Thursday, January 14, 2010

Preps: Maffei named to Region III squad for European trip

Tampa Prep’s Colby Maffei has been selected to the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III Olympic Development Program’s 1994 squad for its tour to Germany and Holland beginning on March 28 and ending April 5.

Maffei, who went from an alternate to playing in the ODP Thanksgiving Interregional tournament, leads Hillsborough County with 31 goals this season, and was named to the Tribune All-County First Team as a freshman last season.

“I’m proud of myself that I went from an alternate to being on the starting 18,” Maffei said. “It was my second year there, so I wasn’t as nervous, and I could tell from year-to-year that I definitely played so much better this year than last year.”

Region III ODP teams containing local players have made trips abroad in the past, with Bloomingdale’s Jordan Johnson having been selected to a training camp in Portugal last year with the ODP’s 1992 squad, as did Newsome freshman Wesley Gussman with the 1995 ODP team in its trip to Mexico.

Tampa Prep coach Cindy Schofield said she thought being involved in the ODP program had helped Maffei elevate not only her game, but also her leadership skills with the Terrapins and Hillsborough County United.

“Obviously she’ll get the chance to travel outside the country, which is a great experience in itself,” Schofield said, “but she’s playing with the best players in the region, and she’s playing against, really, the best players in the country in her age-group, so her game is going to benefit from it, and I think it’s helping her leadership skills, because she’s taking what she learns there and bringing it back to her club team and her high school team.”

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