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Lakewood Ranch youth soccer star shows he can compete at the highest level

Broden Beorlegui, 16, chases his dream of being a professional player.

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  • | 12:55 p.m. June 6, 2024
Broden Beorlegui, 16, is one of the most talented youth soccer players in East County and has landed a trial to play in Germany this summer.
Broden Beorlegui, 16, is one of the most talented youth soccer players in East County and has landed a trial to play in Germany this summer.
Courtesy photo
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It was like he was just a few steps away from his dream.

In December, Lakewood Ranch 16-year-old Broden Beorlegui was participating in a trial for Inter Miami's Under 16 Youth Soccer team when he found himself a few feet away from soccer legend Lionel Messi.

Messi, who was on site for a workout when he decided to check out the future teen stars, plays for Inter Miami of Major League Soccer and also is captain of the Argentina national team. He has been named the world's best player for a record eight times by the Federation Internationale de Football Association.

It was the highlight of a trip in which Beorlegui played 10 trial games with Inter Miami's Under 16 program in the hopes of raising his game to an even higher level. He was offered a roster spot with Inter Miami but chose to stay with his current program.

Even so, he has a lot more steps to get where he wants to be in soccer.

Being able to hold his own with other great Under 16 players was more proof that Beorlegui has been progressing while he plays with Florida Premier Southwest Florida, which has partnered with the Braden River Soccer Club. He also was a starter on Lakewood Ranch High's soccer team last season as a sophomore.

The Florida Premier 2008 boys are currently the No. 1-ranked team in the nation in the Elite Clubs National League. With the two programs this past season, he had a combined 90 goals and 35 assists.

Lewis University (Illinois) midfielder Robbie Lloyd Jones, a Lakewood Ranch High graduate, played with Beorlegui for two seasons in high school.

“Broden is an excellent player to have on your team and he's one of those strikers who you know will score if you give him a through ball. He's a great guy, funny, and has a bright future ahead of him. As a midfielder, there were times when I've had the ball and thought to myself, 'I'll just dink it over the top and Broden can run onto it. He's incredible for his age.'"

Beorlegui began playing soccer at 4 years old and has not stopped since.

"I've been playing for as long as I can remember, and I don't believe I've gone a day without touching the ball in years," Beorlegui said. "Soccer has become such an important part of my life."

He said the atmosphere with Florida Premier is very professional. Playing for the program propelled him to the trial with the under-16 Inter Miami Youth Academy team.

 “I already was playing at a high level in the Elite Clubs National League with Florida Premier, but I knew at Miami, especially with the way the facility looked, that it was going to a whole different level,” Beorlegui said.

He works hard every week to achieve his long-term goals. His ambition or “what’s next” plan is to get to the professional level and, if possible, play in the United States League, Major League Soccer, or in a professional league in Europe.

"My club has several ties to Europe, and we traveled to England in November and defeated one of England's top youth academy teams, Manchester City, 4-2 and I scored a goal. We were also able to fight back and win 3-2 against another top youth academy in England — Leeds United — after falling behind 2-0. I scored and assisted in that game," Beorlegui said.

Lakewood Ranch High junior Broden Beorlegui, 16, is getting looks from high-level amateur programs both in the U.S. and Europe.
Courtesy photo

Beorlegui said his Florida Premier team can compete with European youth clubs.

However, he said one difference is that the high amateur programs in Europe don't charge the players to participate.

Beorlegui said he has seen high-level teams in the U.S. where players made the roster just because their parents had the financial means to pay for a roster spot. He said that doesn't happen on Florida Premier.

"Everyone on my squad deserves to be on the team and works hard at every training session to retain his position," Beorlegui said.

Committing to a workout schedule that will prepare him for the higher levels can be extremely time-consuming, and force him to be very organized in order to strike a balance with his studies. He said many student athletes struggle with their education due to poor time management.

Beorlegui's trial with the Inter Miami Under 16 program was marked by a rigid timetable that allowed players to catch up on their studies.

"When I was at Inter Miami, I had a tournament in Arizona, and the hotel we were staying at had two hours of compulsory schooling. I'm not going to say it was comparable to college, but it was done extremely professional. The club realizes we have lives outside of soccer, and with Florida Premier, I've learned to make the most of my time by doing homework on the way to practice," Beorlegui said.

Beorlegui's task on the soccer pitch is to be a goal scorer or "finisher." Strikers are often put under a lot of pressure because if they don't finish their opportunities, the team will suffer. Beorlegui said he does not let the pressure get to him.

“It might sound kind of weird, but I enter a flow state of mind in my matches," he said.

Beorlegui's offensive ability at such a young age stems from confidence. He said he adopts a goldfish mindset to persevere after making a mistake. Many athletes adopt the goldfish mindset technique because goldfish have a 10-second memory span, allowing them to swiftly forget the mistake they just made.

His parents, Michelle and Javier Beorlegui helped him develop confidence.

"My parents are my role models, and they have helped me grow into the player and person I am today," he said. "When I was little, my parents would always tell me that 'the sooner you start working, the better you'll be.' As I've gotten older, I've recognized what that means, so I know what I need to do to be the best."

Michelle Beorlegui has seen her son's growth over the past couple of years, not only as a player but as a person.

“Broden has always enjoyed soccer and worked hard to improve his skills," she said. "I've seen him mature over the last few years and recognize the sacrifice and dedication required to achieve his goals of signing with a pro academy and going pro. He realizes he needs to train outside of his team sessions, so he trains extensively on his own. We are thrilled for him because many of his sacrifices are paying off, and he has a fantastic opportunity in Werder Bremen.".

Beorlegui has landed a trial to play for the German first division, pro academy team Werder Bremen in June.

Florida Premier CEO Novi Maric has seen Beorlegui’s unique hard work and talent. Maric helped land a potential trial for Beorlegui with Werder Bremen.

“Broden's dedication to training hard is now yielding exciting opportunities for his soccer career," Maric said. "As a highly talented young player with immense potential, his trajectory is promising, and Florida Premier is delighted to contribute to his growth.”


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