Kapolei’s Major Leaguers

Sports fans around the country saw two Kapolei kids on national TV this week.

On ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, Rico Garcia of MLB’s San Francisco Giants recorded two key outs in the Giants’ 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Then, on FS1 on Monday night, Shandon Hopeau of MLS’s Seattle Sounders played 36 minutes and recorded 3 shots in the Sounders’ 4-1 loss to LAFC.

Rico Garcia — San Francisco Giants

Garcia, 26, attended St. Louis High and Hawaiʻi Pacific University, but lists his hometown as Kapolei. The Colorado Rockies drafted him in the 30th round of the 2016 MLB draft. He made his major league debut with the Rockies last season. In January, Garcia signed a minor league contract with the Giants in January, and was invited to their spring training camp.

He came back to Hawaiʻi in March during the coronavirus crisis, and trained by throwing in his driveway, he told Alan Hoshida of KHON.

Through the season’s first week, Garcia had pitched in 3 games and didn’t allow a run. His main pitch is a 93 mph fastball.

National scouts have taken notice of another young Kapolei baseball star. Jaydon Kea of Kapolei was one of 40 Americans selected for USA Baseball’s exclusive U14 National Team Development Program.

Shandon Hopeau — Seattle Sounders FC

Hopeau, 21, was a two-time OIA West player of the year at Kapolei High. He joined the Sounders Academy at age 17, immediately drawing notice for “world-class strikes and dedication.” He was a starter for the Sounders 2 minor league (USL) team for two seasons, before graduating to the big club this year.

In June, Hopeau signed a first-team contract with the Sounders. He appeared in all four Sounders matches during July’s “MLS Is Back” tournament in Orlando, mostly at right wing.

In Monday’s loss to LAFC, he came on as a substitute and recorded 3 shots, including his first 2 shots-on-target of his MLS career.

Hawaiʻi-raised youth soccer stars Logan Calpito and Dan Jackson are also part of the Sounders Academy system.

The MLB and MLS seasons are supposed to last into the fall, so (barring any re-shutdowns) you’ll have plenty of chances to see these guys for yourself.

Schedules (subject to change)

Shandon Hopeau photo courtesy of Major League Soccer. Rico Garcia photo courtesy of Major League Baseball. Photo collage by Howzit Kapolei.