Zach Lubin, a star for Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in suburban Los Angeles, has been chosen among a select few to take part in a soccer exchange with the Italian national team. More specifically, he is one of 16 American teens will train under the Italian national team coaches and then eventually compete a game against the country’s U-16 national team.
Lubin’s selection follows strong tryout performances in San Juan Capistrano and, later, Orlando, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was selected by a group of coaches and talent evaluators put together by PUMA and the Italian national team set up.
While Notre Dame fans might be excited and thrilled that one of their star players would get such experience and exposure, they might want to temper their excitement: While Lubin plans to spend his sophomore school year at Notre Dame, he will compete for an academy travel team rather than the Knights, leaving him ineligible to take part in California high school play.
That makes Lubin the latest high profile defection from traditional high school soccer, just as his experience and accomplishment had never reached higher, a frustrating development for traditional prep soccer fans, even if they can be glad for Lubin’s success at the same time.