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Wiggs Middle School soccer phenom scores chance to play in England

(WIGGS MIDDLE SCHOOL – Sept. 6, 2022) – Futból is life for Sebastian Orozco. The 12-year-old Wiggs Middle School seventh grader got a taste of soccer across the pond this summer in Reading, England playing for the Surf Select national team.

The soccer phenom was among the 120 best soccer players in his age group in the country vying for one of 32 coveted spots on the Surf Select National team, which is made up the best players on the Surf Nation-affiliated soccer clubs.  

“We dominated the tournament,” he said. “We played against Premier League Academy teams from England and other countries.”

His Surf El Paso and Texas Select coach Jose Duran saw the potential in Sebastian and encouraged him to tryout in San Diego earlier this year.

“Sebastian is very good talent-wise but his maturity level is what makes him succeed,” Duran said. “He’s able to adapt and listens and learns from his mistakes. His ability to read the game also makes him a great player.”

At 4-foot-9 ½-inches, Sebastian is a bit smaller in stature than his opponents, but his size doesn’t affect his game. Once he dons his soccer cleats, his game face is on. He offered a quick demonstration of his soccer prowess on the football field – showing his superb moves, dribbling and kicking the ball with aplomb.  

“I love the adrenaline. I love everything about soccer,” he said, admitting that he enjoys the attention that comes with being good. “I feel comfortable out there. It’s like my home.”

Sebastian started playing soccer at age 3 and has risen through the ranks to compete at a top level. He’s on the pitch at least five days a week either practicing or playing in matches. 

“He’s very hard-working,” said his mom, Flor Gonzalez. “Since he was 3 years old, he’s been practicing his heart out. Every single game he puts his heart out there. He’s very competitive.”

Sebastian’s family couldn’t make the trip to England, but they followed the matches on social media and even saw him score a goal. 

“It was scary for me, but I know this is what he wants to do,” Gonzalez said. “I had to let him go. In this club he’s in right now, he has opportunity to play all over.” 

Sebastian is hoping to make another soccer trip abroad next year but this time to Brazil. For now, he’ll be playing locally for both Surf and Wiggs. His focus remains on his ultimate soccer goal.

“I hope to turn pro one day and make a good career in it,” he said. “You have to have hard work and talent. I think I have a little bit of both.”

Story by Reneé de Santos
Photos by Vanessa Monsisvais