In my feature profiling Rafael Garcia, there were tons of great things said about the midfielder that didn't make the piece.
Below are a selection of quotes from Garcia, Sean Franklin (who was Garcia's teammate during his first season at Cal State-Northridge), his Canoga Park High School coach Jake Gwin and his father also named Rafael Garcia.
(On being a father and a pro athlete...)
GARCIA: "It’s awesome. I love every single second of it. It was hard especially in my college years when I was finishing up school, but now, I have a lot more time which is great when we’re around because when we travel I don’t get to see my son or my girlfriend as much. It’s great I love it, I get a lot of time with my son and it’s a lot of trips to the park and the beach. It’s been great, nothing has been easy, but now I’m at a point where I’m able to balance everything in my life as far as my personal life and my professional life and my social life. It’s all very new in a way, but I just take it day by day and the time that I spend with my family is the time that I cherish the most."
(On people describing him as a hard working person...)
GARCIA: It’s very flattering that people consider me a person that is hard working, ambitious and won’t take no for an answer. I feel like that has been my goal from day one to be that person that never gives up and is persistent. For me, it’s very flattering and humbling and I have to keep that mentality if I do then who knows what will happen. The sky is the limit.
(On his perception of Garcia...)
FRANKLIN: "To see him get to where he has and work hard and now be one of my teammates is great. It's good to see a fellow Matador in the league. All credit to him, he's a humble person a hard worker and he deserves to be here."
(On his excitement to see Garcia become a professional...)
GWIN: "When he came to me and told me that he and Lilly were having a kid. I took a deep breath and I shook his hand and said to him that 'you’re going to be a great father.' I knew that he was going to raise a great kid and provide for him. I was obviously worried that my other kids weren’t able to do that. I was never concerned for him. He would be great, he has a greet family that supports him. He has a great kid and a great structure around him and I’m just proud and when he first signed his contract, I texted him obviously congratulations, but also ‘I’m happy for Isaiah” that he gets to grow up watching his dad play professional soccer and that is unique and rare. I was as much as happy for Isaiah as I was for him."
(On Garcia's family oriented lifestyle...)
R. GARCIA Sr. "Every day, he goes to the practice and then comes back to the house. He loves his family and he wants to stay with them all the time. I always told him ‘God, family and work’ were important and if you can do your job then your family will be okay. "