Opportunity of a lifetime for Punahou soccer star

Opportunity of a lifetime for Punahou soccer star

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - What were you doing at 13 years old?  For most of us a trip to Europe would be a dream. Logan Calpito got to live the dream while representing Team USA on the pitch.

The list of Hawaii-born professional soccer players is slim. The list of those that have made it big is even slimmer.

Bobby Wood, Brian Ching, and Natasha Kai are three that have made it to that level. Calpito is hoping to be the next, and he's off to a good start.

The 13-year-old Punahou student was just the third Hawaii-born player, and only one this year, selected to the under-14 id2 National Team, joining 17 of the top soccer players in the country outside of the US development program.

"It was nerve-wracking and scary playing against them because I didn't realize how good they were or who they were at the time," said the Buffanblu seventh grader. "It kind of put me on the spot."

The youngest on the team, Calpito and his new teammates from all over the country set off from New Jersey for Spain and the Mediterranean International Cup to face teams from Italy, China, Israel and Spain to name a few.

There they did something no US team had ever done before, advance to the quarterfinals, and they did so without allowing a single goal in the tournament. They lost in penalty kicks in the quarters, but it was an experience Calpito won't soon forget.

"The fact that it was something new, going there to play soccer, it was a much faster game and more competitive. Here the soccer isn't as developed as it is in Spain. It's hard to play and get good competition here, but in Spain I was loving it. I was having the time of my life."

It gave Calpito a taste of what he wants in life, and set forth a goal to strive for.

"Just to play at the highest level I can and possibly make a career out of it."

Gerry McKeown, coach of the id2 team, said Logan was one of the most dependable and versatile players and has a bright future in the game. So much so that the Calpito family is considering a move to the mainland to pursue his soccer future.

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