MARBELLA, SPAIN — Most Somers High School graduates end up in a college or university across the 50 states come their freshman year of college, but one Somers graduate isn’t following that path.
Mikey Lanzetta, a class of 2016 graduate, will be pursuing a soccer career playing for 23-and-under Marbella FC in Marbella, Spain. He left Aug. 4 to begin his career.
The opportunity came after a showcase in Florida.
“This chance came about when I was playing in my last and final game in Florida at the academy showcase,” Lanzetta said. “The director of the program saw me play and texted me. I had no idea what it was, I was in shock and personally thought it was something fake.”
But it certainly wasn’t fake. Lanzetta is looking to spur his professional career in Spain.
“My overall personal goal in soccer is to simply be a professional soccer player — nothing less,” Lanzetta said. “With this program I want to grow more as a player and an individual and also hopefully get looks by many pro clubs across Europe.”
With the team, Lanzetta will have a chance to show his talents in front of some of the best. Last season, the team played Sevilla FC, Malaga CF and Real Betis among other teams.
Although it isn’t a traditional college, Lanzetta will still be taking classes and getting credit.
“It is a program where I will not be getting paid,” Lanzetta said. “I will be attending a school called the American College in Spain, which is an affiliate with a school in Florida called Broward College where I will be getting 30 base college credits and still will remain 100 percent NCAA Division I eligible.”
Although Lanzetta has never played outside of the U.S. for an extended period of time, he did have a similar experience leaving Somers his sophomore year in high school to play in Arizona.
“My experience in Arizona was phenomenal,” he said. “Each and every day I grew more and more as a player. It was the best program in the country with the best players. Each and every day training with players not only at my level, but even so much higher really helps you get better. Plus, it was nice to get out of little Somers and see basically all of the west coast and meet kids from all around the world with crazy backgrounds.”
Lanzetta will be away from home for at least a year, but he has many to thank for this chance.
“The Somers youth program gave me an excellent foundation for my future,” he said. “I used to remember playing AYSO on Sundays when I was eight and not only me, but everyone around me made the environment seem like the World Cup Final.”
Lanzetta also recognized his family for helping him along his journey.
“If there’s one person I could thank it would be my whole family, but particularly my brother Brian,” Lanzetta said. “From the day I was born, Brian has always been on top of me to make sure I go down the right path. He’s my best friend and my go-to for absolutely anything. He’s made me the man I am today and certainly the player. He pushes me beyond my limits and also brings an awesome amount of humor and culture into my life. My brother Brian is one of a kind and I am beyond blessed to not only have him in my life but to call him my brother.”
Being on the road is nothing new for Lanzetta.
“Personally, I’m used to being away,” he said. “It will obviously be tough and I’m going to really miss my mom’s love and my pop’s cooking.”