11.6.22_Nuggets_Ellwood_844-2

Age: 16

Birthplace: Las Vegas, Nevada

Position: Right Wing

When did you join the Rapids Academy?

I joined the Rapids Academy as a U-15 player in 2020.

Tell us a little bit about your soccer journey.

I started playing soccer when I was four in a small league back in Nevada. I started playing because my older brother and my dad played soccer. I really got into it because of them. Once I got older, I started playing in bigger leagues and traveling out of state for competitions. From there, I got scouted and came here to Colorado to join the Rapids.

Tell us a little about your personal journey outside of soccer.

At home, it is my parents. I have a brother as well. He is 24 now. He made his own life and now I have a niece and a sister-in-law. Outside of soccer, I usually spend time with my parents and my friends when I have the time. I rather spend time with my parents because I don’t see them that much. Growing up in Las Vegas was nice. I live in a good area. It is really calm, a nice neighborhood. Living here in Denver has been more of a responsibility than being in Vegas because there I had my parents with me and they did a lot of stuff for me. I have to do my own stuff here. In Denver I live with a host family. They are from Las Vegas as well, so I knew them when I was little. I used to play soccer with their sons. I am really close with them.

What are you most looking forward to in the 2022-2023 MLS NEXT season?

I am looking forward to maintaining my position as the top goalscorer. I hold that title right now, but I am trying to keep on going, keep scoring and keep the team motivated to keep winning. On the pitch, my team has a really good relationship. Sometimes we fall down and have a hard time picking ourselves back up, but we sort it out and work together to put up a good performance.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023 on a personal level?

My personal goal right now is to focus on school. I am working on improving my grades everyday and my work continues to get better.

Who is your biggest inspiration on the pitch?

My inspiration since I was little is Messi. I have always watched him and he inspires me a lot. On the field, I like how he reacts out of nowhere. He cuts in different movements and it is rare to see someone with as much skill as him.

Who is your biggest inspiration off of the pitch?

I would probably say my dad. He pushes me to my limits and he encourages me to do good in my life on and off the pitch.

What is your go to pre-match/pre-training meal?

I like to eat eggs with toast and a banana, so I won’t get cramps. When I get home, I try to eat some protein, like chicken and rice or fish.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

My go to cheat meal is ramen. I make it at home.

Give me three words to describe Josh the soccer player.

Goal scorer. Talented. Impressive.

Give me three words to describe Josh the person.

Nice. Humble. Motivated.

Do you have any game day/training routines or superstitions?

On game days, I usually take a shower, go downstairs and eat my usual breakfast. I get in the car and listen to music and get into the zone. My favorite artists on game day are Lil Baby, Fuerza Regida, and Pop Smoke.

What does your day look like on an off day?

I usually spend time making up missing work for school. I like to rest and play video games. My favorites are FIFA and Call of Duty.

What does wearing the Rapids Academy badge mean to you?

When I am wearing the badge, I am representing the Academy. If I do something bad, it represents me and the Academy because I would be bringing us both down. I want to represent myself and the Academy in the best way possible on a daily basis. It means a lot to wear the badge because you are starting from a lower level and then you have a direct path to the first team. It is a different level at the first team. It is high intensity, more movement, quicker pace.

Do you have a badge in your personal life that represents who you are as a person? Ex: family crest, meaningful item/symbol.

My family and I wear this bracelet all the time. It is an evil eye bracelet and it symbolizes the idea that if someone sees you and watches over you a lot, the bracelet will start to get looser. We have always had them.