of upcoming
“This is a good thing for us because coaches and scouts from colleges get to
see us,” Hernandez said. “I get to touch the ball here and make more passes
where in high school, it's just long ball. I love soccer. It keeps me from
being bored, away from drugs and when I'm down, I play soccer and it makes me
Hernandez added he most likely would have settled for a lesser college had he
not joined Porterville Juventus.
“I was going to go to college but by playing with this team, I have more
choices,” Hernandez said. “I want to go to Chico State because they have a
degree in law enforcement and that's what I want to go into.
“If I hadn't been with this team, people told me I probably could have played
at Fresno-Pacific. But I wanted to set my goals higher to an even better
college so that's why I came here.”
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Mark A. Peinado at 784-5000, Ext. 1048, or at
Mar. 27, 2006
Juventus finalist at 2006 Celtic Cup
For the second tournament in a row the Porterville Juventus SC were in the
final of one of the best and most prestigious tournaments of Southern
California. Last November the team was in the final at the Nike Harvest Cup
against Reno Moondogs and this past weekend against West Coast FC.
In pool play Juventus was the 1st place team out of their bracket after beating
Flyers Pumas 3-0, Celtic Hoops 2-1, and falling 2-1 against FC Barcelona. In
the semifinal against Celtic Harps they were able to pull out the win in
penalties because regulation time ended in a 2-2 tie.
In the championship game West Coast used the speed of their forwards and
Juventus would finally give up the game winner 1-0.
It was a good showing for the team when you consider it was the first
tournament after the 3 month break and the addition of new players plus the
absence of 3 players.
Omar Cardenas and Ivan Yanez showing the shaved "JUVE" heads
Mar. 13, 2006
Hernandez siblings are selected to the State Soccer Olympic Development Program
This past weekend the sibling duo of Alexis and Amber Hernandez were selected to
the State CYSA North Soccer Olympic Development Program in their respective age
groups. After numerous tryouts at the district and state level, they are in a
pool of the top 22 players to be selected to represent Northern California at
the numerous national and international tournaments.
The Olympic Development Program is a national process for identifying and
developing the best youth soccer players. The process promotes players to the
U.S. National Teams, which represent the United States in international
competition, such as the Youth World Cup and the Olympics and eventually
results in becoming members of the teams who represent the US at the World Cup.
The process begins by trying out for the CYSA District 7 ODP team. Then players
have to compete against other district ODP teams while being observed by state
ODP coaches before they are selected and invited to the final tryout.
Alexis was amongst 76 prospective male soccer players born in 1992 who were
invited to the state final tryout, while Amber was selected amongst 69 female
players born in 1993.
The final selection consists of four sessions and at the end of each session
players are cut to finally reach a roster of 22 players. In order to make each
cut players must receive numerous votes from different coaches in order to be
selected onto the teams. Putting it into prospective they have each been
selected over 200 players by ODP coaches of which many are college coaches and
ex-professional soccer players. One can say they are amongst the top 22 players
in Cal North at their respective age groups.
The siblings success can be attribute to their hard work of training 3 times a
week with the Porterville Juventus SC, and the level of competition and
international experience they have gained by playing abroad in Europe. While
playing for Porterville Juventus, Alexis has always been playing up 2-3 years,
which means he is always playing against players who are bigger and stronger.
He has already played in tournaments in Sweden, Holland, and England. Amber on
the other hand can always be found taking part in the Juventus practices with
boys 3-5 years older than her. When she is not practicing with Porterville
Juventus she is making the hour trip to practice with the Bakersfield Gunners
twice a week.
Alexis and Amber are students at Burton Middle School and are children of
Esmaldo and Miriam Hernandez of Porterville. Esmaldo along with his brothers
Gilbert and Juan Hernandez are coaches for Porterville Juventus Soccer Club.
