This soccer fairy tale has a Miami twist.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Fabrizio Pittaluga. He was born in Peru and moved to Miami with his family in 1991 when he was a baby because his father got a job in the airline industry. Like so many kids in South Florida, he grew up playing soccer and dreaming of some day signing a pro contract.
He played for Palmer Trinity High and Miami Kendall FC, and in 2007 packed his cleats and headed to Italy, where he had family roots. He did a training stint with Serie A team Cagliari Calcio’s Primavera team. Three years later, he went to Peru and trained with Sport Boys Association and Universidad Cesarvallejo.
All along, he realized the odds of making a pro club were very slim, so he enrolled at Florida International University and is five classes from a degree in marketing. Last month, the 22-year-old midfielder took a wild chance. He traveled 1,300 miles to Chicago for an open tryout with the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer. There were 160 players from 10 countries in the pool. Each was guaranteed a one-hour tryout.
Twenty-four would be invited back for a second day. One would earn a spot in training camp. When it was all done, Pittaluga was the lone man standing. He will join the Fire at camp in Ave Maria on Jan. 20.
“I figured I would go because it would be an interesting experience,” he said. “You always have some hope that you’ll be picked, but realistically I knew it was a long shot. I was nervous, of course, but I tried not to overthink it.”
Read : “One step closer to living a dream” an article by Miami Herald