Young soccer star shines at training camp

By LaVendrick Smith | Apr 25, 2012
Courtesy of: David Mycroft Daniel Mycroft, 11, of Mukilteo, was recently invited to participate in the U.S. Soccer Training Center training camp.

For Daniel Mycroft, the future is all planned out. The 11-year-old soccer star is determined to become a professional soccer player and he believes he’s on the right track to accomplish that goal.

Daniel, of Mukilteo, was invited to participate in the U.S. Soccer Training Center training camp on April 16 with some of the best up-and-coming soccer players in the state.

A select group – just five soccer players – were given the opportunity to train at the one-day camp in Redmond with coaches of the U.S. Soccer Federation. Daniel ran drills as a goalkeeper, his position in soccer.

The players received high-profile training as the camp was designed to replicate the conditions of a training camp of a national team.

Daniel said he did well in proving his skills as a goalkeeper. There was a drill in which opposition would go around his team, leaving him as the last resort between his opponents and his goal. “I think I did quite good,” Daniel said.

“I think it was a good camp,” Daniel said. “I liked how [the coaches] were strict and how they were trying to help me into a better soccer player.”

Daniel’s invitation to the camp was even more special because he was the youngest player at the camp. The other players were 13 years old.

“He’s a very mature one for his age,” said Eugene Poublon, Daniel’s soccer coach, who recommended him for the program. “He’s got tremendous potential, not only as a player, but also when it comes to leadership and having perspective, he’s a little professional.”

Daniel is used to playing against kids older than him. He has played against kids as old as 14.

“It feels good to me because I’m getting experience,” Daniel said. “When I go to [play with kids] my own age, I’m at such a higher level than all the other kids.”

Daniel, a fifth grader at Woodinville Montessori School, has played soccer since he was 6. He plays now for the Northwest Nationals premier soccer club. Before that, he played for TyneCastle FC.

“We don’t know where he gets these skills from,” said David Mycroft, Daniel’s father. “It’s basically natural.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation is known for assembling teams that represent the United States in the Olympics and World Cup. They use the Training Center Program as a way to look for future soccer stars.

“It feels good to know they feel that I’m going to be a really good soccer player,” Daniel said. “It motivates me to keep doing better and better to make myself the best that I can be.

“It shows that I’m not just doing this for fun.”

LaVendrick Smith is an intern for the Mukilteo Beacon.

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