Because of the travel to ODP practices in San Jose and San Francisco plus the
out of state traveling to competitions, if anyone or any organization is
willing to help out with donations please contact 793-1109 or email:
Dec. 1, 2005
Juventus close out year with a 2nd place at the prestigous 2005 Nike Harvest Cup.
Year 2005 for the Porterville Juventus SC was a year full of ups and downs but
if there is any questions if it was a successful year for the team you can
just take a look at the 4th place Cal North ranking given to them by the
National Soccer Ranking and the 5th place Cal North ranking assigned to
them by GotSoccer.com and more recently their 2nd place finish at the
prestigous NIKE Harvest Cup featuring some of the best team in the nation.
Locally we don't have to look to far to see the success of this club when you
find numerous Juventus soccer players playing varsity soccer at Porterville
High, Granite Hills, and Golden West high schools, some of those players
are just freshmen.
The main goal since the begining for Juventus has been to
expose their players to as many college coaches and soccer personalities
for the chance of being offered a college scholarships. The exposure is
there already as they have already met or had contact with Steve Sampson
(ex US and Costa Rica, national coach), Paul Caliguri (ex US National
player and Cal Poly Ponoma head coach), Landon Donovan (US National and LA
Galaxy player) , Andrew Ziemer (Sonoma State), Benjamin Ziemer
(Ajax America scout), and Chivas Guadalajara personnel like Salvador Reyes
(ex-player), Dennis te Kloese (Director of Soccer) and Arturo "el Cura" Chaires
This year seeking more competition than the one offered to them at their age
group in District 7 CYSA league play, the team decided to play
up a year to prepare them for the tough schedule of college showcase
tournaments which they had scheduled year around. In the end,
playing against the bigger and stronger teams from the Valley would
eventually pay off for the team.
All the hard work and frustration would finally pay off for the team with
a 2nd place finish this past Thanksgiving weekend at the prestigous NIKE
Harvest Cup put on by the Irvine Strikers held in and around Irvine. At
the tournament they played Sparta Premier (Utah), NHB Black (Cal South),
Irvine Strikers (Cal South), SC De Sol (Arizona), and Reno Moondogs (NV). In
group play, Juventus was the 1st place team after beating Sparta Premier
from Utah on Friday, 3-1 with goals coming from William "Willy" Hernandez
and Abraham Campos. In the afternoon game they played NHB Black, a
team that for the past 2 years they had played numerous time but had never been
able to beat but this time with goals from Hernandez and Nicholas
Cardenas, they would come away with a 3-2 win. On Saturday, they
would play against Irvine Strikers, one of the nation's best team and
with a goal from Hernandez and a last minute goal by the Strikers the game
ended in a 1-1 draw. In the semi final Juventus would eventually play
against Arizona's #1 team in SC del Sol and yet again they would give up a
last minute goal for a 2-2 tie which would eventually push the
game to be decided by penalty kicks. Juventus would eventually win after
goalie Junior Toscano stopped 3 goals and shooters Hernandez, Juan Escobar,
Alexis Hernandez, Ivan Yanez and goalie Junior Toscano converting their
penalty kicks. The final was set against Reno Moondogs at UC Irvine where
all finalist teams would have the opportunity to meet and talked to US National
Soccer and LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan who was on hand for
the championship games. In the final, Willy Hernandez would score
twice and the team would never be behind until 5 minutes left in the
game when again they would give up a late goal which would
eventually push the game into two 5 minute sudden
death half. Four minutes into the first sudden death half, Reno
would score on an individual play from the left side of the field which would
end Juventus run for the title. The team has nothing to be ashame of
especially when you consider they played some of the best teams from Arizona,
Utah, Nevada and California.
Eventhough the team never went with its full squad to numerous college showcase
tournaments because of a reason or another, they were still able to
come away with victories against some of the toughest team
in Southern California and the nation. When you consider Juventus has
players as young as 13-14 years, it is a great accomplishment because
mostly all other teams they have played are "age pure" teams,
meaning all their players were either 15 or 16.
