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Walking one of the world’s oldest golf courses, seeing an Olympic soccer match and playing against some of the top youth soccer plays in the world all seem like a dream.
But for two Palm Coast soccer enthusiasts, it became a reality earlier this month.
Nathan Monsanto and Nicholas Weber recently returned from the United Kingdom where they competed with the Superclubs U15 National All-Star team.
Monsanto, a sophomore at Flagler Palm Coast, and Weber, a sophomore at Matanzas, left the U.S. on July 31 to head overseas to compete against some of the top youth academies in the world, including Sunderland and Birmingham City, of the English Premier League, and Glasgow Rangers and Clyde FC, of the Scottish Football League.
The two boys arrived Aug. 1, in Manchester, England, where they attended an Olympic men’s soccer match between Spain and Morocco, at the legendary Old Trafford stadium, home of Manchester United.
Then, training and matches took place for five days while they were based at the University of Chester, in Chester, England.
The team then traveled to St. Andrews, Scotland, and was based at the University of St. Andrews. There, they trained and competed against some of Scotland’s youth clubs.
At the end of a tour of the legendary stadium of the Glasgow Rangers, the team competed against the Rangers youth club.
The team finished the trip 1-2-1.
Weber primarily played outside midfielder and attacking midfielder. Meanwhile, Monsanto played center back and center midfielder. Both players started and played for a majority of each match.
“I learned a ton while over in England and Scotland,” Monsanto said. “Speed of play and being more physical are definitely areas that we had to improve on quickly to meet the level of the teams we played.”
Weber said it was great to meet other players from around the U.S. and to represent his country through soccer.
“We were very proud and built great long-lasting relationships, and we are hopeful to play together again,” Weber said.
Monsanto and Weber were selected to the team after submitting soccer resumes and highlight tapes of games from club and high school. Both players play for a highly state-ranked FC United of Florida club team. Both also made varsity at their respective high schools last season as freshmen.
And of course, their dedication for soccer showed when they returned back to the U.S.
After traveling eight hours via bus from St. Andrews back to Chester on Friday, they then left early Saturday morning and spent 21 hours in transit back to the states. After arriving around 10 p.m. Saturday, they then left at 5 a.m. to head to Miami to compete in two Super-Y matches with their summer team, which was competing for a spot in the national championships.
They ended up going 1-1, but are still alive in a bid for a national playoff spot.
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