Several young soccer players from the Brandon area recently got the chance of a lifetime: a trip to Spain in 2019, and the opportunity to represent Team USA in the International Danone Cup.

This is the second year in a row that Weston FC, a non-profit youth soccer club based in south Florida, has won the tournament. The team caters to athletes ages 7-19, and over a thousand players are currently involved in the organization. 

In order to win the trip, the team had to win the Danone Cup, which was hosted by ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney. They beat the Wellington Wave in the finals.

“Going into the finals, both teams were really nervous, so we both started off a little shaky, but after we got a goal, we kept getting more. When the ref blew that whistle, it was really hard to comprehend what just happened… we won!” said local Brandon player Caroline Ohme. Other local team members are Madison Weiner, Mackenzie Langlo and Hallie Wolport.

While in Spain, the team will have to opportunity to meet players on Team USA. They will also be playing a tournament in which they will compete with teams from six other countries. It will be a major cultural learning experience for the girls, since most of them will be young teens when they go to Spain. They will get to see what Spanish life is like, try new foods, and perhaps learn a bit of the Spanish language.

Since the girls on the team are scattered around Florida, this will be an excellent team bonding experience. “I’m pretty excited to get to see them and explore Spain with them,” said Ohme. Traveling together will allow the girls to grow closer as friends and teammates.

This all-girls team has a male counterpart as well, and the boys team won too. The girls were coached by Tim Miller, and the boys by Mirco Gubellini. Coaches and athletes alike are excited about the trip, and will continue preparing until the tournament in 2019.

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