Skip to Content

El Paso Locomotive FC Sign Academy Product Emiliano Rodriguez to Professional Contract

El Paso Locomotive

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso Locomotive FC announced today that it has signed Academy forward and Ciudad Juárez native Emiliano Rodriguez, making the 20-year-old the third homegrown academy product in club history to ink a professional contract. The signing is pending league and federation approval.

"We could not be any happier or prouder of Emiliano, who now carries a flag for all young footballers in the Borderplex," Locomotive Academy Director Ivan Militar said. "Emiliano is a prototype player, who showed up unexpectedly at the Academy's doorstep. He was technical, smart and crafty and over time, proved that being talented isn't just about being skillful, but that being talented also means you have the desire to work hard. On his first training session with the Academy, he was grateful for his 'last chance' as he called it. Turns out, it wasn't his last chance but rather the beginning of a new life for him in football."

"A diamond in the rough" as Militar called him, Rodriguez has appeared in three matches so far for the Locos across all competitions and has been present in several 18-man rosters throughout the season. He even featured in the inaugural Derby Paso Del Norte against FC Juárez and has been a part of first-team trainings since the start of the year.

"Emiliano is an incredibly talented young man and we are excited to sign him to a full professional contract with El Paso Locomotive FC," Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera said. "This is truly a significant moment in Locomotive history, and we are thankful to the Locomotive Academy for the job they have done developing players with high quality and strong mentality like Emiliano. We hope Emiliano can help pave a future path for more players in the Borderplex and we look forward to seeing him continue his soccer career with our team."

For Emiliano, he could not be more grateful. He left home as child, leaving behind his family to go to Mexico City to chase his dreams of becoming a professional player. However, things did not pan out the way he would have liked, and he eventually returned back home to Juárez. He eventually moved to El Paso in his early teens and at one point given up on his dream to become a professional player until he heard about the Locomotive Academy. He showed up to try out and earned his way into the Locomotive Academy U-20 side. He was an integral part of the U-20's historic USL Academy season last year and helped the team earn its first ever appearance in the USL Academy League Finals, earning a nod to the All-Tournament Second Team.

"[I'm] happy, there's nothing else I can say to describe this feeling," Rodriguez said. "It's the first contract I sign with a team, so I'm thankful to all coaches and staff. They took me in and cared about me. They accepted me, the way I play and the way I am, so I'm just happy to be here."

Since its founding in 2020, the Locomotive Academy has excelled in its mission to provide the El Paso community a platform for success through competitive soccer. By providing El Pasoans a supportive and competitive environment, the Locomotive Academy paves the way for its players to reach success at either professional and/or collegiate levels.

The Locomotive Academy has made great strides since its establishment, having signed two other players to professional contracts in an historic announcement back in 2022 and graduating 15 local homegrown players to play collegiate soccer. The Academy managed to reach the USL Academy League Finals for the first time in 2023 and recently became a member of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL), one of the most prominent youth leagues in the nation with opportunities to provide players exposure to hundreds of college coaches and scouts throughout the year. 

Article Topic Follows: Locomotive FC

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Bea Martinez

El Paso Locomotive FC


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content