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Will a Renton student play for the Sounders?

Lakewood+Ranch%2C+FL+%3A+The+US+Soccer+U-16+MNT+plays+a+friendly+match+against+the+U-17+MNT+at+the+Premiere+Sports+Complex+during+the+Men%27s+Youth+National+Team+Summit+in+Lakewood+Ranch%2C+Fla.%2C+on+January+8%2C+2018.+%28Photo+by+Casey+Brooke+Lawson%29
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Will a Renton student play for the Sounders?

Lakewood Ranch, FL : The US Soccer U-16 MNT plays a friendly match against the U-17 MNT at the Premiere Sports Complex during the Men's Youth National Team Summit in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., on January 8, 2018. (Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson)

Lakewood Ranch, FL : The US Soccer U-16 MNT plays a friendly match against the U-17 MNT at the Premiere Sports Complex during the Men's Youth National Team Summit in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., on January 8, 2018. (Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson)

Casey Brooke Lawson

Lakewood Ranch, FL : The US Soccer U-16 MNT plays a friendly match against the U-17 MNT at the Premiere Sports Complex during the Men's Youth National Team Summit in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., on January 8, 2018. (Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson)

Casey Brooke Lawson

Casey Brooke Lawson

Lakewood Ranch, FL : The US Soccer U-16 MNT plays a friendly match against the U-17 MNT at the Premiere Sports Complex during the Men's Youth National Team Summit in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., on January 8, 2018. (Photo by Casey Brooke Lawson)

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Renton High freshman Nico Rei McMillan loves soccer, and because of his commitment to it, he is going places.

Nico started soccer when he was just 3 years old with a recreational team called TUSK United, and continued with that team for nearly 10 years. After that, he decided that he wanted to try out for a group called Sounders Academy.

Sounders Academy is a group affiliated with the Seattle Sounders, a Major League Soccer team and is made up of three teams: the U-19s, U-17s, and U-15s. All the kids in the academy are some of the very best in the state. McMillan gave some feedback about the try-out process.

“Getting into this academy wasn’t so easy. I tried out for their developmental program which involves younger age groups who are not eligible yet for the academy but are still recognized as top individuals in the state. At first I didn’t make it. But a move to a Premier Club called Pacific Northwest Premier Club helped with my journey. During my single season at this club, I got scouted for the developmental program and eventually made the team. 1 year later I signed my contract for the academy,” explained McMillan.

He is now on the U-15s.

Soccer may be a priority now, but Nico used to do dance (primarily tap) when he was younger. When asked about how he made the choice to switch to soccer, Nico explained his reason.

“It was a decision I made when I moved to PACNW. Between soccer and dance, I chose soccer because I just loved playing it,” shared McMillan.

Because of this decision, he has a higher possibility of playing professionally in the future. There are many opportunities regarding the Academy that could lead to playing Division One soccer, or playing for the Seattle Sounders in the American Second Division (USL, the Sounder’s second team), or even the  American First division (MLS, the Seattle Sounders team as the general public may know them).

The team plays one or two games per weekend, usually at the Starfire Sports Complex, where they also practice. Nico and the team also travel. When they are not playing a home game, they might be found in Utah, Oregon, California, or Vancouver, Canada.

Nico takes honors classes, and is a busy student. Even with soccer, his education is still one of his top priorities. One of his goals is to continue to maintain a 4.0 GPA, and to eventually finish his degree, before or after possibly becoming a Pro athlete. He says he’s considering Pre- Med. That’s ambitious, but then again, so is playing professional soccer.

No matter what he chooses as a career, being a freshman, he has a while to decide.

About the Writer
Khalila Firestone, Staff Writer

Hi everyone! My name is Khalila Firestone, and I am a Freshman at RHS.

I'm a writer and photographer for the Arrow, and can't wait to bring you interesting...

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