Must see TV will take new meaning on Friday for Estero High School sophomore Marin Yeagle.
About 15 members of her extended family will pack their Cape Cod vacation home at 10 p.m. to watch the second season of NickToon’s “Soccer Superstar,” a reality series searching for the next transcendent girls soccer prospect, where Yeagle is featured.
The 15-year-old was selected as one of the show’s 12 cast members in February following a pressure-filled tryout in Tampa that yielded just three spots for girls ages 15-18.
Players from Texas, California, Colorado and Florida were selected to round out the cast during trials held across the country. Some players, Yeagle said, were even committed to college soccer programs.
“I felt like it was probably the best I’ve ever played at that tryout,” she said. “I played my heart out.”
The 5-foot-4 midfielder, who scored two goals and handed out two assists in 18 games as a freshman last season for the 15-win Wildcats, avoided a series of cuts during the trial phase, including a speed drill, a 1-v-1 section and a scrimmage. She was the youngest player to make the team.
“She’s always been a really fantastic player,” said Danny Fahey, a former semi-professional soccer player in England who coaches Yeagle on the GPS Florida West U17 club team. “We’re really, really happy to have her among the elite players at our club.”
In April, Yeagle flew to Los Angeles to film the series, which features a “survivor format” in which players could be voted off following difficult performances. The winner of the series gets to train with a professional women’s soccer club.
She stayed with the cast at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel over two weeks, ultimately participating in a series of soccer competitions. Over the course of the series, Yeagle said, she also performed in front of a handful of college scouts.
The reality series is hosted by former United States women’s national team member Heather Mitts. Judges included former men’s national team members Marcelo Balboa and Dan Metcalfe and women’s Olympic gold medal winner Angela Hucles.
“I think the best part of the experience was the fact that I was close to people who made it to the top and that I could hear from them,” Yeagle said. “They showed me how they got there, and so it made me think I could get there one day, too.”
Yeagle said it was a special experience to learn from former greats like Balboa.
“He was the one person who also kept pushing us,” Yeagle said. “He pushed me to my limit and I think that definitely helped me.”
During competition, Yeagle, an attacking midfielder, stood out for her ability to attack the defense and create in traffic. On her club team, Fahey said, she’s a left or right wing midfielder who is particularly adept at crossing to forwards inside the box.
Fahey also says her skills go beyond just physical attributes.
“She’s a total team player,” he said. “She’s not one of those players who looks for personal glory over the team’s success. She looks for players around her and she has a really good soccer IQ. She can solve problems on the field really well.”
Yeagle wasn’t able to disclose how far she reached in the reality series, though she was ecstatic that she was able to be part of the process.
“It was a proud moment for me,” she said.
Like everyone else, she’ll be watching the show’s premiere on Friday, too.