"I personally and I know I speak for the other coaches Esmaldo and Juan
Hernandez, would like to thank all Juventus players, parents, fans and sponsors
who have been with us through all the ups and downs that we have endured this
year", says coach Gilbert Hernandez.
What is in store for Juventus you might ask? Well after the high school
season is over, they are already eyeing tournaments in Las Vegas
and Phoenix for the months of Feburary and March. In April, they
will compete for the 2006 Cal North State Cup against 80 other teams of which
they were quarterfinalist this year. In the near future they
are planning to travel to tournaments in Europe and Mexico depending
on funding and donations.
2005 Juventus players: Abraham Campos, Nicholas Cardenas, Omar Cardenas, Jaime
Chavez, Juan Escobar, Edgar Escobar, Alexis Hernandez, William Hernandez,
Carlos Loza, Diego Mendoza, Mike Perez, Keith Rodriguez, Allan Rosso, Ivan
Yanez, Jose Zamora Coaches: Esmaldo Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Juan
If you would like more information about tryouts or how you can help out
the team with tax deductible cash donations please feel free to email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 793-1109. More
information can be obtain by visiting their website at
Apr. 10, 2005
Juventus advance to Round of 16 in 2005 State Cup
With a 3-0 penalty kick shutout victory over DeAnza Earthquakes Red, the
Porterville Juventus have advanced to play in Morgan Hill at the 2005 State Cup
Round of 16. In the shootout, Juventus goalkeeper Diego Mendoza stopped 2
penalty kicks after DeAnza's first kicker kicked the ball wide. Juventus
shooters were Abraham Campos, Juan Escobar and Alexis Hernandez.
In Group C play, Juventus tied 1-1 against DeAnza, and then came back with two
impressive victory 11-0 and 7-0 over Hertiage Voo Doo and Bullard United
Sept. 18, 2004
Juventus suffer first lost of season 3-4 against Bullard United
Juventus suffered their first lost of the young season 3-4 at the hands of
Bullard United. After taking an 2-0 in the first ten minutes of the game
Bullard would come back with 2 goals of their own before the half and then add
2 more before Juventus would start to react. Juventus players just got to over
confident of a quick 2-0. It sure looked like it was going to be the blow out
of a week earlier.
"They just wanted the game more than we did", said coach Gilbert Hernandez. "We
fell into their long ball game and we are not a long ball team. There is no
doubt in my mind we are a better team overall, but today some of our players
were not playing to the level they had been playing. We gave them the middle
field and they just took advantage of it. We could of easily been up 4-0 in the
first 20 minutes of the game but we just started to get to confident."
Sept. 12, 2004
Juventus starts league play with 6-0 win over Lemoore Arsenal
Juventus start league play with a conviencing 6-0 win over Lemoore Arsenal. The
goals scored came from from Abraham Campos (3), "Mike" Perez (1), Nick Cardenas
(1) and Romel Velarde (1).
The team passed and moved the ball very well in this game against the Arsenal.
The hard work and one-touch game really had Arsenal against their backs for
most of the game.
Sept. 7, 2004
Juventus finalist at Simi Valley Labor Day Invitational
Juventus came back with a 2nd place from the Simi Vally Labor Day Invitational
this past weekend.
In pool play on Saturday, they beat Simi Valley Eclipse 1-0 and AV Heat 2-0. Not
having any games on Sunday, they came back on Monday and beat Atletico Madrid
in penalty kicks after the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
In the championship game the team would eventually fall 2-0 to Oxnard Wave.
