Coakley MS student earns spot on prestigious team

HARLINGEN — Joaquin Ovalle has had this week marked on his calendar for almost a year, and now the 14-year-old CoakleyMiddle School student has no time to celebrate his inclusion into the Texas Olympic Development Program (ODP) boys tour team because it’s time to pack.

Ovalle and other select players from around the state are headed 2,500 miles south of the border to Costa Rica to take part in a few friendly games against some Costa Rican competition.

From March 11-17, Ovalle and the team will compete in three matches against other athletes of the same age and skill level.

The team will depart from HoustonInternationalAirport on Saturday morning and head straight for Costa Rica. Ovalle and the team will play its first two matches of the trip in the Costa Rican city of Manuel Antonio, which is located on the Pacific Ocean side of the country.

The third match will be played in the capital city of San Jose, where Ovalle and the team will have a chance to visit the famed Estadio Nacional De Costa Rica.

Currently Ovalle plays for Division I boys U16 Brownsville Galaxy soccer team under Coach Leticia Capistran.

Rosters for the South Texas state ODP pool were released on March 6 and Ovalle was selected for the fourth consecutive year.

Ovalle will also compete in the North Texas Friendlies on June 10 and 11 in Dallas. He will be attending Region III Camp in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on July 8-12.

During the camp, athletes will compete against a pool of players from which the USA National Team will select a squad for international competition.