Devon's soccer trip to Spain & Portugal

My name is Devon Pele and I am a 13 year old soccer player in Chula Vista, CA. I have been playing soccer since I was 2 years old and have always dreamed of what it would be like to play soccer in European countries where soccer is a way of life. Now I have an incredible opportunity to travel abroad this summer to play in the Iber Cup in Portugal (home of Cristiano Ronaldo) and the Donosti Cup in Spain with San Diego Surf Academy team. It is an honor to be invited to join this incredibly talented team (2014 Cal South National Cup Champions) and I believe that we have a good shot in being the first US youth team to bring home a trophy! I am requesting your support in contributing to help me cover the cost of airfare, hotel, meals, tournament fees and other related soccer travel expenses during my 2 week trip. It would mean the world to me if you help me live my passion and fulfill my dream- no donation is too small. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation in advance for any assistance you can provide and I promise to keep paying it forward.

ABOUT THE TEAM:
Devon is honored to join the 2014 Cal South National Cup Champions! San Diego Surf SC Academy Select Bu12 team is ranked #1 in California, #1 in the West region and #2 in the nation on Gotsoccer.com. This incredibly talented team has been victorious winning numerous tournaments including Surf Cup, NHB Cup, Las Vegas Cup, Pats Cup. Last weekend they proved themselves once again as the undefeated Champions of Cerritos Memorial Challenge!

ABOUT DEVON:
Devon joined his 1st YMCA soccer team when he was only 2 1/2 years old and soon fell in love with the sport. He started club soccer with the Chula Vista Rangers at the end of kindergarten and played a year up on the Rangers Under 8 team. Despite just turning 6 years old & being the smallest kid on the field, he started off strong, scoring in the opening summer soccer tournaments. But before the regular season started, Devon had to have an emergency surgery after suddenly becoming very ill from an aggressive bone infection (Osteomyelitis) located very close to the growth plate of his leg. The surgery was a success and ultimately saved his leg. Devon didn't know what to do with himself during the 8 week recovery without soccer, but Devon is a fighter and he quickly bounced back in time to play the last game of the season!

TRAINING & DETERMINATION!
Devon has always been passionate about the game and determined to improve his skills and maximize his training opportunities. At age 10, he insisted on using his entire savings from birthdays, etc. to attend Vogelsinger residential soccer camp at UC Santa Barbara where he trained 6 hours a day with top international coaches across the world.

Devon currently plays for Albion Soccer Club which is a locally, regionally, and nationally ranked club. He plays striker, center mid & left wing. The San Diego based team plays against premier teams throughout Southern California in the Coast Soccer League and the California Regional League. Devon trains 4 days per week, 2x week with his regular team and he trains up twice a week with Albion's U14 Academy team. Devon was identified by the Cal South US Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) for the past 2 years.

PASSION & RESILIENCY!
Like Tim Howard, notably one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Devon has Tourette's Syndrome, a neurological disorder. Devon is constantly challenged with having to deal with managing motor tics in various muscles that wax and wane over time. It can be mentally exhausting and physically painful due to the strain on the muscle groups. For Devon, soccer is his peace, providing a release that takes it all away and makes everything better. When he is playing soccer, he becomes so zoned into the game that the tics disappear. On the soccer field, he feels like a normal kid, free to do what he loves best. Soccer is Devon's passion and he has always dreamed of playing soccer professionally.

Devon just completed 7th grade at Eastlake Middle School. He has been in California's Gifted and Talented Education program (GATE) since the 3rd grade. Creating a balance between school and soccer is hard work & Devon has shown determination as he transitioned into Eastlake Middle School this year taking all accelerated classes. He was the only 7th grader that made the school soccer team.

ABOUT THE TRIP:
Devon is very excited to join San Diego Surf SC Academy Select team to represent the US in soccer tournaments in Spain and Portugal this summer! On June 28th the team heads to Estoril, Portugal to compete in the 2014 Iber Cup, composed of teams from 50+ Nations. Devon is very excited to experience soccer in the homeland of his favorite player & hero Cristiano Ronaldo. From there, the team will travel to San Sebastián, Spain to compete against top European talent in the Donosti Cup!

Thank you friends & family for supporting Devon's dream of playing soccer internationally! This trip is the opportunity of a lifetime! 
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Organizer

Devon Pele 
Organizer
Chula Vista, CA
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