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McCracken's Perriello plays in Holland

By Mike Stunson mstunson@paducahsun.com

Some student-athletes spent their spring breaks soaking up the sun at the Florida coasts. Others caught up on some sleep back home. As for McCracken County's David Perriello, soccer sent him all the way to Holland.

Perriello was a part of Kentucky Youth Soccer's Olympic Development Program team that competed and trained in Holland last week, which the Mustang junior called a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"It was pretty amazing. Going in, I didn't know what to expect but it's something I'll never forget," he said.

When Perriello tried out for the ODP team last fall, he thought it was a long-shot chance for him to make the cut. Turns out, he was invited back and made enough of an impression to be selected for the group of 2000-2001-born players to make the team.

His ODP squad played two games against top competition from Holland, and despite the lopsided losses, there were plenty of positives for Perriello to take back home.

"In the second game I did my role of winning the 50-50 balls and distributing the ball. I got a lot more comfortable the more I played," he said.

Following the two games Perriello's ODP team played early in the week, the rest of the week was devoted to training and plenty of sightseeing in Amsterdam.

It was the first time Perriello had played with this team, and he said he learned a lot about himself and some new techniques to take home with him.

"I got to see how I compare with some of the great players around the world, how I fit in and what I need to work on," he said. "It just motivates me more to do my best. I got to play with some of the players I'll be playing this year and I know how they play and am able to bring things back to the team."

Now it's back to club soccer for Perriello with his local Pumas FC team. He'll try out for the ODP Kentucky team again in June with a possible opportunity to compete for a chance to play for the regional ODP team.

Perriello looks to be a key returning player next season for the Mustangs, who have a First Region championship to defend after finishing the season with a 14-11 record.

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