Carpinteria’s Requejo invited to U.S. national camp

John Requejo, a freshman at Carpinteria High, was selected as one of the 36 players called in from around the country for the U.S. Under-15 boys national soccer team camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

Requejo, a left-footed left fullback who plays for the Santa Barbara Soccer Club, is one of 12 defenders in the camp, which opened Sunday.

“Johnny has a lot of ability,” said club coach Rudy Ybarra. “He reminds me of a player I coached at the high school, Carlos Morales. “He has the same breakaway speed and he has the ability to just dribble past defenders.”

Requejo played as an attacking midfielder and center forward for his club team, but the national team feels his future is at left back.

“He has attacking qualities. If he can play defense and go into the attack, I can see him really causing havoc for the opponents,” said Ybarra. “Not only can he serve the ball really well with his left foot, but his ability as a defender to beat people one on one is really good.

“His ability is there, without a doubt.”

Ybarra said Requejo not only is skilled as a soccer player, he’s an all-around athlete. He was a standout player on his Youth Football League team in Carpinteria.

“He played American football, which shows his tenacity,” Ybarra said.

This is the first camp at the U-15 level that is made up exclusively of players who were born in 1996. The group will form the nucleus of players selected for the U.S. team that will attempt to qualify for the 2013 Under-17 World Cup.

The camp is being run by Tony Lepore, development academy technical advisor and director of scouting for U.S. Soccer. He’s filling in for head coach Jim Barlow, who also is the men’s coach at Princeton University.

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