Kalyssa Muniz is about to get an experience few, especially a high school sophomore, will ever receive.
Starting Thursday, the New Britain native and Bristol resident will get the chance to play for club and country at one of the highest levels of competition for her age group. Muniz will be competing at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Qualifiers in Nicaragua as a member of the Puerto Rican Women’s U17 National Team.
The tournament runs Thursday to April 29 and features the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Haiti and Bermuda.
“It’s an honor,” Muniz said. “I always wanted to play internationally. It’s been a lot of hard work that I put in every single day.”
And it was a combination of that hard work and her natural skill set that made Muniz a candidate to make the U17 team, which carries about 21 players. What made it more competitive is only about three or four players from the continental United States make the team, with the others come directly from Puerto Rico.
But first, Muniz, who turned 16 two weeks ago, had to make the roster.
It was her Olympic Development Program coach Todd D’Alessandro, also the head coach for the girls team at the Ethel Walker School, who initially recommended Muniz try out. So in January, she headed to Puerto Rico for tryouts in front of Women’s National Team manager Shek Borkowski and U17 manager Zary Rivera.
“I wasn’t really that nervous,” Muniz said. “I was excited. It was right after the…
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