SAN ANTONIO – Central Catholic senior Jose Gallegos has been extremely busy these days.
Last weekend, the 18-year-old scored the game-winning goal and helped his team win their fourth straight state championship.
Five days later, he accomplished something few high school soccer players get to do before graduating.
San Antonio FC announced Thursday morning that they had signed Gallegos to a multi-year professional contract. The deal had been signed before practice but prior to media interviews, head coach Alen Marcina and his staff congratulated Gallegos as they prepare for their final preseason match Friday.
“It’s a special moment for me, it’s every kid’s dream and I’m very blessed to be in this position,” said Gallegos. “My family is very happy especially to sign a contract here, at home, in front of my family, my friends, everybody. I’m very happy.”
Today’s news was not a total surprise. SAFC had been hinting at a deal with Gallegos as the 2020 season approached. Gallegos made it clear that this was something he wanted to get done and he had the support of his family to make this dream a reality.
“That make’s it even more special, to do it at this age,” added Gallegos. “It makes me want to work harder and keep reaching more goals. I have many more things I want to achieve and to do that you have to work hard.”
Thursday was very special for Central Catholic senior Jose Gallegos, who just signed a multi-year contract with @SanAntonioFC. HC Alen Marcina and his staff congratulated him after practice.https://t.co/rTlNica827#KSATsports #Defend210 #soccer #futbol pic.twitter.com/N775hjbIEP— KSAT 12 Sports (@InstantReplaySA) February 28, 2020
Joining Gallegos at practice today was his high school soccer coach, Edward Cartee. On Saturday, Central Catholic defeated El Paso Cathedral 2-1, claiming their fourth straight TAPPS state title. It’s quite a run for local high school soccer and Cartee admits this deal for his star is well deserved.
“It’s a dream come true for me as well as for him," said Cartee. "As a coach you always hope to mentor another great player. He’s truly special and it’s not just because of his talent but because of his character. I’m really proud that our developmental environment at Central Catholic has been able to be one of the catalyst in helping him to be ready to take this step at this time.”
“It’s an incredible moment for him, I’m extremely proud,” Cartee added. “He had a lot of great options that he was considering and I think this is the right timing for him to take the next step."
Gallegos participated in SAFC’s Elite Training Program back in 2018. He made his professional debut in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup in 2019 and played in 14 matches for SAFC after that. Gallegos has scored three goals for SAFC during the 2020 preseason.
“Jose has earned a number of different opportunities within the club and he’s made the most of those,” said head coach Alen Marcina. “We believe Jose is a special player, we’re excited about his future and how he can contribute to this club and our culture. We’re thrilled that he accepted the professional contract.”
San Antonio FC will begin the regular season at home on Saturday, March 7 against the Real Monarchs SLC at Toyota Field. Fans can purchase the new primary jersey for the 2020 season at SAFCfanshop.com.
You can hear much more from Alen Marcina, Edward Cartee, Jose Gallegos and our exclusive with defenders Joshua Yaro and Blake Smith Sunday on Instant Replay.
Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 16 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email email@example.com