Bottom l-r: Edgar, Jonathan, Eduardo, Allan, Omar, Ivan, Alexis,
Top l-r: Juan, Abraham, Gabriel, Romel, Diego, Jorge, Ismael, Nick,
Aug. 5, 2004
Rough and tumble play
(Alexis and Nick's Europe trip)
By Sylas Wright, The Porterville Recorder
(Article in Aug. 5, 2004 edition of the Porterville Recorder)
Nick Cardenas and Alexis Hernandez found the European zeal for soccer to be an
accurate stereotype. "Everywhere you look, it's soccer," Nick said of Sweden
and the Netherlands. "Everywhere. They have street soccer like we have
The pair of Porterville Juventus team members were scouted during their
California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) games - played statewide - and
chosen to try out at the University of San Francisco for the United States'
Representing the U.S., Nick Cardenas, 13, left, and Alexis Hernandez,
12, went to Europe and won the Holland tournament. The two boys are members of
the Porterville Juventus. Cardenas and Hernandez were selected for the elite
team from over 200 soccer players.
Representing the U.S., Nick Cardenas, 13, left, and Alexis Hernandez, 12, went
to Europe and won the Holland tournament. The two boys are members of the
Porterville Juventus. Cardenas and Hernandez were selected for the elite team
from over 200 soccer players.
There, they were deemed worthy of global competition.
Nick, a 13-year-old from Bartlett Middle School, and Alexis, a 12-year-old from
Burton Middle School, were not aware they were being scouted for the team
scheduled to represent the United States in the Holland World Cup and Gothia
Cup, held in Sweden.
To secure spots on the team, they had to compete each weekend against 240 youth
soccer players from around the nation for seven straight weeks at USF - turning
their parents into part-time chauffeurs.
But it paid off, as the parents got to accompany the team - and other parents -
on the July 9 flight to Europe, relieving them of their chauffeuring duties and
transforming them into tourists and patriotic fans.
"As parents, we thought we were going to get beat bad," said Esmaldo Hernandez,
Alexis' father and coach of the Porterville Juventus. "The level of soccer was
far superior. You could definitely tell the difference. It was a lot more
But that didn't prevent the American squad from winning, as the team took first
place in the Holland World Cup and made it to the third round of the Gothia Cup
before Germany - the team with a 6-foot-4-inch player - eliminated them.
"I was the biggest kid on the team, and I was smaller than all their players,"
Nick, a 5-foot-3-inch 97-pound player said.
Nick, a fullback, and Alexis, a forward, found that the style of soccer played
by the rest of the world resembled American football.
"The referees aren't as strict," Alexis said. "They let you pull shirts, and
they don't call fouls."
Nick's mother, Rhonda , was not accustomed to seeing that.
"It was very hard to watch," Sweetser said of the rough games. "They sure let
them play. There was a lot more pushing and shoving going on."
Hernandez said the relaxed officiating and aggressive play surprised him as
"The first game they got taught a lesson," he said. "There would be contact and
we'd wait for a whistle, but they would just keep playing.
"The kids were beat up. That's how aggressive the games were."
The remnants of a bruise on Nick's calf served as proof, as did a photograph of
Alexis in Europe exhibiting a dark, cleat-sized contusion on his thigh.
When asked if intimidated, Nick said:
"Not really. Most of our team was, but I wasn't."
Nick also denied being tired on the days loaded with three games.
But Hernandez said Alexis and Nick fell asleep on hotel room couches between
games and had to be awaken with a shake.
The best part of the trip, which concluded July 26, was "playing," both players
quipped with little contemplation.
The worst part, they agreed, was the food. In particular, the absence of Mexican
food and bad American food.
In addition to the shirts they acquired in trades with players from all over the
world, both brought back a swagger of confidence.
"I'll be beating him," Nick said about future high school games against his
friend. Alexis plans to attend Monache and Nick, Granite Hills.
"He'll be playing high school," Alexis scoffed. "I'll be playing professional."
In a final quote after a restlessly long interview, Nick said, "I'll give you my
autograph later. In a couple of years."
This story was published in The Porterville Recorder on August 5, 2004
June 26, 2004
Juventus win Anaheim California Cup Tournament
In less than a month the Porterville Juventus SC have won their second
championship trophy of the season. This past weekend they traveled to Anaheim
to participate in the Anaheim California Cup and came home undefeated with a
4-0 record to win the championship.
