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High-scoring 5-year-old Granite Shoals soccer player has professional ambitions

Five-year-old Granite Shoals resident Marco Almazan Jr. is gaining quite a reputation as a soccer player. He helped his team, the Cavaliers, win a three-on-three national-qualifying tournament recently during which he scored 16 of 17 goals. He has been invited to play on teams in Burnet and Lake Travis. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro


GRANITE SHOALS — In four games, 5-year-old Marco Almazan Jr. strung together statistics of which most soccer players dream.While recently playing for the Cavaliers in a 3-on-3 national-qualifying tournament in Lake Travis, Marco scored 16 of his squad’s 17 goals. The Cavaliers won the 5-and-under division to qualify for the ESPN World Wide 3v3 National Championship tournament Aug. 1-4 in Orlando, Fla.

“He never subbed out,” said his mother, Elizabeth Almazan. “The others were (subbing out), but not Marco.”

While he might be an offensive machine, Marco said his favorite part of soccer isn’t scoring.

“Passing the ball,” he said.

Marco has been playing soccer since he was 18 months old. While his father, Marco Almazan Sr., played adult league soccer, his son kicked a ball around on the field.

“My dad showed me,” Marco said. “He played soccer first, and I watched him when I was a little kid, and he showed me how to play.”

Since then, the 5-year-old has taken private lessons and been invited to play with different teams in Burnet and Lake Travis. His mother said many people have told her that her son has so much natural talent. And Marco looks forward to practices and games.

“He’s a very technical player,” she said. “He knows the game of the fundamentals. He’s all heart.”

And other coaches and players have noticed. That’s how Marco got an invitation to play for the Cavaliers.

Elizabeth Almazan said her son is considered an academy level two player, which is on the level of 9-, 10- and 11-year-olds.

Marco said his goal is to play professional soccer for Cruz Azul Futbol Club AC., a team from Benito Juarez, Mexico City. His favorite player is Lionel Andrès “Leo” Messi, an Argentine footballer for La Liga club FC Barcelona, who is considered the No. 1 player in the world.

Marco will train at Austin’s Avila Creative Soccer, which has an indoor field, during the summer.