One of the La Salle Green Booters’ top players have accepted an athletics scholarship in the United States.
Because of this, striker Shanden Vergara’s plans in life are slowly changing.
Not set to play and study for a college in the US, the 19-year-old Vergara now has bigger dreams.
“My plan was to graduate at de La Salle University. It was my dream school. But, then I realized that God has different plans for me. Something greater,” said Shanden some four months after he received an email from athletes recruiting agency in the United Kingdom.
The 5’8” Vergara is one of 50 athletes around the world given an opportunity to study in a top notch school in the US.
Vergara talked about his coming trip to the US in the presence of Football for Humanity Foundation officials led by founder Chris Thomas and co-founder Belle Tiongco during a courtesy visit at their Makati office last Friday.
The invitation to study and play for Snow College in Utah so fired up Vergara, who became the season 81 Rookie of the Year in the recent men’s football tournament of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
His contributions helped the La Salle Green Booters win the championship this year.
Because of the scholarship, Vergara feels that he may soon be able to have chances to play as a professional in international meets abroad.
“Sa labas ng bansa, puede akong makalaro sa mataas na level na competition,” added Vergara who played for de La Salle Zobel in his high school years, and one year for the Green Booters in college under coach Hans Smit.
Vergara hails from San Carlos City in Negros Occidental. He learned football from his father, John Jason, a coach and physical therapist. His elder brother Mason Trent, was a football scholar at the University of the East.
He has seen action for the national team in the under-14, under-18 and under 19 levels.
It was Sports Recruiting USA which got him to play for Snow College.
“The selection is due to the coaches as well, the caliber of the coach and the type of connections that it (scholarship) offers. From there, he can go to the next level, and that’s where it will start to get serious,” said Thomas.
Locally, SRUSA has partnered with FFH Foundation, a soccer charity organization founded in 2017, to implement several grassroots football development initiatives.
Before he leaves for the Utah, Vergara is helping distribute soccer balls that have been donated by organizers of the 2020 Dubai World Cup to the Philippines.
Around 10,000 have already been sent to Davao City for donation within the Mindanao area, according to Tiongco.
For the Luzon area, around 2020 yellow-colored soccer balls to being sent initially to 20 locations.
“The balls are slowing being distributed. There are those that have been distributed in Butuan, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos City,” said Tiongco.