In pool play on Saturday morning they played host Anaheim SC Express and beat
them 3-2 for a victory. In the second game of the tournament, Juventus played
the Tucson Charges from Arizona and Juventus had a field day getting a 8-0
With the two victories Juventus would end up no.1 in their pool so they would
have to face off against the second-place team from another pool, which ended
up being the Plus Patriots from the greater Los Angeles area. Juventus would
take the early 1-0 lead in the first half but after controlling most of the
game and having numerous opportunities to score, the Plus Patriots would tie
the game in the last play of the game for the 1-1 tie. The outcome of the game
would have to be decided in penalties kicks, which eventually Juventus would
In the championship game would be a rematch of the first game against ASC
Express and again Juventus would beat them 2-1 to bring home the championship.
Bottom l-r: Nicholas Cardenas, Edgar Escobar, Jonathan Mendoza,
Alexis Hernandez, Claudio Ribeiro, Ivan Yanez, Eduardo Padilla, Allan Rosso
Top l-r: Romel Velarde, Omar Cardenas, Jose Zamora, Diego Mendoza, Jorge
Mena, Ismael Perez, Gabriel Alcantar, Juan Escobar
May 23, 2004
Juventus win Los Gauchos Invitational Tournament
Porterville Juventus came home this past weekend with the championship from the
Los Gauchos Invitational Tournament which took place at the CYSA South Soccer
Complex in San Bernardino. With 3 victories in group play over Riverside United
3-1, Aztecs FC 1-0 and MV Terminators 6-0, Juventus advanced to the
championship game where they beat NV Fusion 4-3 in overtime.
In the first game of the tournament against Riverside United, Juventus forward
Ismael Perez scored all 3 goals to give Juventus the win. Against Aztecs FC
from Alta Loma, it would take a second half goal from Nicholas Cardenas to give
Juventus the win. "The Aztecs brought to us a very physical game and our kids
responded very well", said coach Gilbert Hernandez. "They tried to take
advantage of their height but the team distributed the ball very well." On
Sunday Juventus routed MV Terminators 6-0 to earn the right to play for the
championship against NV Fusion.
The championship game against the Fusion had to go into overtime beofre Juventus
would put it away. "We took an early 3-0 lead in the first half so our players
got to relaxed", said Hernandez. "We decide to make numerous substitutions and
that is when the Fusion came back with 3 unanswered goals pushing the game into
overtime." In the end it would take a break away goal from Ismael Perez to hand
Fusion the loss.
Juventus players playing in the tournament: Diego Mendoza, Jose Zamora, Ivan
Yanez, Alexis Hernandez, Nicholas Cardenas, Omar Cardenas, Claudio Ribeiro,
Juan Escobar, Romel Velarde, Ismael Perez, Abraham Campos, Jorge Mena, Jonathan
Mendoza, Junior Toscano, Edgar Escobar, Gabriel Alcantar, Allan Rosso.
Jan. 31, 2004
Porterville Juventus advance in State Cup
by Porterville Recorder staff
in Feb. 4, 2004 edition of the Porterville Recorder)
Porterville Juventus U13 Boys soccer team beat the Sunnyvale Spartans, 6-5,
Saturday in penalty kicks to advance to the quarterfinals of the Snicker's
The Snickers State Cup tournament, which is put on by California Youth Soccer
Association North, this year started off with 70 U13 boys teams from
Porterville all the way to the Oregon border.
Against the Sunnyvale Spartans, the score ended 1-1 after regulation play and
two 10-minute overtime periods. Porterville's goal in regulation play came by
way of Julian Espino.
Juventus players scoring on the penalty kicks were Abraham Campos, Ivan Yanez,
Julian Espino, Alexis Hernandez and goalkeeper Diego Mendoza.
Mendoza stopped two penalty kicks, which had to be retaken because the officials
said he moved before the kicks.
