Posted On January 27, 2017 by PUSC
January 2017 Update — Cody Sundquist has an interesting dilemma on his hands: pursue his dream of playing professional soccer in Europe, or respond to the pursuit of U.S. coaches from schools like Cal Berkeley, Harvard, and University of Washington. It’s the kind of quandary most 17-year-old athletes would love to face, and it’s hard work and determination that got him there.
At the age of 12, Cody was involved in the NorCal Player Development Program, which identifies motivated, talented players and assists in their training. He began traveling abroad for 90-day periods—the maximum amount of time allowed on his visa—during the spring and fall.
In 2013, when he was 13, Cody trialed at Liverpool Football Club—a Premier League association football club in England founded in 1892. He trained with their Academy team during the month of March and was invited back over the summer. At that time, he had the opportunity to play with Liverpool’s ’98 squad at the prestigious Milk Cup Tournament in Northern Ireland—an international youth football tournament held annually. In August of the same year, he played on the U14 U.S. National Team in Croatia and Hungary. The following year, Cody was a member of the U15 U.S. National Team and also played for Liverpool and AC Fiorentina in Florence, Italy.
By 2016, his international involvement expanded. In January, he participated in U18 U.S. National Team training in Florida in preparation for play in Argentina in March. However, instead of going to South America, Cody returned to play for Fiorentina Academy in the Italian Football Association Academy League. Last September, he joined the Primavera at AC Fiorentina, the highest-level of their youth academy. From there, the natural trajectory would be to sign with the first team at ACF or other professional European club, but soccer coaches at prestigious schools in the U.S. are not prepared to lose him without a fight.
These days, a typical year in Cody’s life looks something like this:
January – June: International training and games, including school work with an Italian tutor provided by the soccer club
July – August: Back home to the United States for home studies at Independence High School in Granite Bay, which gives him the flexibility to study independently and course work and exams through Sierra College
August – December: Back to Europe for training and games
Clearly, Cody’s commitment to his sport and his tenacious spirit have opened incredible doors of opportunity. He credits Paul O’Brien and all of his coaches at Placer United for giving him a solid foundation upon which to take advantage of these incredible opportunities. Placer United is pleased to have been involved in this incredible young man’s soccer career, and we look forward to seeing where his talent and skill will take him.