Young soccer player selected to compete in Spain
Not many sixth graders can say they were selected to play in a soccer tournament in Spain. But 11-year-old Joe Condit can.
Joe, a sixth grader at Harbour Pointe Middle School, recently participated in the Barcelona Soccer Youth Camp on Aug. 12-16 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, where the Seattle Sounders practice.
He was one of two players in the elite-level camp selected to be on a national team for a youth soccer tournament to be held in Barcelona, Spain in 2014.
“Team USA” will compete against other teams from all over the world, such as Dubai, Japan, South Korea, Egypt, Poland, India and Barcelona.
“I think getting chosen to go to Barcelona has been my favorite thing to happen to me in soccer,” Joe said.
His parents said Joe has been playing soccer since he could walk.
“He just picked it up,” said father Brian Condit. “Normal kids would watch cartoons in the morning; he would always watch Sports Center.”
Joe started practicing at the age of 3 with a group called Soccer Tots when his family lived in England. The Condits then moved to Mexico for three years, where Joe played daily at school, and then to New York when Joe was 7, where he played on two select soccer teams.
When the Condits moved to Mukilteo, Joe played for the Mukilteo Youth Soccer team, and now plays for the past two years on the Northwest Nationals premier team as a midfielder, where he has been voted MVP.
Joe wants to be a professional soccer player when he grows up, a career that isn’t unheard of in his family.
“Joe has had a lot of talent passed down from his grandpa,” Condit said. “Soccer is in his blood.”
Joe’s grandfather played professional soccer for seven years in Mexico, and Joe’s mother has a cousin that used to play professional soccer, and another cousin that plays for a team in Tijuana.
“I think that’s really cool,” Joe said of the history of professional soccer in his family. “It’ll be cool for me to be a pro when my grandpa and my mom’s cousins were already pro.”
For the Barcelona soccer camp, Joe practiced every day from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Players were divided into three separate groups based on age. Each group worked with a different coach, and Joe’s coach was named Domenec.
“It was fun to work with him, especially because I also speak Spanish and sometimes he would talk to me in Spanish,” Joe said.
Around the same time as the camp, Joe also competed in the Snohomish Bigfoot Tournament with his Northwest Nationals team, which came in second in the tournament. He played in two games before going to his last day of camp.
“I had two games before my practice on Friday, so I was really tired when I got to my soccer camp, but I still worked hard,” he said.
The Condits received the email that Joe had been selected for Team USA the following week, on Aug. 21.
The Barcelona coaches traveled to seven U.S. cities and picked two of the top players at each city to invite to a tournament in Barcelona, Spain for the 2014 FCB Escola Easter Tournament. These top picks will form “Team USA” at the tournament.
The other camps were held in Los Angeles, San Jose, San Antonio, Portland and New York.
“At first I was surprised, not because of his skill, but because I thought maybe they would select an older boy,” Condit said. “Getting the invitation is a huge honor and speaks loudly at the super talent our son possesses.”
As soon as they learn the cost of the trip, the family will decide whether Joe will go.
“We are going to do our best to go,” Condit said. “It’s kind of hard to say no to an invitation like this, because it’s a once in a lifetime invitation.”
Zoe Jovanovich is an intern for the Mukilteo Beacon.