Zuriel Silva attributes his love for soccer directly to his father’s passion for the sport.
“Growing up, my dad didn’t have much,” says Silva. “He had to work and didn’t get the chance to play on an actual team. So he signed me up when I was around five years old. Since he was my coach, his love and passion for soccer just rubbed off on me. Ever since, I’ve loved the sport, and I love playing it.”
Silva is a senior at Servite High School and plays center back for the Friars, allowing him to see the entire field, direct his teammates and distribute the ball. His strong, competitive spirit is what fuels his drive to play.
“When I hear the whistle blow, I’m focused and in the moment, and I forget about other things that are going on in my life,” says the 17-year-old. “I just love to compete.”
As a captain, Silva keeps his own standards set high and uses his motivation to lead his teammates by example. His goals for this season center around bringing a CIF title back to Servite.
“Zuriel is an awesome young man,” says Servite head soccer coach, Jon Spencer. “He has worked hard over the past four years to improve his game and develop into a leader on our team. What really impresses me with Zuriel is that he consistently brings his best effort every day. He is tall, and can be intimidating as a result, but he has a gentle heart and cares for others. I am confident he will be an important piece to our team this season and am excited for his future. He has endured a lot for a young man, but he has used that to become a faith-filled leader.”
In addition to soccer, Silva also plays volleyball for the Friars, effectively maximizing the leadership opportunities presented to him on the court to help him on the pitch. And though he has dealt with difficult times in recent years, soccer has taught him what it means to bounce back.
“In soccer you’re always running, and if you fall down, you’ve got to get back up and play even harder,” says Silva. “It helps set expectations for life. I’ve gone through a lot in my life. I have to go at it 150 percent and keep fighting.”
Silva serves as a Servite Student Ambassador and is currently evaluating opportunities to play soccer and study business in college. Family is of utmost importance to the Orange resident, as his mother passed away four years ago. But his father and his faith have allowed him to keep his sights set on his goals.
“Coming to Servite, it’s been a big factor for me,” says Silva. “I’ve grown in my faith a lot, and I just let God lead me every day.”