For the world’s top players and millions of people across the globe, the World Cup is the centre of their soccer world.
For 15 young soccer players with Excel Soccer Academy, including two Maple Ridge players, the start of the event marked the three-week countdown for a chance to play in their own “World Cup”
Excel Soccer will be taking these players to the Republic of San Marino to compete in an international tournament called the San Marino Cup from July 6-12.
Luke Warmerdam and Isiah Smith, 13-year-olds from Maple Ridge, are two of 15 boys in the Excel Soccer Academy, representing a wide range of communities including: Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Mission, North Vancouver, Port Moody and Richmond.
“I’m excited to develop as a soccer player and meet new people”, said Warmerdam.
“This is a good chance to possibly be scouted by a top European team and a good experience to travel with friends and see different parts of Italy,” said Smith.
The team will spend six days in San Marino for the tournament and two weeks touring and enjoying the culture of Italy. Players will also get the opportunity to train at the Italian National training centre and watch the World Cup final in Europe.
Excel has been participating in this tournament since 2006 and last year’s team finished in second place in the B pool, losing in a penalty shoot-out to Monroe Soccer Club of New Jersey.