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Home at Last: Kevin Partida's Year of Resilience

By Aldo Amato, 04/10/18, 5:45PM PDT

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RENO, Nev. – Life is unpredictable.

Nobody knows this truth more than Reno midfielder Kevin Partida, who has experienced life’s highs and lows over the past year.

Partida was signed by Reno 1868 FC in March shortly after being drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in the third round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. A high point for the young, promising player who was able to return to his hometown where he made a name for himself at Sparks High School.

“I think since the beginning, it’s been exciting knowing I’m about to be back in my hometown,” Partida said. “It’s been exciting to be able to play at the next level in front of friends and family.”

Being drafted by the Earthquakes and coming back to his hometown, was certainly a high after a roller coaster of a year. Back in July of last year, Partida’s older brother Jose passed away after a drowning accident in Lake Tahoe.

Jose was 27 years old.

While the loss of his brother deeply affected the then-senior standout, Partida took comfort in knowing his friends, family and coaches where there for emotional support.

“It’s definitely been a roller coaster and there have been a ton of different emotions over the past year now,” Partida said. “But I try to keep pushing through, with the support system of my family which is another big part of being back close to home.

“To now be able to see my friends and family every single day, makes it a lot easier.”

Sparks and the Northern Nevada community has always been a part of Partida’s life. Partida credited his coaches from an early age to Sparks High School to his Northern Nevada Soccer League family in helping him mold into the player he is today.

Partida is awaiting his debut with Reno 1868 FC, which could come at any point during the early half of the USL season. Until that point, Partida said he’s happy to be close to home, with a strong support system and is eager to make the most of his opportunity whenever it is given.

“I think you have to stay positive and understand that opportunity will come,” Partida said. “I’m just excited to add another chapter to the journey.”