Mari Solis of the Santa Barbara SC GU16 White team has been on an amazing adventure and returned a better, stronger more experienced player and person as a result.
Mari was invited to join the Mexican National Team program on a try-out basis. She made the final 25 but unfortunately not the final squad. Leo Cuellar, Mexico head coach, has requested that Mari remain in the path for recruitment. He has asked that Mari return to Mexico in the summer to train with the National Team Squad.
This is a fantastic achievement on Mari’s part and we are all very proud of her achievements as she represents Santa Barbara at the National level.
Dana Weymouth, current head coach of the GU16 White team said “I have worked with Mari for 9 months now. She is the type of player that you build around. She is a classic center midfielder that can head and tackle, but what makes her special is her ability to pass and receive in tight spaces. With that being said, I have enjoyed the luxury of her playing out wide and up front for me as well. She has a great soccer IQ, she can score goals and her pace is good. She has been a joy to coach, very dedicated and works as hard as anyone on the team.”
Dana went on to say, “ I think it is a tremendous achievement to make the National team squad. It shows that she can perform with the best players in California and around the world. I have always believed that Mari can go really far with soccer and this is just one of those steps toward a great future.”
Gloria, Mari’s mother, shared her thoughts saying “Long before our children can do anything on their own we wish the best for them and aspire to give them the essential tools to achieve anything that they want. For my daughter Mari, that has meant nurturing the prospect of higher education as well as promoting her opportunities to play soccer.”
Gloria also said, “Mari has always been perceived as a reserved, book smart and caring individual. The Santa Barbara Soccer Club since 2004 has provided an arena for her to assert herself as a player. During the past eight years the Santa Barbara Soccer Club has challenged Mari to develop her skill and technique as a soccer player and to blossom as a teammate and to ultimately grow and develop as an individual. “
Mari’s Mother Gloria finished by stating, “The fact that Mari is currently this far in the selection process for the U 17 Mexican National Team is an experience that we will never forget. We are all very proud of her and throughout this process she has remained true to her reserved demeanor. That’s my girl!”
Mari herself, when ask to comment on the experience and achievement had this say “Its been a long, memorable road into the Mexican National Team Program, one that I will never forget. Although, I did not succeed in making the final cut, I believe it was a great experience that I fulfilled to the maximum intention. I was first scouted by the Mexican National Team recruiters a couple years ago, and I feel that all the different techniques I learned from Santa Barbara Soccer Club coaches, Brian (Toes) , Marco Medina, and Dana Weymouth, had definitely given me a bigger chance to be a part of programs like these. I want to thank the Santa Barbara Soccer Club for bringing out the soccer athlete in me that has given me the potential in competing against the highest expectations to challenge myself as a player and a person.”
Mari is truly an example of the opportunities that are available though soccer when the athlete is focused and determined to work hard and with purpose. Mari is also a great
example of how character is built and developed using the medium of soccer.