Matador of the Week: Jack Rhead

Jack Rhead, 9, huddles with his team before the game against Utah Valley University in Northridge, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

Justin Parrott, Reporter

Jack Rhead, a kid from Plymouth, United Kingdom, has been playing soccer for as long as he can remember. Growing up in the U.K., Rhead credits his dad for introducing the game to him at the age of 5. During the weekends, he would play with his friends and loved the sport. Early on, he participated in a local soccer club for fun and grew fascinated with the game. Since then, he has played on the weekends for his club and continued to like the game more and more.

“Every opportunity I had, I tried to include football into my life,” Rhead said. “If it was school, or my family, football has always been there for me.”

Soccer has given Rhead a lot of opportunities to be where he is today. Being in the academy system in the U.K. from ages 9-16, he played for seven years and played well. After he wrapped up his time at the academy, an opportunity to continue his soccer career arose.

“Coming to America was a huge step for me, and I took advantage of it when the time came,” Rhead said. “Having the opportunity to get a degree and continuing to play football — I couldn’t pass up what I had in front of me.”

Jack Rhead, a junior who transferred from Quincy University after coming to the States from England, was named Big West Offensive Player of the Week with one goal and one assist over two games. (CSUN Athletics)

Rhead started his college soccer career at the Division II school Quincy University. During his time there from 2019-2021, Rhead scored a total of 12 goals and had four assists. After the 2021 season, he wanted to take his game to greater heights. Entering the transfer portal, CSUN was one of the schools that gave him that chance.

“I enjoyed my time at Quincy and got some really good experience there,” Rhead said. “I wanted to play at the highest level, and had friends that played at the Division I level who succeeded. Terry Davila saw my footage and liked the way I played, and the rest was history.”

CSUN head coach Terry Davila loved the tools that the redshirt junior could bring to the team. When he first stepped on campus, there was a lot to like about his ability.

“When he first came in, you knew he was an athletic kid and had a lot of skills,” said Davila. “His soft touch was great for a guy his size, and [he] always cares about team success.”

Rhead jumped out to a great start in the 2022 season, scoring one goal and racking up two assists in six games for the Matadors. Scoring the game-winning goal against University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the junior earned Big West Offensive Player of the Week honors. He focuses on how his skills can benefit the team.

“Being in the right areas on the field has helped me and the team be successful this far,” Rhead said. “Putting myself in front of the goal, getting myself in position to get the crosses and passes into the box … This is where most of my success has been so far, and I hope to continue it to help the team win.”

Not only is Rhead having success with his play, but he has become one of the leaders on the CSUN squad. This is because of both his ability to score goals and to help everyone else elevate their games.

“Jack has become a quiet leader on our team who leads by example,” Davila said. “He always helps other guys and encourages them to be their best.”

The Matadors are 3-2-1, hoping to recover from their 0-7 loss to 19th-ranked Missouri State University and return to winning ways.

Trying to enjoy the ride this year, Rhead wants to continue playing soccer as long as he can. The future for him is uncertain, but he hopes soccer is still a possibility after his time at CSUN.

“Playing at the pro level someday is definitely one of the main goals I have. I am trying to put myself in the position to one day get there,” Rhead said. “You never know who’s watching every game. Somebody could be eyeing you. If the opportunity presents itself to be at the next level, then I’ll take it.”