They are separated by six years and so much more.
Victor Magana, 24, is the older brother — hardworking and reliable, right-footed and defensive-orientated.
Adolfo Magana, 17, is the younger brother —talented and mercurial, a left-footed attacker who perspires potential.
And yet soccer has fortunately joined their paths over the past month with FC Hasental, providing a rare opportunity to share the same midfield.
When Hasental hosts the Ventura County Fusion in the second-annual Ventura County Cup on Tuesday night at Cal Lutheran’s Rolland Stadium, the Maganas will play together in a competitive match for the fourth and probably final time.
“This is mostly it for me,” said Victor, the former Division I midfielder. “I’m focusing more on my professional career (off the field).”
He has primarily joined Hasental for Adolfo.
“He’s young, he has talent and he needs this experience, playing at a high level with college players,” Victor said.
It’s just the most recent way in which Victor has shown Adolfo the path toward success.
Working, studying and training hard at Channel Islands High, Oxnard College and Santa Clara University earned Victor a degree in mechanical engineering and a job in a building in El Rio that he once cleaned overnight.
“It’s been mostly a grind,” Victor said. “But what keeps me motivated are the sacrifices my parents have made. That’s got me through.”
Jose and Laura Magana have worked day and night in caregiving and maintenance. Their three children have noticed.
“To succeed in life is to work hard, like my parents,” Adolfo said. “They work Monday through Saturday. They never stop working. It makes you want to succeed in life and get them out of that situation, so they don’t work all the time.”
Victor played on a CIF finalist team at Channel Islands. At Oxnard College, he earned a Division I scholarship, which he used to earn a degree.
“He made covering ground and defending look easy. He made getting great grades and being at every practice look easy. Victor makes everything look easy,” said Oxnard College coach Ross Greaney.
Said Hasental attacker Alberto Anguiano, “It’s great having (Victor) play behind me. He does all the dirty work.”
While Victor can be overlooked by fans, Adolfo is the type of player that draws the eyes.
Victor still remembers how he felt watching a 4-year-old Adolfo play.
“I saw he had talent,” Victor said. “I saw it right away.”
One of the top players in the county this year, Adolfo starred for Channel Islands as a senior, piling up 10 goals and seven assists. He’s planning on following in his brother’s path by playing at OC and transferring to a Division I program.
“I’ve got a lot of experience with Division I players,” Victor said. “What I see in (Adolfo) is he’s strong, very athletic and he’s very technical. You don’t find that in D-1, which is mostly physical, athletic players. I think he can succeed.”
He’s not alone. When Dutch coach Jefta Bresser, who has coached for several top clubs in the Netherlands, visited this summer, he told Hasental coach Eric Warner that Adolfo “has got something.”
Having joined the team midseason, the brothers have played the past three games together. Victor equates it with an on-field internship.
“This is the first time we’ve played together,” Victor said. “It’s been good because … I can guide him on the field.”
Said Adolfo, “It’s much easier playing with him because I already know what he expects from me. He already knows what I can do so it’s much easier than playing with someone else.”
Anguiano is playing alongside both Maganas in the midfield.
“(Adolfo) has a great future,” Anguiano said. “He’ll probably go far with the right mindset. That’s why he’s here at Hasental, to grow as a player.”
And to create one lasting memory with his brother.
“It’s very important for us,” Victor said of Tuesday’s match. “We’ve been preparing ourselves with Hasental and on our own time. The Fusion is known for having a good team. They have really good players. … So it’s a good opportunity for us.”