19-year-old midfielder Gilbert Fuentes is one of two San Jose Earthquakes Homegrown signings to join Austin Bold FC for the 2021 USL Championship season.
AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Bold FC announced on Monday the club had acquired midfielder Gilbert Fuentes and defender Casey Walls on loan from Major League Soccer side the San Jose Earthquakes, pending league and federation approval, ahead of the club’s kickoff to the 2021 USL Championship this Saturday night.
“Gilbert and Casey are both very talented young players that possess a lot of quality with bright futures ahead of them. They’re not here just to add depth. They’re here to battle for a starting spot and that competitiveness will only make the entire squad better,” said Austin Bold FC Head Coach Marcelo Serrano. “We’ve shown in our short time that we have the ability to develop young talent and having San Jose Earthquakes trust us with two promising players is proof of that.
“A special thanks to Earthquakes General Manager Jesse Fionarelli for being so honest and truthful within the process and Bruno Costa for scouting these players and working together with us.”
Fuentes became the youngest Homegrown Player in Earthquakes history when he signed a professional contract in 2018. Before his Homegrown Player deal, the 19-year-old joined the Quakes’ academy system in 2016 and spent time with both the U15 and U19 squads. The midfielder gained USL Championship experience during successful loan stints with Reno 1868 FC. With one goal in 16 appearances, the California native helped Reno to consecutive postseason appearances.
Fuentes represented the United States at the U15, U16, and U17 levels before being called up to the El Salvador U23 side for the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mexico this past March.
Walls signed a Homegrown Player contract in 2019 with the Earthquakes after playing up for the U19 squad within the Quakes academy. The 18-year-old center back has been a mainstay in the United States Youth National Team set-up, playing with the federation's U-14, U-15, and U-16 sides.
“I'm super excited to work with a very talented group of players, this coaching staff and really doing what I can to help this team win.” said Walls.