Jazleen Cerda may only be 13 years old, but she is certainly making a name for herself. The San Francisco Elite 2009 player has been a part of NorCal Premier Soccer's Player Development Program (PDP) for the last two years after being nominated for that honor by SF Elite.
Just recently she was invited to play in a National ID Camp as her reputation as a young player to watch for continues to grow.
“To Jazleen this is all a dream that is slowly becoming a reality with the support from her friends, family, and SF Elite,” her mother Maryela Padilla said. “She never thought that she would come this far, so she is enjoying every moment of it. Although she still has a lot to learn, she does put in her time on and off the field so that she can be a better player. She is excited for her future and what high school soccer will be.”
Cerda is currently an 8th grader, so as far as what high school program in San Francisco will be lucky enough to have her on the roster remains to be seen, but the goal is clear. She wants to play in high school and use that, as well as playing for SF Elite, as a springboard to play in college.
Cerda has been playing soccer since the age of three, starting in a recreational league at Bernal Heights Park, then joined her school team as soon as she got to kindergarten. By age nine she was at SF Elite, playing for then coach Chance Daniel, loving both the club and Daniel.
“She loves Chance and loves her teammates,” Padilla said. “She has been playing with the same girls for the last 6 years which is pretty amazing.”
Cerda, who plays forward at SF Elite, currently plays for head coach DJ Driscoll.
“Jazz is one of the big reasons for the success of our team,” Driscoll said. “She finds ways to impact the game when her teammates need her the most. In many games this past season, when the team needed that one goal to bet the opposing team, she has come through.”
Jazleen has two younger twin sisters, Juliana and Jayla, who play for SF Elite’s 2012 team, and she along with her younger sisters were inspired by their grandfather, Rigoberto Padilla, to play soccer and encouraged by their parents.
“It is our family’s preferred sport, and we say that soccer is in our blood,” Padilla said. “Jazleen has had a natural talent for this sport. Her classmates loved having her on their team. (She) is an all-around athlete and does will in any sport she plays, but she chooses to dedicate her time to soccer.”