Local Santa Ana Athlete Accomplishes MLS Stardom



Frankie Amaya addressing the draft committee.

Santa Ana resident, Franuel “Frankie” Amaya, is the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. FC Cincinnati selected the 18-year-old, making him the youngest player in his class to be drafted.

Amaya, a recent graduate from Segerstrom High School, began his youth career in the Mexican-American soccer leagues, playing for Santa Ana FC. Amaya then joined Pateadores SC, which was founded in 1987 and is one of the largest youth soccer clubs in Southern California with 250 teams. Amaya was played in their Academy from 2014-2017. He made 82 appearances for Pateadores’ Academy, scoring 19 goals.

After his years with the Pateadores, he committed his talent to the UCLA Bruins where he made 14 appearances, scoring twice and providing two assists his freshman year.

Amaya cherishes the sport and his hard work has furthered his career, claiming, “I dreamt it all since I was young.”

With a motivating father throughout his life, Amaya mentions that he learned from his dad.

“He played at a junior college and I went to all his Santa Ana college games. He introduced me to the amazing sport of soccer,” said Amaya.

UCLA Athletics

Amaya’s career took off as he was called up to the Under-20’s U.S. National Team. He made his debut with the squad in a game against France, scoring the only goal in the game. After he settled into the squad, Amaya played in the CONCACAF, winning the championship and qualifying for the Under-20’s World Cup.

His performances throughout his career allowed him to declare for the 2019 MLS SuperDraft and be part of the 2019 Generation Adidas class. He is one of only seven players to do so.

How does he do it? Amaya emphasizes, “Composure is key. You just have to focus at the moment and try to do your best and improve every day.”

Despite his concentration and determination, Amaya acknowledges his family as the primary reason for his success, “They play the biggest role in motivating to do my best. They have sacrificed so much for us that we need to show them why they did that. I do everything for my parents and my little brother.”

Amaya is set to play for FC Cincinnati in their inaugural season in the MLS, starting with pre-season, revealing, “I want to compete.”