The 1999 Region I Boys Team (Vermont's Tumba Felekeni, Top Row - First On The Right)
Over the Thanksgiving Break, three Vermont ODP players were selected to compete for the Region I Team in last weekend’s US Youth Soccer Boys ODP Interregional in Casa Grande, Arizona. Vermont was represented by Antonio Pugliese (Synergy) and Julian Segar-Reid (Burlington Catamounts) in the 2000 Boys Bracket, and Tumba Felekeni (Burlington Catamounts) for the 1999 Boys.
“I was honored (to be selected). Not many players get to go to a tournament at such a high level such as this, and definitely not many from Vermont,” said Antonio Pugliese on his selection. The event that was held at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona consisted of some trainings with the US Youth National team staff, and was highlighted by a tournament between the regional teams from all 4 US Youth Regions.
The Region I team competed well in the tournament portion of the event as the 1999 Boys team finished first in their bracket with a 2-1 record ahead of Region III (Southern US States). Tumba Felekeni, who defended for Region 1 commented on the experience, “I felt happy and proud of myself (to compete so well), and was glad to represent Vermont (for Region I).”
The 2000 Boys Region I team had an impressive showing as well, finishing in second with a 1-1-1 record behind Region IV (Far West US States).
The tournament exposed the three Vermont ODP players to a high level of play with some of the best individual talent in the United States, which provided lasting lessons to bring back with them, “I learned a lot about competition and it helped me realize how high the standards are on a nationwide level,” Julian Seger-Reid commented about the experience. Pugliese added, “Such a high level of any sport brings out any player’s weaknesses. You have to work hard in order to change your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.”
Congrats to Julian, Antonio, and Tumba for representing Vermont well in Arizona this past weekend for the Vermont ODP program.
Segar-Reid, Pugliese, Felekeni (left to right) at the US Youth Soccer Boys Interregional in Arizona
To learn more about the US ODP Interregional follow the links below:
Complete Regional Team Rosters -