Growing up, Canyon Country resident Jarrett Reeser saw the skill of European soccer stars on TV. He saw the atmosphere of European soccer games. He trained with a former Italian standout.
Reeser wanted it, all of it. So, a couple weeks ago, at 14 years old, he signed with Varese Calcio S.S.D.’s youth academy, agreeing to play and study overseas for the 2017-18 season.
His European soccer journey begins Aug. 1 when he leaves for Varese, Italy, a community of around 80,000, located 36 miles from Milan.
“I’m really excited for the new chapter in my life,” Reeser said. “It’s a pleasure, and I feel like I worked very hard for this. I’m really excited to see what can happen. … All players have to go through this if they want to be the best.”
Reeser — who attended junior high at Sierra Vista and trained with Italian pro Cristiano Scapolo with Real SoCal-SCV – played last season for the Bakersfield-based Central California Aztecs, of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
He scored 28 goals in 32 games.
After trying out for Varese Calcio in February, a process that included a four-game evaluation tournament, in which Reeser scored four goals and dished out four assists, he signed on to play a slate of roughly 38 games from September to June, according to his dad, Matt.
For school, Reeser, who has dual U.S.-Italian citizenship, will attend the International School of Como, learning Italian as a second language.
Since playing with Calcio, he has kept in touch with his teammates-to-be using Google Translate and WhatsApp messenger.
Is Reeser nervous at all to be separated from his family?
“At first, I was kind of considering it, and the closer it’s been coming, the more excited I’ve been,” Reeser said, later adding, “I know it’s going to be hard, but my family is going to come visit, and I’m going to come back and visit, so it’s not the end of the world.”