When the Servite boys’ soccer team sends a ball into the back of an opponent’s net, there’s a good chance that Garrett Amador is in the middle of the celebration.
Amador leads the Friars in goals for the second straight season and he likely will graduate this spring as the school’s all-time No. 2 scorer.
But don’t pigeon-hole Amador as strictly a goal-scorer. He can set them up as easily as he puts them away.
And here’s what’s really interesting: His specialty isn’t even producing goals, it’s preventing them.
Yep, the 5-foot-10, 155-pounder mainly plays on the back line for his club team and will often drop back on defense when Servite’s trying to protect a lead.
“Garrett has done a really good job of playing his role for us,” says Servite coach Jon Spencer. “He shows up every day, ‘Coach, what do you want me to do? I’ll do it for the team.’ He’s been really important because he’s played his role.”
Amador gained his first international experience thanks to his rugged style of defense, joining an older team from his Irvine Strikers club program that was set to play in the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland the summer after his freshman year.
“They asked for a defender that liked to hit people and I was, ‘Hey, that’s me,’” Amador says. That team went on to win the second-tier Globe Division – the first time an American team took home the trophy – and that was the start of many high-profile accolades for Amador.
The following winter, he joined the Servite varsity team as a sophomore and scored five goals during the season as the Friars advanced to the CIF-SS Division I semifinals. He went back overseas the following summer and played tournaments in Sweden and Denmark, then returned for his junior season looking even stronger and more polished.
He scored 23 goals last season while leading the Friars to the Division I title and netted one of the most impressive goals of the season in a semifinal win against Loyola. On that game-winning play, teammate Kristopher Morgan sent a long pass ahead to Amador, who was closely defended about 20 yards away. Amador played the pass off his chest and then booted the ball just before it hit the ground a second time, sailing it over the head of the surprised goalkeeper from 25 yards out.
“[Morgan] played a great ball right to me, just knocked it into space,” Amador remembers. “I thought, ‘Hey, that goalie’s probably off his line, might as well hit it. I’m going to get knocked down by the center back anyway.’”
Last summer, Amador committed to play college ball at Loyola Marymount and then headed into his senior year with another strong group of teammates.
Amador has been the primary focus of defenders when playing forward, but that didn’t prevent him from scoring 10 goals in the first 16 games. That gave him 38 for his career, pulling him within one of Chris Pontius for third on the school’s all-time list and within five of Scott
McGuire for second.
Even more impressive, Amador hasn’t wavered from his priorities. The team comes first and individual records are just icing on the cake.
“Garrett is the epitome of what we’re trying to accomplish here — build good, faithful men,” Spencer says.