Josemaria Barrera Chasing Down Soccer Dream

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Josemaria Barrera

Josemaria Barrera always knew he wanted to be a soccer player. He knew when he ran on the grass and made his first kick. He knew when he saw the fun and joy the game brings to the players. Barrera turned wanting to be a soccer player into becoming one of the area’s best soccer players.

Barrera has been a Sacramento Republic’s Academy Team member for the past five years. 

“I began playing when I was three years old and fell in love with soccer,” Barrera told The Prowl. “Playing soccer for Sacramento has given me a great opportunity to chase my dream of playing professionally one day.”

According to the Sacramento Republic FC website (sacrepublicfc.com/aboutacademy), the “Republic FC launched its Youth Academy in 2015, providing a professional training environment for top youth players to develop into professional players for our first team, other professional clubs, and elite college programs. In addition, our Academy has produced players who have represented their respective national teams, both at the senior and youth levels.”

Barrera caught the attention of his coach while playing for the Stockton Storm. The coach recognized Barrera’s remarkable talent and skill level and paid for Barrera’s tryout with Sacramento in hopes Barrera could join one of their Academy teams. Barrera tried out, made the team, and joined the U13 club. Since then, he has progressed to the U19 team, of which he is currently a member.  

“Being on the U19 team is a lot of fun. It’s hard work, but it puts me one step closer to possibly becoming a professional soccer player or getting into a top college program,” Barrera said. “We get to travel all over the United States and travel to Canada. It’s been a great experience.”

Since he is a member of the Sacramento Republic’s Academy team, Josemaria had to decide between chasing his dream or playing on his high school team. Unfortunately, Barrera couldn’t do both because CIF rules prohibit players on Academy teams like Sacramento’s playing high school. So, Josemaria, known as “Choche” to his friends, had to say goodbye to the field where the friends he knew played. But, this year, Choche took a break from his dream and the Republic Team to play one more time with his friends and one time for Weston Ranch.  

“It was important for me to play with Weston Ranch this year because I’m a senior, and I have a lot of friends on this year’s team,” Choche said. “I wanted to play with them one last time as a high schooler.”

The move paid off for both Barrera and the Cougars. In the seven games he could play, Barrera scored six goals and had ten assists. Barrera stepped up to score six goals in one four-game stretch, helping the Cougars secure VOL wins against Oakdale and Sierra and a VOL tie against VOL Champion East Union. During that time, his presence on the field kept the Cougars in the VOL title chase as the Cougars were dealing with Covid absences and injuries.

“Choche is a humble, hardworking young man,” said boys soccer coach Francisco Cisneros. “He didn’t need to play high school soccer, yet he wanted to experience playing with all his friends. His skill set is off the charts, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him playing professionally one day. His teammates enjoyed having him on the team.”

So, as Barrera prepares for soccer life after high school, he looks to be on his best path.  

“Soccer is a great way for me to get away from some of the struggles I have in my life,” Barrera said. “I love playing soccer.”

For more information about Sacramento Republic FC, go to this link:  Sacramento Republic FC – USL (sacrepublicfc.com)