Djair Parfitt-Williams

Elk Grove United’s player signs with England Premier League

Djair Parfitt-Williams signs professional West Ham United deal until 2017. The 18-year-old, who was born in Bermuda but raised in the United States, was first spotted by the Hammers while playing for San Jose Earthquakes.The forward scored nine times for West Ham’s Under-18s last season, and has been tipped as a star of the future.The new contract will commit Parfitt-Williams to the Premier League club until the summer of 2017. Djair played his club ball with Elk Grove United Soccer in Elk Grove Ca.

Rapinoe credits area youth coach for fostering her creativity

Rapinoe, a Redding resident, was coached by Sacramento’s Danny Cruz through her teenage years at Elk Grove United.

“I don’t think he ever really told me how to play,” Rapinoe told SI reporter Grant Wahl in his profile of the outspoken midfielder. “He was really good about letting us make mistakes and play free. That was cool. There are a lot of really bad coaches in the U.S. who maybe don’t focus on the right things. Sometimes creativity is stamped out at a young age. You have to be a ‘typical American.’ I take pride in the fact that I’m not a typical American.”

Rapinoe was a member of Cruz’ Elk Grove team (along with U.S. National Team pool teammate Stephanie Cox) that reached the United States Youth Soccer Association’s under-19 girls national championships in 2003. Cruz also coached girls soccer 19 years at Rio Americano.

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