S&S Scandal- Interview with the whistleblower & former team manager - Juan Ochoa!
Check out the discussion our team (David, Chris, Jason) shared with Star & Stripes' former manager Juan Ochoa. The goal of this discussion was simply transparency and to allow Juan to share his perspective and/or side of the story.
DAVID: So tells us, from your perspective, how this thing first began.
JUAN: “Everyone says the issues started because of socks. That day, the assistant coach and the head Coach[Chris] got into over socks. That part is true. Assistant told him that no other team would change their uniforms for us, Coach [Chris]wanted to do it. What caused an issue with us is that the coach lost his mind. He kicked my son and the assistants son off the team right there on the sideline. In front of all the boys, he told us to get our kids and leave. So that’s where the issues between the assistant, me and the coach began. It wasn’t because we wanted to forfeit, it was because of the way he told us to take our kids and leave. He [Chris] and the assistant coach never saw eye to eye again. Even though the assistants son was one of our better more versatile players the coach started benching him so he left before Vegas. Coming back from Vegas is when I found out about the 06 kid. (Playing S&S 2007 Boys team).
CHRIS: So the million dollar question... who really knew about the older kid? Let’s get to the point….
JUAN: “Both. The head coach and assistant. The assistant even went to the hearing and took the blame. He told the panel that both of them [he and Chris] knew about it, and that Coach [Chris] was the one that altered the birth certificate. Even the kids dad told them the coach told him not to worry about it. That he took care of it all. Which is why we were shocked with the slap on the wrist he got.“
CHRIS: Ok can you squash the rumor that wasn't the only older kid ?…
JUAN: “To my knowledge that was the only kid.”
JASON: So did the other parents know or you think they where in the dark too?
JUAN: “They were in the dark . The only 2 that knew were coach [Chris] and the assistant. The kid in question barely looks like an 07 let alone an 06, he was one of the smallest kids on the team”
CHRIS: Is he the brother of another kid?
JUAN: “Yes - No one suspected it. Every one thought the forward was the older player”
CHRIS: Nobody questioned the math?
JUAN: “Yes. But their birth dates were far enough where it was believable”
JASON: Was he a talented enough kid to make it worth the chance of getting caught?
JUAN: “No. Good kid, but not a top player”
CHRIS: Juan I know for a fact you are being considered the scape goat to all this mess. We think your voice should be heard.
JUAN: “What’s funny is the assistant and I tried to get rid of the kid before the season started. But coach [Chris] wanted to keep him for some reason. The kid is good, but not worth risking everything.”
JASON: How long was he on the team?
JUAN: “Man he was on the team before my son ever joined. So maybe like 4 years”
CHRIS: Why was it worth the risk... I mean it's never worth it but we aren't talking a stud player.
JUAN: “I didn’t understand it either . We had plenty of kids who could play that position. Before I came on the team, the coach would always use overage players. Or register kids under different names. We presented all that to north Texas too…. Check that pic out, that’s one of his old rosters. Notice how two kids with different names have the same pic” (checkout this screenshot of roster below)
CHRIS: So who initiated the north Texas contact? Whistle blower?
JUAN: “I did. I had to. The coach plays the saint card. That he’s a firefighter and school nurse and doesn’t get paid for what he does.”
CHRIS: I've been around a long time and I know once a cheater always a cheater. Especially with a slap of the wrist. Thankfully the leagues are taking action.
JUAN: “….And I went to [Classic League Officials]. Once I found out. Like I told David, I didn’t want my son thinking it was ok to cut corners and get to where we were based off of cheating”
CHRIS: So how long did you know before reporting? And how did you figure it out?
JUAN: “There was a mom who left on bad terms. And she went around telling everyone we had overage players. Because she knew the 06 boy personally. So she called me up. Told me. Maybe 3 , 4 days is when I reported it”
DAVID: I hate it happened for the kids involved. They are the real victims.
JUAN: “What’s sucks is even without that kid, we had an amazing team. We would scrimmage DA’s and give them a run for their money. To this day, the coach has taken no responsibility for what he did. He blames the assistant.”
CHRIS: Well the integrity you showed is admirable. But you did right for your kid.
JUAN: “At the end of the day, it’s bigger than soccer. Like you said it’s about Integrity and raising your kids right”
CHRIS: Juan, I appreciate your honesty. You showed a lot of class and should keep your head held high. Much respect on teaching your son the right way to handle situations. That will be with him long after soccer.
JUAN: “No problem. It was a great catching up and having this out there in the open. Thanks guys”