By Matt Schwab
Special to Mustang Soccer
The awards keep rolling in for Manteca High freshman sensation Cami Silva, who also plays for coach Mike Kelley’s strong Mustang 04 ECNL team.
Silva, an impact player who thrives in the middle of the action, was named Manteca Bulletin All-Area Midfielder of the Year this week after being selected as Valley Oak League MVP. She scored 21 goals and dished off 14 assists in the varsity season from the No. 10 position, helping Manteca to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship.
Of being named league MVP, Cami said she was “very happy and a bit surprised because there was another player nominated who was very good, but I was happy I got it.”
Mustang Soccer is also playing an important role in Cami’s development, and she enjoys competing for coach Kelley. “Coach Mike is very calm and relaxing, easy to work with,” she says. “He gives us a lot of direction. What he’s trying to say is easy to understand.”
Likewise, Kelley is impressed with Cami’s playing style.
“Cami has something different to her game,” Kelley says. “She has a knack for reading the environment around her to help make decisions in tight spaces. She has really thrived with the opportunities she has earned, and high school was no different for her. Excited to see how she continues to develop and grow her game!”
Since joining the club last year, Cami has assimilated well into the cub’s possession style with its emphasis on using the width of the field and switching the attack.
“It’s been really good,” she says. “I like the coaching staff and all the girls are super nice.”
At Manteca, Silva formed a dynamic combination with senior forward Kaley Miller in helping the Buffaloes finish 8-2-2 in the VOL, a significant improvement over the previous season. In the playoffs, Manteca reeled off wins over Pioneer, East Union, El Capitan and Christian Brothers.
Soccer is a family affair for the Silva’s.
Cami assisted her older sister Jordyn, a Manteca junior, on the tying goal in a 2-1 win over Christian Brothers-Sacramento in the section championship game. Jordyn also had a very strong season with seven goals and 13 assists for a high-octane attack.
Moreover, Cami’s parents Jennifer (Granada) and AJ (Independence-San Jose) played high school soccer, so it’s not surprising that she has a flair for the game. Her younger brother Hayden, 11, enjoys basketball, a sport Cami played in the seventh and eighth grades.
Cami wants to eventually play college soccer and keep on going after that. Her future looks very bright.