"It was a tough game, with opportunities for both sides," said Porterville coach
Sunnyvale had fast forwards, which were well contained by Porterville's
fullbacks Nicholas Cardenas, Eduardo Padilla, Edgar Escobar, Ivan Yanez and
"Being in the top eight teams of the state is a great accomplishment when you
think there were 70 teams in the competition," Hernandez said.
Two weekends ago, Porterville beat Union City United, 2-1, and league rival
Roosevelt Revolution, 3-0, and a 0-0 tie against Tracy United.
Next up for Juventus is Santa Cruz Chivitas, last year's State Cup runnerup. The
game has been scheduled for 1:45 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Stevenson Polo Fields,
close to Modesto.
Porterville Juventus players playing in the State Cup: Diego Mendoza, Nicholas
Cardenas, Edgar Escobar, Eduardo Padilla, Alexis Hernandez, Ivan Yanez, Romel
Velarde, Juan Escobar, Julian Espino, Ezekiel Rodriguez, Allan Rosso, Abraham
Campos, Junior Toscano, Robert Guzman and Jonathan Mendoza. Coaches: Esmaldo
Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez and Juan Hernandez.
Jan. 19, 2004
Juventus into the Snicker's State Cup Rnd of 16
This past weekend with a record of 2-0-1, Porterville Juventus got into the Rnd
of 16 in the 2004 Snicker's State Cup. With two wins over Union City United and
Roosevelt Revolution on Saturday and a tie on Sunday against Tracy United,
Juventus ended up with more points in the prelims group pool play.
On Saturday, Juventus beat Union City United 2-1 and came back that afternoon to
beat Roosevelt Revolution 3-0. On Sunday Juventus pulled out a hard fought 0-0
tie to put them into the next round.
All wins were great victories for the team since key players were missing. The
bench really stepped up and gave the team a needed boost.
Mar. 22, 2003
Juventus 1-2 at the Nike Invitational Tournament
The Porterville Juventus U12 boys soccer team came back with only one win from
the Nike Invitational Tournament held in the Thousand Oaks/Ventura area over
the weekend. The team ended up with a 1-2 record losing to OYSA Wave and So Cal
United and getting its only win against Monarcas USA.
The first game set the tempo for the rest of the tournament. The team controlled
80% of the game but just couldn't put it in against OYSA Wave who did take
advantage of their opportunities and would eventually win 3-0. It's frustrating
to know you were a better team on the field and still lose a game. We had alot
more scoring opportunities but soccer games are won with goals.
The team would rebound from the the earlier lost to be Monarcas USA 3-1.
Eventhough the Monarcas took the earlier lead eventual the team would answer
back with 3 goals. Juventus scorers were Romel Velarde, Roberto Guzman and
In the last game against So Cal United the team gave up 4 goals for a 0-4 lost
against a very good team. The So Cal United team completely dominated the game
and took control of the game from the start.
Tournament Game Results: Juventus 0 - OYSA Wave 3, Juventus 3 - Monarcas
1, Juventus 0 - So Cal United 4
Mar. 01, 2003
Juventus have a strong showing at Mayors Cup 2003
The Porterville Juventus U12 boys soccer team had a very strong showing this
past weekend at the Mayors Cup 2003. Juventus came home with a 2-0-1 record
having not lost a single game and being tied with 21 points with 17th national
ranked CDO Elite 91 of Tuscon, Arizona (National
Highlights of the tournament was playing against CDO Elite 91, in a game where
Juventus created more opportunities to score but just couldn't put one in. Most
of the second half Juventus had CDO Elite 91 against their backs with the ball
on CDO Elite side of the field. "This was definately a game we should of won",
said Gilbert Hernandez.
Tournament Game Results: Juventus 5 - Apple Valley Storm 3, Juventus 0 -
CDO Elite 0, Juventus 3 - OSC Inter 1
Dec. 16, 2002
Juventus champions of 2002 Anaheim Holiday Soccer Classic.
The Porterville Juventus U12 boys soccer team brought home the championship over
the weekend from the Anaheim Holiday Soccer Classic after winning the
championship game 3-1 over West Coast United from Mission Viejo.
