South Bay’s Animo Leadership Charter High claims Galaxy’s Villarreal, Earthquakes’ Baca

We get letters (well, emails).

Sergio Medrano, a teacher and head coach and founder of the boy’s varsity soccer team at Animo Leadership Charter High School, emailed me this week in an effort to make clear the local affiliation of Inglewood’s Jose Villarreal of the Galaxy, below left, and Lawndale’s Rafael Baca, below right, of the San Jose Earthquakes (and Loyola Marymount) ahead of their game Wednesday in Carson.

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This is a school proud of its products. And rightly so. Medrano wrote:

In advance of the ‘Quakes and Galaxy game this Wednesday I couldn’t help but set the record straight in regards to Jose Villarreal, the current home grown Galaxy signee, as well as current ‘Quakes midfielder Rafael Baca.

Both hail from the proud local South Bay high school soccer program, Animo Leadership Charter High School in Inglewood.

I know it was reported previously that Jose graduated from Leuzinger High in Lawndale, but he actually never graduated from there and only attended Leuzinger for two months to make up some credits. He actually attended Animo Leadership for 3 1/2 years from his 9-11th grade and part of 12th grade before ultimately receiving his diploma in 2011.

Although Jose never played for Animo Leadership because he participated in the U.S. Development Academy, I felt compelled to set the record straight since I’ve known Jose and his family since 2002 when he was 8-years-old.

Also, Jaime Villarreal Jose’s younger brother and current Galaxy Academy player, is currently an 11th grader at Animo Leadership.

We are very proud to have Jose and Rafael, two professional soccer players in the MLS, come out of Animo Leadership Charter High School in Inglewood.

To have them both present at Home Depot Center this Wednesday as professionals brings great pride to our program and school.

Although Jose will not see time on the first team this game and Rafael Baca most likely will get the start, we are still going to show up and support them both. As a school we have sold over 200 tickets as a fundraiser benefiting the Animo Boy’s Soccer Program in support of both players.

We will be sitting in Sections 118 and 117 cheering on Rafa and Jose.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!