Soccer players to represent Canada in Florida tourney



krista sylvester/metro calgary


Team captain Marcos Tello, left, Khalil Fleming, Nik Mellino, Rigo Godoy and Mike Harvey rub their lucky soccer ball before heading off to Orlando to represent Canada at an elite tournament.

Five local soccer players are heading to Orlando, Fla., this weekend to play with the best of the best and represent Canada in an elite soccer tournament.

The under-14 boys from the Elbow Valley Soccer club in Calgary were chosen to compete at the world championships and are the only Canadians invited to the premiere 3-on-3 challenge.

Marina Mellino, coach and mother of one of the players, told Metro the boys are the only ones from Canada playing with elite players at that level.

“The kids were chosen to represent Canada. It’s a premiere tournament for premiere players. They are really excited and we’re going to play hard and, hopefully, we will win,” she said.

Mellino hopes the kids finish in the top eight of the 33 teams but said what matters most is having fun.

“They want to have fun but they would like to do well, too. The whole experience is exciting for them. We’re pretty pumped.”

Team captain Marcos Tello, 13, said the five boys are really excited about going to the games.

“Yeah, it’s more exciting than nervous. We want to try as hard as we can and if we do, we might win. The whole experience is exciting,” he said.