“Success is not about winning; it’s about learning and improving,” SQ forward, Jonathan Rivas said.
Rivas is one of many new arrivals at the prison who dove into soccer. The increasing number of people want- ing to participate since San Jose joined has led to talks amongst the veteran players about starting an intermural league similar to the Quentin basketball program.
San Quentin has even changed the name of its team to the Earthquakes in honor of their San Jose peers.
The atmosphere on the field resembled an ordinary pick-up game: people play- ing a sport they love, a way to escape the bustle of daily life. But for the incarcerated, playing soccer with outside people―especially members from a professional soccer club―was an escape from a life in prison.
Meza, Alexi Ruiz and Don Spence suited-up with San Jose because they lost the privilege of defending Quentin’s turf in a one-match playoff against the prison’s B Team.
Eric Hanninen, executive team assistant for the Earthquakes, struck first in the 15th minute off a cross from the outside right from Rohit Samchandani.
Rivas scored the equalizer off a corner kick from Carlos Ramirez in minute 42.
“We have the better half this time,” said Rohit, in reference to the battered field that’s used throughout week for baseball, softball and flag football.
In the 60th, minute a goal scored by Spence was recalled. He was ruled off sides, but it did not matter because two minutes later Sagaudan Barathy scored in the 62nd putting the Quakes up a goal.
“The energy is so great, you want to go where the pas- sion is,” SJ Quakes Marketing Coordinator Alex Palomarez said. “You have that here.”