Parkite invited to Argentina soccer tourney
Soccer is a global game, allowing players at the highest levels of the sport to travel across the world for games. For Park City’s Zack Farnsworth, traveling across the country playing the sport he loves has now turned into a chance to play abroad.
Farnsworth, a 13 year old who plays with the Park City Soccer Club when he’s not traveling for national tournaments, will go to Argentina March 25 to April 3 with the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program as part of the boys’ 2016 All-Star team.
The road to Argentina was a long one, Farnsworth said.
"Last year, I was on the state team and went to a region camp and got called up to go there," he said. "That’s how they pick the region team. I spent a week up in Linfield, Oregon. They pick 30 kids for a group to select 18 from. We got a call about a month later saying I got on the [18-player] region team."
From there, Farnsworth traveled to Casa Grande, Arizona, to see how his team, featuring the best players from the West Coast, fared against All-Star squads from the country’s other three regions.
"From that weekend, they pick an All-Star team, which represents the National ODP All-Stars in Argentina," Farnsworth said. "We’ll be playing four games there that are kind of like friendlies."
Farnsworth primarily plays on the left wing, where he is most able to take advantage of his skillset.
"My strength is definitely my left foot — I’m a lefty," he said. "I like to beat the outside back as much as I can and go forward. I’d say I’m a goal scorer, but when I’m playing on the left, I like to cross the ball, for sure."
Though Farnsworth said his favorite player is Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, he sees his style of play as being more comparable to another soccer legend.
"Probably Arjen Robben," he said. "He plays for Bayern Munich and he’s a right wing. Whenever he plays on the right wing — and whenever I play right wing, too — he always cuts to his left and that’s what I like to do."
Listening to his son talk about soccer is nothing new for Brad Farnsworth. He said Zack’s knowledge of and fascination with the game started from a very young age.
"His first word was ‘ball,’" Brad said. "He was kicking a soccer ball before he could walk, practically. It’s just been fun watching his progression because he’s always loved the game. Even when he was five or six years old, he was watching games on TV. He didn’t want to watch cartoons — he wanted to watch soccer."
Zack said he hopes to continue his progression in the sport and that the Argentina trip will be a great way to experience soccer on an international level.
"I’m trying to get a lot out of it and trying to learn as much as I can," he said. "I’m trying to get scouted, obviously — there will be many scouts there, I’m sure."
He’s also excited to play with some of the best 13-year-olds the U.S. has to offer.
"It’s pretty awesome," he said. "The kids are really good there and they’re easy to play with. They understand the game better."
Though the Argentina trip will be mostly about taking care of business on the pitch, Farnsworth said he’ll make sure he enjoys other aspects as well.
"I’ve never been out of the country," he said. "We’re taking a tour around Buenos Aires and one other city. I think that’ll be really cool."
When he comes back to the United States, Farnsworth said he hopes to continue to improve his standing among the country’s top soccer programs.
"One of my goals right now is to get invited to National Camp, which is to make the U.S. Boys’ National Team," he said. "That’s a big goal of mine right now."
Quincey Cummings and Mitchell Andrus, two Parkites, turned their experience in sailing and hospitality into an adventure travel business, which as an adventure of its own.