Soccer Star Tries out for Pro Clubs
Posted: September 25, 2012
It was a summer to remember for Michael Marcantognini ’14, who plays midfield for SAC’s 1st Soccer team. In July he played for the U16 Ontario Provincial Team in the national championships, and then in August he journeyed to England for tryouts with two professional English football clubs.
First up for Michael, 16, was the national championships held in Newfoundland near the end of July. He impressed with his play and several goals during the tournament, helping Team Ontario win gold by defeating Team British Columbia in the finals.
"Michael has a lot of potential and as he matures as a student athlete his game will reach new heights,” says David Manning, SAC’s 1st Soccer Coach. “He is an attacking threat each and every time he has the ball.”
Michael, who lives in Sudbury, Ont., took a plane to England in August where he tried out for both the Leicester City Football Club and the Blackburn Rovers Football Club. Both clubs are among 72 teams that make up the national Football League, which has a long and storied history dating back to 1888. If either team considers Michael a potential prospect, they will invite him back for another tryout. At that point, they may decide to sign him to one of their youth teams.
“The whole culture of soccer over there is amazing,” says Michael. “That’s their main sport and to play at their level and in their stadium is an honour.”
This isn’t the first time Michael’s ability has been spotted. Several NCAA schools in the U.S. offered him scholarships to play soccer. At the time he was in grade 10 and too young to accept. He also had an offer from the Toronto Football Club, part of Major League Soccer in North America, who wanted to sign him to their academy team. He is hoping to get a scholarship to a NCAA Division 1 school in the U.S., the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.
David Manning is well aware of Michael’s talent. “As he continues to learn the nuances of the game, I am eager to see how much he can achieve," he says.
Right now Michael is concentrating on this season with SAC’s 1st Soccer team and focusing on his grade 11 studies. No doubt he will continue to perform at the competitive level that has gotten him noticed by clubs in the professional soccer world.
Story by Lorne Chase