Abravanel joins the A team
Leon Abravanel is heading where no South Shore soccer player has gone before -to California State Olympic Development under – 15 team.
The year marks the second year for the South Tahoe High freshman in the program; last season, Abravanel was a member of the under-14 team.
Because he was on the district team a year ago, Abravanel didn’t have to go through district tryouts.
“(This year) was a little easier because I knew what to expect,” Abravanel said. “I knew all the kids, too.
“Last year, I didn’t know anyone or the process, so I was a little nervous.”
The ODP has two teams, an ‘A’ and a ‘B.’ Last season, Abravanel began on the B team but worked his way onto the A team by the end of the season.
In addition to his duties for the state team, Abravanel also is a member of one of California’s elite club teams, the Sacramento Sounders.
Twice a week, Abravanel makes the two-hour ride to mix with the best competition he can.
After a four-hour practice, he returns home and still has homework to complete for the next school day.
“It’s hard, driving four hours, getting home at 10 p.m.” Abravanel said. “Then I still have to study as well.”
He does it all for the game of soccer. In addition to his weekly sojourns to the state’s capital, Abravanel’s family packs the car for all points around the state for ODP training and tournaments.
“If it weren’t for the support of my parents, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am right now,” said Abravanel, who also stars for the South Tahoe Vikings during the fall. “If my dad didn’t drive me all over, then I wouldn’t be able to play on these teams.”
Some of the summer tournaments on Abravanel’s slate with the ODP are the Adidas Cup in Morgan Hill, Calif., the ODP Invitational in Lancaster, Calif., (which will feature numerous International teams) and the Nike Cup in Portland, Ore.
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