Park City Soccer Club sends three to regional camps
Before Paco Jaurrieta joined the Park City Soccer Club, he could be found playing in recreational leagues all over town.
The Park City native, now 16, didn’t find his way to the local club team until 2012, when a chance encounter set him on a path that will take him to Moscow, Idaho, for a regional Olympic Development Program camp this week.
“I was just in rec leagues and didn’t know much about clubs or how to get involved,” Jaurrieta said of his pre-2012 soccer career. “I’d always wanted to play competitively, though. One night, my mom was working and this lady said she had seen me play at one of the rec leagues and that she saw potential in me and that I could possibly play competitively. She gave my mom a card and that same night, she signed me up for Park City Soccer Club.”
Jaurrieta will be joined in Idaho this week by fellow PCSC players George Pineda and Nicholas Burnz. Jaurrieta said he’s been making his way up to this ODP camp for a long time.
“To get into it, first you have to go through tryouts for the state team,” he said. “Once you make the state team, they travel down to Arizona and play against other teams from different states. There are a couple scouts there who watch each individual player and each team play. From there, they select around 40 players from the different states and send them to a different camp in Moscow, Idaho. They continue to watch you play there. It’s just building up steps to the national team.”
Jaurrieta, a forward, can make an impression on the scouts by scoring goals, but he said there’s more to his game than that.
“If I have the opportunity to score, I’ll try to score,” he said. “But if I’m not in the best position, then I’ll find someone in a better position to score. The team is the most important aspect of the game. You can make an impact on the field by helping everyone out and making the team better.”
Jaurrieta and Burnz are participating in the camp for players born in the year 2000, while Pineda will be with the 2002 camp. Burnz is a center back and Pineda, like Jaurrieta, plays forward.
Bob Martin, the director of the Park City Soccer Club, said he sees a lot of similarities between Pineda and Jaurrieta.
“George is dynamic and he’s a great kid,” he said. “He’s super technical on the ball, a lot like Paco. They really work at it and they have a feel for the ball. Both are super dedicated, too. It’s tough to go to ODP from Utah. We don’t get a ton of selections. It’s a great accomplishment for them.”
Getting to and from the ODP camps is expensive, and Jaurrieta said he’s thankful for the support of the Park City Soccer Club, which helps cover the costs of his attendance.
“I feel so grateful to have Park City helping me,” he said. “They’ve helped me so much throughout my entire soccer career. Without them, I probably wouldn’t be able to do the things I’m doing.”
Regardless of the outcome of this week’s camp, John Cairel, who coaches Jaurrieta with the Park City Soccer Club, said he expects to see Jaurrieta playing at a high level in the near future.
“He’s very coachable and he’s a dynamic player,” Cairel said. “He’s been working really hard to achieve his goal of becoming a professional soccer player. If he continues the path he’s going down, we’ll be watching him on TV soon.”
Martin said he wouldn’t be surprised to see all three Park City players move on to the next level of qualifying for their age groups’ national teams.
“I think they represent our town and Utah well,” he said. “Hopefully they do well at regionals.”
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