The tournament feature over 200 soccer teams in 12 divisions and had teams as
far as Canada come play. It was played on 10 different sites while the
championship games were played at the tournament headquarter on the grounds of
Magnolia High School in Anaheim.
“This had to be the most heart stopping games we have ever played”, said coach
Gilbert Hernandez. “This was the best showing we have ever had in tournaments
from our kids . In almost every game we always had to come back from behind in
order to win. It really showed what this team is really made out of.”
On Saturday the team defeated SVYSL rival Visalia Vipers 3-2. The team was down
2-0 at the half but came back in the second half with 2 goals from Abraham
Campos and a game-winning goal from Julian Espino with 5 minutes left to play.
Espino placed the ball nicely over the Viper goalie from a good 35 yards away.
“The Vipers caught us off guard with a quick 2 goals”, said Hernandez. “But in
the second half it was a totally different game with our midfielders Juan
Escobar, Romel Velarde, Ezekiel Rodriguez, and Espino getting control of the
midfield.” Goalkeeper Diego Mendoza had some numerous saves throughout the
In the afternoon game Juventus defeated the Antelope Valley Heat 3-2 with again
goals from Campos and Espino. “In this game we had a great game from our
youngest players on the team Jonathan Mendoza and Antonio Perez.”
With the 2 wins on Saturday the team just needed a tie to move onto the
championship game. On Sunday morning, Juventus would eventually pulled out an
amazing last minute 2-2 tie against Foothill Storm from Claremont. With a
minute left in regulation and down by 1 goal, Alexis Hernandez would score a
last minute heroic goal with a defender on his back and falling down he was
able to cross the shot past a diving keeper. “Foothill Storm had to be the
tallest and most aggressive team we played in the tournament”, said Hernandez.
“Our defenders Eduardo Padilla, Alexis Hernandez, Juan and Edgar Escobar played
a great game and were able to keep us in the game. Goalkeeper Diego Mendoza had
some great saves in these game as well.”
In the championship game, the West Coast United team would get on the scoreboard
first with a penalty kick. But after that it was Juventus’ striker Abraham
Campos who would put in 3 unanswered goals to give the team the title. “It was
complete dominance over the West Coast United”, said Hernandez. “Our kids
finished up the tournament with a great passing game. They never had a chance
against us, we totally outplayed them at every spot.”
Sept. 21, 2002
Juventus gets a 2-1 win over Visalia Vipers.
Porterville Juventus pulled out a hard fought 2-1 against Visalia Vipers this
past Saturday in Visalia. Juventus player Abraham Campos scored both goals for
Juventus openned up the scoring early in the first half with a nice shot from
Campos which ended up going into the upper left corner. Vipers made it 1-1 in
the second half before Campos was able to shake off two defenders with a nice
cross shot which gave Juventus the win.
"Every player on the team gave it 110% for the win. It was truely a team win",
said assistant coach Gilbert Hernandez.
Juventus next game will be 10/05/2002 in Hanford against the South Valley Hawks.
Sept. 8, 2002
Juventus start SVYSL with 6-0 win over Valley Elite from Fresno
Porterville Juventus U12 Boys Soccer Club started their South Valley Youth
Soccer League with a 6-0 romp over Valley Elite from Fresno. Juventus players
scoring in the game were Abraham Campos, Alexis Hernandez and Julian Espino.
"Our whole team played an outstanding game. Our passing game was excellent and
it really reflected in the lopsided score", said assistant coach Gilbert
Hernandez. "If our team plays at the level they played today, we should be able
to defend our SVYSL title which we won last year at the U11 division. We
basically have all the players returning back from last year and the only thing
we have changed is our name from the Porterville Gladiators to the Porterville
Porterville Juventus next game will be this Saturday in Lindsay at 9:30am when
they take on Bullard United from Fresno.
