Clay High School freshman Brandon Resendez is going to Sweden, and he's pretty excited about it.
"I think it's pretty cool," Resendez said. "I think I'll get a pretty good experience from it. I really don't know anything about Sweden."
Resendez, 14, has plenty of time to Google information about Sweden. He will play for a USA Soccer team that will compete in the Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, in July. Seventy countries will be represented at the event.
Resendez, a midfielder, and his family will leave for Raleigh, N.C., on July 8 for three days of soccer training. They then leave for Sweden on July 11 and will return to the U.S. on July 19.
"The only way you can get picked (for this team) is by a coach or a travel team, assuming the travel league puts certain names in," said Brandon's mother, Gina. "It's set up by 365 Sports, which also has volleyball and basketball (teams). I believe their volleyball team is going to Italy."
Resendez began playing soccer at the Oregon Rec Center at age 4. Three years later he began playing for the Swiss Baysiders. He has competed for the Sylvania Pacesetters for the last four years.
Gina Resendez said she was "shocked" when she learned her son had been chosen to play for USA Soccer.
"I'm really proud of him," she said. "He is a really good player and he really wanted to do it. He had to go through a personal interview and he had to have a character reference, which was his youth advisor. Then he had to have a coaching reference, which was Peter Schaal, the jayvee coach at Clay."
Brandon played for the Eagles' junior varsity team last fall and helped Clay win a league title.
"He pretty much plays soccer all year round," Gina said.
Brandon said he was informed by mail of his selection to travel overseas.
"We received a letter coming from somebody nominating me," he said. "They picked me to go to a meeting. We went to the meeting and it just went from there."
USA Soccer is guaranteed several games in Sweden.
"They do a pool and the top two teams in our pool go to a championship (round)," Gina said. "The bottom two teams go to a loser's bracket. It sounds like they play a lot of games. They will play some other teams that are not with the Gothia Cup to get some practice in and things like that."
Brandon said he wants to play well and have fun at the same time. After all, how many 14-year-olds get to go to Sweden?
"I just want to play my best and I hope we do good," he said. "I want to come home from the Gothia Cup saying we went pretty far in the tournament."