It’s dream come true for Alex Carter.
Carter, a member of the Arkansas Rush soccer program, has been selected to the United States Under-14 Girls National Team in the Olympic Development Program.
Before being chosen in the final stage of the selection process, Carter had to attend U.S. Soccer’s Under-14 National Identification Camp, which put her automatically in a pool of players. Carter and 100 others went to the camp that ran from July 26 to Aug. 1 at Cal Poly Pomona. With that team, she participated in a weeklong camp with teams from 16 other states. Out of that pool of 101 players, 36 were selected to the final U.S. National Team.
"I really didn’t expect to make it out of the regional pool selection, really," Carter said. "I was happy when I found out that I was selected for the national team."
Carter will leave again Sunday for a weeklong training camp in Carson, Calif., to practice and play at the Home Depot Center. There will be 35 other girls who’ll attend the training camp for the national team that was selected.
"Alex has a strong work ethic," Todd Carter said, referring to his daughter. "She spent a lot of hours practicing while most of the kids were out at the pool swimming or playing with other kids. She was either playing soccer or watching soccer, so it takes a special kid to do that. She’s definitely special."
Todd Carter said there were several people who helped with the development of Alex Carter.
"Jeremey Bernard has been her coach for the last three years and he deserves a lot of credit. He really helped refine her abilities," he said. "Matt Mittelstaedt, the head of Arkansas Rush, has given Alex time and opportunity to improve in the club."
Bernard, one of the main coaches in the Arkansas Rush soccer program, was Carter’s coach for the Arkansas Rush under-16 Nike team.
"She’s a great kid. I’m flattered that her family spoke highly of me, but the bottom line is that Alex put in the work," Bernard said. "When you put in the hours and hard work, then it yields good results. Alex did her part. She’s a true student of the game. It’s really the highest honor that anyone can receive in the state."
Carter has plans to represent the United States in the under-17 World Cup in three years. The Olympic Development Program will announce any matches in the future. Carter will have a chance to participate in at least two matches during her weeklong stay.
"My mom (Michelle) and my dad have really supported me through all of this," Carter said. "Whatever decision that I’ve made then, they’ve supported me. Jeremey has been with me for three years and he’s spent a lot of hours just helping me out, so I thank him for that. Matt played pro soccer and he’s recommended that I play in showcase tournaments. Jeremey and Matt have been really helpful."