Matan Shmerling '14 selected to play for U.S. national soccer team at Maccabiah Games in Israel
Matan Shmerling '14 selected to play for U.S. national team at Maccabiah Games in Israel
Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Matan Shmerling ’14 is headed to Israel, and he’s bringing his soccer gear with him.
Matan has been selected to represent the United States at the 2013 Maccabiah Games, which are scheduled to occur in Israel July 17-30.
“I found out Wednesday night. I received an email from the coach,” Matan said. “My parents couldn’t believe it.”
Matan will play for the U.S. Youth Men’s team, which consists of soccer players born in 1995-96.
“This is amazing,” Matan said. “Personally, I didn’t think I would make it. I know I did well at the tryouts but I didn’t excel at what I could do.”
Matan attended a soccer camp at the University of North Carolina prior to the Maccabiah tryout. At UNC, the coaches suggested he drop back from forward to defense. He stayed at his new position when he went to the Maccabiah tryout, the coaches liked him, and he was selected from a national pool of players.
“That’s where the coaches liked me so that’s where I stayed for the whole time I was at the tryouts,” said the 6-foot-2-inch, 155-pounder.
Matan will leave the United States with the team July 1 to get some training in before the Maccabiah Games, which are held every four years. He’ll also have the chance to visit family, who live outside of Tel-Aviv.
“I have family there,” Matan said. “I’ll have a chance to see them before the games. My aunt, uncle, cousins and grandparents are in Israel. I’ve never lived there but I’ve spent extended time there.”