Fresno City College men & women end soccer season with two state titles, two National Players of the Year

Jonathan Rodríguez and Danielle Pacheco helped Fresno City College gain national attention with their work on the state championship soccer teams.

Rodríguez and Pacheco each earned National Player of the Year (Division III) honors by United Soccer Coaches, who annually recognize youth, high school and collegiate athletes. The two will be honored at the annual all-American luncheon held in Philadelphia on Jan. 20.

Pacheco, a defender, helped the Lady Rams remain undefeated (25-0-2). Pacheco, who finished the season with 25 goals, graduated from Clovis West High School in 2016. Danielle’s identical twin, Kaitlyn, was sidelined and unable to compete for the Rams because of an injury.

Danielle, who is 19 and began playing soccer at kindergarten, completed her final season with the Rams and will transfer to the Fresno State and continue on her nursing degree and compete on women’s soccer team.

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Fresno City College women’s soccer team poses with local dignitaries during an awards luncheon in the Old Administration Building on campus on Jan. 9, 2018. The Lady Rams won the community college state championship in December.

DANIEL CÁSAREZ [email protected]

Who is your favorite soccer player?

“I like Carli Lloyd (U.S. national team). She plays hard and tough; she really stands out to me.”

If you owned your own soccer team, who would you have as goalkeeper?

“Rianna Castañeda, our (FCC) goalie that we had here. She’s great.”

Your favorite club team?

“Manchester United. I enjoy watching them play.”

Who is your World Cup choice to win?

“Germany on the men’s side. For the women’s, I think U.S. and Germany.”

Jonathan Rodríguez

The Fresno City men’s team finished 18-1-6.

Sophomore Jonathan Rodríguez, a forward who scored 25 goals this season, including a goal in the state championship game in December, has several California universities knocking on the proverbial door regarding his transfer to a university.

The Rams last competed in a state final in 2016, but lost in penalty kicks to Mt. San Antonio College. In the 2002 final, the Rams lost 3-2 to Santa Rosa Community College.

Rodríguez, age 19 and a 2016 Washington Union (Easton) graduate majoring in kinesiology, is mulling over offers from UCLA, UC Santa Bárbara, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Irvine, and Cal State Northridge.

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Fresno City College men’s soccer team poses with local dignitaries during an awards luncheon in the Old Administration Building on campus on Jan. 9, 2018. The Rams won the state championship in December.

DANIEL CÁSAREZ [email protected]

“I’ve already visited a lot of them. I’ve just always played high school soccer; out of high school I just came to play here,” said Rodríguez, age 19.

“When coach (Eric Solberg) called me and gave me the news, I really didn’t know what to say. I was lost with words, but I’ve worked so hard all my life, and to be honored nationally is a really big accomplishment for me.”

Rodríguez’s parents come from Michoacán, México. Jonathan was born in the United States.

Who is your favorite soccer player?

“It has to be Cristiano Ronaldo. I’ve always looked up to him from a young age, and I continue to look up to him.”

If you owned your own soccer team, who would you have as goalkeeper?

“That’s a hard question: I would probably have from Manchester United, De Gea (David).”

Your favorite club team?

“That would probably be Real Madrid. No, not Morelia. My parents love them, but, no.”

Who is your World Cup choice to win?

“I think it’s going to be France-Argentina in the final. And the champions will be France.”

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