Mia Cartwright has been invited to participate in regional and national Olympic Development Program camps since she started playing soccer at 5 years old.
But the incoming Bishop Kelly High freshman and FC Nova standout wasn’t expecting the invitation she received in May. Cartwright was one of 32 players chosen to participate in the generation adidas international Olympique Lyonnais Select Program this August in Lyon, France.
Olympique Lyonnais is one of the most successful clubs in women’s soccer, having won 14 Division 1 Feminine titles, eight Coupe de France titles and three Women’s Champions League titles.
Alex Morgan, a member of the United States women’s national team, played the 2017 season for Olympique Lyonnais.
“I was really excited, because I’ve always wanted to go to France,” Cartwright said. “Playing soccer in Europe is going to be so cool, so I was just very excited and kind of shocked.”
Her dad was the one who delivered the good news to the 14-year-old.
“My daughter had to put together a résumé, and she submitted that, and I thought from there we would never hear from anybody (at adidas) ever again,” Rick Cartwright said. “Then all of a sudden we got an email that said, ‘Congratulations, you’re one of 32 players in the United States selected to go to Lyon, France, for the adidas select program.’ ”
During the Aug. 12-20 trip, Cartwright will receive training and individual evaluations from Olympique Lyonnais academy coaches, and play in international friendly matches against academy teams.
“This is not just a summer trip for her. Her mentality is more like, ‘How can I go and impress people and get better and grow as a player and gain even more opportunities?’ ” said Eric Simmonsen, FC Nova director of coaching. “It’s good for a kid like her who looks at the game with much more avenues than just kicking a ball around every Saturday.”