An FGCU men’s soccer player is representing more than his university this summer. Earlier this month, Rodrigo Saravia was personally invited to the Guatemala National Team Camp. He was the only amateur player to receive such an invitation.
Although he was not selected to play for the national cup, Saravia was selected to play on the U23 Guatemala National Team.
“The first time I got called, I was kind of nervous, but at the second training, I got more confidence. I am excited to participate in the tournament,” said Saravia, who is now training with the under-23 team.
Saravia grew up in Guatemala and moved to the United States in 2012 to play for FGCU. He told Eagle News that he loves being home with his family and playing soccer there.
Saravia was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team in 2012, to the Second Team in 2012 and First Team in 2014. He started in 18 of the 20 games he played in this last season.
Head coach Bob Butehorn recalls Saravia as a key player this past season. “He’s always been a starter. He’s always been an intricate part of the team,” Butehorn said.
“This is really exciting. He’s a guy that wasn’t on the radar early on, and he’s developed a lot here at FGCU. It’s all good news.”
Butehorn said that this event may keep Saravia from some of the team’s pre-season training but this is a very special event, and he will continue to support him.
“I’m anxious to go back to Fort Myers and train with my teammates. I am gaining a lot of experience here that I think will help me for the season with FGCU,” Saravia said.
Saravia is not the first FGCU men’s soccer player to play internationally; Daniel Stanse was recruited to the Canadian National Team when he was 21 in 2013.
On August 13, the U23 Guatemala National Team will be facing Honduras.