Encinitas Youth Soccer Player Xavi Gnaulati Signs USL Academy Contract
It is the ultimate step in a youth soccer players dreams … to sign a pro contract. Xavi Gnaulati is one step closer to his dreams coming true after he signed a USL Academy Contracts to play for USL Championship San Diego Loyal SC.
San Diego Loyal‘s USL Academy is paying off. The USL Championship team managed by the legendary Landon Donovan has just signed youth soccer players to play in first team matches.
16-Year-Old Xavi Gnaulati is one of the talented players selected for a USL Academy contract. As a youth soccer player in San Diego, Gnaulati has played for the Oceanside Breakers, San Diego Surf Soccer Club, and Encinitas Express Soccer. Other players selected for a SD Loyal USL Academy contract have played for other local youth soccer clubs: Albion SC, Coronado FC, and Nomads Soccer Club & Academy.
“As the soccer capital of this country, we are very fortunate to have some of the very best players here in San Diego.”Landon Donovan, Head Coach and EVP of Soccer Operations San Diego Loyal
“Being able to add four of them to a roster further shows our commitment to this community and that we are truly dedicated to making SD Loyal a club that our entire community can be proud of. We can’t wait for the day to see our first grown product representing SD Loyal on the field at Torero Stadium,” said Landon Donovan, Head Coach and EVP of Soccer Operations San Diego Loyal.
A 16-year-old #Encinitas resident, Xavi Gnaulati, recently made a giant next step in his professional soccer career after signing an amateur contract with @SanDiegoLoyal Soccer Club. @bill_slane https://t.co/fXs8O97MC8— The Coast News Group (@coastnewsgroup) April 15, 2021
USL Academy Player Signed by San Diego Loyal: Xavi Gnaulati, 16
- Position: Midfielder
- Hometown: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA
- Youth club experience: Oceanside Breakers , San Diego Surf Soccer Club, Encinitas Express Soccer
USL Academy Contracts designed to preserve teens’ amateur status and allow a USL pro club to sign players to play in first team professional matches while still maintaining NCAA eligibility.
San Diego Loyal also signed three additional youth soccer players to their rosters with a USL Academy contract.
USL Academy Player Signed by San Diego Loyal: Calvin Jay (CJ) Fodrey, 17
- Position: Forward
- Hometown: Coronado, CA
- Youth club experience: Coronado FC, Nomads Soccer Club & Academy, LA Galaxy Youth Academy, Albion SC, San Diego Surf Soccer Club
USL Academy Player Signed by San Diego Loyal: Ian Mai, 16
- Position: Defender
- Hometown: Mission Valley, CA
- Youth club experience: LAFC Academy, LA Galaxy Youth Academy, San Diego Surf Soccer Club
USL Academy Player Signed by San Diego Loyal: Josh Kenworthy, 18
- Position: Defender
- Hometown: Del Sur, CA
- Youth club experience: Albion SC, San Diego Surf Soccer Club, Atlanta United Academy
According to SD Loyal, youth soccer players are also eligible to compete with Loyal Select, the club’s part-time youth development program, as well as their respected youth clubs on any given weekend as long as they are not on SD Loyal’s active 23-man roster. The club’s hope is that Loyal Select is the pathway to pro for all future USL Academy contract signees.
CURRENT SAN DIEGO LOYAL SC ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Trey Muse (on loan), Austin Guerrero, Antony Siaha
DEFENDERS (9): Elijah Martin, Jack Metcalf, Grant Stoneman, Sal Zizzo, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Ebenezer Ackon, Jordan Chavez, Ian Mai, Josh Kenworthy
MIDFIELDERS (7): Charlie Adams, Collin Martin, Tumi Moshobane, Jack Blake, Morgan Hackworth, Alejandro Guido, Xavi Gnaulati
FORWARDS (4): Corey Hertzog, Ben Spencer, Niki Jackson, Calvin Jay (CJ) Fodrey
Source: SD Loyal