July 19, 2002
British futbol comes to the Valley
By Brian Williams, The Porterville Recorder
PORTERVILLE - For the past two seasons, an eager bunch of youths have been
learning the game of soccer from three coaching brothers Esmaldo, Gilbert and
And judging by the results, the brothers and their traveling soccer club,
Porterville Juventus, also formerly known as the Porterville Gladiators, must
be doing something right.
Now in an effort to expand the players' knowledge and maybe bring them closer to
a state title, they are spending this week learning the game of futbol, British
style. And who better to learn from than England native Simon Talbot who flew
across the "pond" and arrived in Porterville over the weekend.
"We play futbol, not soccer," a smiling Talbot said in a heavy British accent.
"That is one problem I have. Only here is it soccer."
Talbot, 21, calls home a town about an hour south of Manchester, England. He
went on to say that it is about the size of Visalia and much, much cooler than
here. The red-haired, freckle faced coach was brought here to put a dozen or so
youths, from Porterville to Fresno, through the paces of a Challenger British
Where Talbot comes from, soccer - or futbol as it is commonly referred to
outside of the states - is the number one sport played by children. As common
as it is here for youths to be seen playing a pickup basketball game, it is
even more common to find a pickup soccer game over there.
"I got me first ball when I was six," Talbot said. "Me dad and I passed it
around in the garden. I did not play on me first team until I was nine.
"I played for me county, town, school and college. I played semi-professional
for Nantwich Town and Newcastle Town for about a year. I was captain for a
The camp was exclusive to Porterville Juventus club players. The traveling club
team was formed two years ago by the brothers, but was initially called the
"We wanted to give them a chance to face the best competition," Esmaldo
This season, they changed their name from the Gladiators to Juventus, which is a
top-notch professional team from the Italian League.
Juventus will also be moving up and competing in the 12-and-Under division of
the CYSA and participating in tournaments up and down the state. Some of the
players are 12-years-old, but seven of the dozen or so players are only 10.
Two girls participated in the camp. Esmaldo Hernandez said the hope is to get
enough girls interested and be able to form a girls traveling club team.
The Juventus coaches, players and their parents spent the off-season raising the
$1,500 needed to bring Talbot across the ocean so he could conduct the
Esmaldo Hernandez learned of the Challenger soccer camps during a visit to
England two years ago. It was then that he began making inquiries about
bringing it stateside.
It is not the first time Talbot or the camp has been in the U.S. He is one of
many Challenger coaches that conduct hundreds of camps around the world through
the course of a year.
Talbot admitted having no idea where Porterville was when he was asked to come
"I asked, 'Where is that'," Talbot said. "I learned where it was and that it had
nice weather. It is a little bit hotter than I expected."
See, where Talbot is from, a temperature in the upper 70s is considered a hot
The heat proved to be one of several obstacles the campers have dealt with.
With Valley temperatures in the upper-90s to above 100, Talbot and the parents
decided it would be best to have two sessions per day - 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and
then from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
After spending Monday and Tuesday afternoons swatting away a pesky swarm of
mosquitos, the camp was forced to move from William R. Buckley to Monache.
Then there was the language barrier. Esmaldo Hernandez, 35, the oldest of the
three brothers, became the designated interpreter.
"The first day was a challenge," Esmaldo Hernandez said. "Simon would say
something and the kids would stare back. But now there is no problem."
Challenger coaches are matched to the skill level and age of the campers.
"Their skill level is quite high," Talbot said.
Four Juventus players - Juan Escobar, 11, Alexis Hernandez, 9, Gabriel Alcantar,
10, and Edward Padilla - were invited to play for the U.S. junior national team
Juan Escobar's mother, Silvia, explains why they were unable to make the trip:
"Too young, too far away and too much money."
Many of the parents watching the camp were impressed with Talbot.
"Our kids are learning," said Gabriel Alcantar's father, Ramon. "It is good
having them here rather than running around getting into trouble."
For more information on sponsoring Juventus, attending try-outs or in forming a
girls team, call 781-8705.