Omar Becerra can be forgiven if he thought his professional soccer career would be in full bloom by now, but life doesn’t always take the road less traveled.
Currently starring with Santa Ana Winds FC in the NPSL West, the San Diego native began his formal footballing journey when he joined the academy of Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA at the age of 15. Under the tutelage of 178-times capped Mexican star Claudio Suarez, Becerra trained with the first team many times but failed to crack a Matchday 18.
"The training with Chivas USA helped me grow as a soccer player and showed me what it takes to become a professional player and how much work and dedication you have to put in," Becerra said.
A defender, Becerra has helped steady the expansion Winds FC to seven wins in eleven contests. The player his teammates call "Borrego" has been challenged by the National Premier Soccer League.
"I’ve been impressed with the high level of soccer this league has since it has a vast amount of collegiate players and... different styles of play that are influenced by each regions," said Becerra.
Becerra finds himself buoyed by the confidence of Winds FC goalkeeper Jheovani. His aim for the first-year club is not mild: the NPSL crown and the next step in his career.
"My goal is to win the championship with Santa Ana Winds and to continue the search for that opportunity that can take me back to the MLS."
Winds next battle is on the road Saturday against a Sonoma County Sol team that is 3-1 this month, the lone loss coming versus Hollywood United.