Athletes of the Year: Alfonso Motagalvan

Alfonso Motagalvan

There’s no time like the present for soccer star Alfonso
Motagalvan. Unless it’s the future.
As uncannily skillful as the midfielder is in the flow of the
game, it’s the senior’s ability to think three plays ahead of
teammates and opponents alike that sets him apart.
There’s no time like the present for soccer star Alfonso Motagalvan. Unless it’s the future.

As uncannily skillful as the midfielder is in the flow of the game, it’s the senior’s ability to think three plays ahead of teammates and opponents alike that sets him apart.

And while it’s certainly nice to be the Central Coast Section Player of the Year right now, Motagalvan is already preparing for next season, when he’ll be a freshman with a full scholarship to play Division I soccer at UC Santa Barbara.

“I’m just trying to get fit for Santa Barbara,” says the Mustang field general, adding that he’d like to work on his quickness ahead of his first collegiate season.

It was thinking ahead that made Motagalvan decide early on in his soccer career to sacrifice personal glory for team success.

“Your family wants to see you score goals,” he says. “But I had a moment where it really just hit me, ‘What if I just worked on making my teammates better?’ I feel the same joy in making my teammates better and having them score a goal then with scoring a goal myself.”

Which isn’t to say that goals didn’t get scored – Motagalvan had 15 to go with 11 assists his senior season. But to see Motagalvan in the middle of the pitch, barking orders at his forwards, directing midfield traffic to set up the perfect passing attack, is to see the meaning of team play.

So it comes as no surprise that the former basketball player looks at pass-first NBA point guards like Jason Kidd and Steve Nash as kindred souls.

“That’s kind of like my style of play,” Motagalvan says, gushing about Nash’s breakout season with the Phoenix Suns. “I love setting up people.”

The philosophy of setting up teammates comes with an important qualifier, according to Motagalvan.

“Humbleness is the No. 1 key to success,” he reflects. “You can never forget where you come from, your roots.”

As he says the words, Motagalvan suddenly remembers to take them to heart.

“Hey, can you put in that I want to thank God and my family … my parents?” he asks.

“I always forget to do that,” he adds sheepishly.

The Motagalvan File

Soccer

adidas All-American, CCS Player of the Year (’04-’05), CCS First Team (’03-’04, ’04-’05), TCAL MVP (’03-’04), TCAL First Team (’02-’03, ’03-’04, ’04-’05), Gilroy High Scholar-Athlete

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