by Joao Lucas Argenta
Throughout their high school career, student-athletes can find themselves filled with many opportunities – opportunities that could either benefit the sport they play, their studies, or both. Senior Max Morales is one of these privileged athletes to find himself having a chance to not only further his education, but to also seek a professional career as a soccer player. From Guatemala to Ithaca, New York, his story is one of fate, fortune and perseverance.
At four years of age, Morales and his mother lived in Guatemala for six months, as a result of his sister’s adoption process. While there, Morales did not go to school. To pass time, he hung around and played soccer with the locals, with some becoming his closest friends. In 2006, Morales, his mother and his sister moved back to the US, and Max immediately joined a recreational soccer team, not knowing where the sport would take him.
“I did not know those encounters would change my life forever,” Morales said. “The moment I moved back to the United States I joined a recreational team, and climbed up the ranks as the years went by.”
After two years playing recreational soccer, Morales was ready to take the next step in his career. Max joined Weston FC, a travel team and development academy. Playing for Weston, Morales started building a reputation for himself, playing solid games and showing his improvements. He later on would be invited to train and later on join Weston FC development academy. The DA(development academy) is the highest level of soccer for those who seek a career, college or soccer wise. Morales played for Weston FC DA for over five years, as a starter and team captain.
On January 29th, 2018, David Beckham would make the announcement of a new soccer franchise, Inter Miami FC, which would be joining the Major Soccer League (MLS). And with the team would come the academy. Inter Miami started scouting many players from many teams and DA’s all over South Florida, they began investing in their youth teams from the moment the team was announced. Morales was one of those players which Inter had their eyes on.
“The recruitment process was completely out of my hands.I had no idea what the process was going to be like, until I was told by my coach at Weston academy that there were scouts watching me every game I played,” Morales said. “I ended up getting an email from Inter Miami a few weeks later asking if I was interested in attending their training sessions they were setting up in order to create a team for the following year. I happily accepted, and after three intense training sessions, I got a phone call and was congratulated by the staff for making the under-19 academy team.”
Morales now had his hands on one of the biggest opportunities he might have in his life when it comes to soccer, but he would later on grab himself an even better chance; not for soccer, but because of soccer. At a showcase tournament, when he was still at Weston, Scouts from not only Inter we’re watching him. Scouts from Cornell University had an eye on him at the time, and would later on recruit him to play division 1 soccer in college.
“Being committed to a D1 Ivy League school for soccer is everything I have ever wanted since I was a little boy,“ Morales said.”I worked nonstop for years and when the opportunity arose, I felt as if all my dreams had come true.”
Max Morales started playing soccer at a young age, worked hard and never gave up on his dream. He pursued it and any way possible, until he got the opportunities he desired. He proved himself as a wonderful athlete and student, being scouted and recruited for both a DA and a D1 Ivy League college for soccer, showing that if you really want to make something happen, you can.
“I think the opportunities I’ve been given will affect my life all for the better. I’ve been consistently working on being the best athlete and student I can possibly be, but truthfully, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the help I received from Inter Miami. Being able to get taught by former professionals, and holding conversations with legendary David Beckham about improving my game makes it easy to better myself as a player,” Morales said.