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Scouted: Football for Humanity talent goes to USA!

Scouted: Football for Humanity talent goes to USA!

Through Football for Humanity's (FFH) partnership with SRUSA, a budding young Filipino football talent and FFH volunteer has been recruited to a Division I college in the USA for the coming academic year.

"The secret is to believe in your dreams; in your potential that you can be like your star, keep searching, keep believing and don’t lose faith in yourself." ~Neymar

Like most great football players, De La Salle University and national team player Shanden Vergara was born to a family that lived and breathed football. He was born on 17 July 1999, to John Jason Vergara, a coach, and physical therapist, and Marife T. Vergara, a private nurse. They hail from San Carlos City, deep in the football triangle where Iloilo and Bacolod, the centre of Philippine football culture, is located.

Shanden’s brother, Mason Trent, was also a University of the East football scholar, and both boys started doing kick-ups with their father as soon as they started to walk. Shanden spent his elementary years in Daisy’s ABC School, honing his footballing talent with friends and family in the Los Amigos Football Club of San Carlos City. His outstanding talent allowed him to be a national team player for the U14, U18, and U19 levels.

Approaching his senior high school year, Coach Hans Smit of La Salle spotted Shanden as he was playing against the Green Archers, and immediately recruited the senior for De La Salle Zobel. Shanden stood out as a fast-paced attacking midfielder. In this last season, Shanden gained much attention due to his technique, game intelligence and strong playing style, helping to bring De La Salle University to the finals, beating the defending champions University of the Philippines. He was awarded the much deserved "Top Rookie For 2019 season 81".

For the coming Fall semester 2019 in the United States, Shanden will be flying to Snow College, Utah, after being scouted by Sports Recruiting USA (SRUSA), a U.S. college soccer recruiting consultancy that has been placing student-athletes in colleges and universities across America since 2010. SRUSA’s founder, Chris Cousins, said that Shanden was selected “because of not only his obvious fantastic football abilities but because of his desire to succeed.” Shanden became one of only 50 recruits from all over the world, a testament to the international standard of Shanden’s skills.

SRUSA has recruited players from famous clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as a number of youth national team players from several countries. When asked about what was required to develop into an international athlete... Cousins replied, "I'm a firm believer that nothing magical happens in your comfort zone, so stepping out, opening new doors, will only bring new things and opportunities in life.” Cousins also believes there are other potentially talented Filipino athletes who can compete on a global level and he adds, “The world is such a small place these days, with the technology and opportunities available. The key to accessing all of these is education. Whether you are from the poorest area to the best schools, everyone is human and if you put the hard work in, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.”