The first four youth USL Academy signings in club history are official.
Having an opportunity to compete for the club this season, Defenders Ian Mai and Josh Kenworthy, midfielder Xavi Gnaulati and forward CJ Fodrey will all be added to SD Loyal’s USL Championship roster while also keeping their NCAA eligibility. All four are from San Diego and have grown up playing together locally and for various academies.
These four teenagers will get the chance to represent Team 1 during a long and competitive season with high expectations.
- Xavi Gnaulati, 16
- Position: Midfielder
- Hometown: Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA
- Youth club experience: Oceanside Breakers, San Diego Surf Soccer Club, Encinitas Express Soccer
- Calvin Jay (CJ) Fodrey, 17
- Position: Forward
- Hometown: Coronado, CA
- Youth club experience: Coronado FC, Nomads Soccer Club & Academy, LA Galaxy Youth Academy, Albion SC, San Diego Surf Soccer Club
- Ian Mai, 16
- Position: Defender
- Hometown: Mission Valley, CA
- Youth club experience: LAFC Academy, LA Galaxy Youth Academy, San Diego Surf Soccer Club
- Josh Kenworthy, 18
- Position: Defender
- Hometown: Del Sur, CA
- Youth club experience: Albion SC, San Diego Surf Soccer Club, Atlanta United Academy
San Diego Surf Soccer Club is a popular team that many locals take part in at some point in their youth career. Albion SC, also locally in San Diego and all over the country, are known for producing many professional soccer players.
“As the soccer capital of this country, we are very fortunate to have some of the very best players here in San Diego,” SD Loyal EVP of Soccer Operations and Manager Landon Donovan said. “Being able to add four of them to a roster further shows our commitment to this community and that we are truly dedicated to making SD Loyal a club that our entire community can be proud of. We can’t wait for the day we see our first homegrown product representing SD Loyal on the field at Torero Stadium.”
Fodrey already made a name for himself and proved to be a goal-scoring threat when he put one in the back of the net against LA Galaxy in the exhibition contest on March 20th.
— CJ Fodrey (@CjFodrey) March 20, 2021
As long as they are not on SD Loyal’s active 23-man Championship roster, all four players will be eligible to compete with Loyal Select, the club’s part-time youth development program, as well as their respected youth clubs on any given weekend.
This brings a hope that Loyal Select will serve as the pathway into the professional ranks for all future USL Academy contract signees at the club.