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Former Santa Clara Sporting midfielder to play in London

Published: May 28, 2009
Sebastian Lletget has always been destined for great things, and now, he’s officially destined for West Ham United F.C.

Lletget has signed with the East London club where he’s spent the past few years commuting while also playing in the States.

“The time came for me to sign and I took it,” Lletget explained. “It has been a really good connection for me; they helped me get my passport and I have grown as a player. My parents and I are very excited.”

Elite club soccer player Sebastian Lletget.Lletget (white) competing with the U17 MNT in Sarasota, FL.
Over his short career Lletget has established himself as one of the top players in the country. His reputation, particularly in Northern California, is considerable given his play with Santa Clara Sporting.

“I think he’s the best player to ever come out of North California at this age,” said Santa Clara Sporting coach Carlos Brasil. “He’s a really special kid. The first two years he started playing with West Ham he was back and forth a lot, but he’s been with them now since December.”

And Lletget is the better for it. He returned this past weekend to play with the US U17 National Team in the Development Academy Spring Showcase in Sarasota, Florida, and showed off his considerable talent alongside players like Emilio Orozco, Tyler Polak, Carlos Martinez, Soony Saad, Jared Watts and Jack McInerney.

It’s clear from Lletget’s size and tools that he has a lot of upside. He can play equally well with both feet and is a good passer.

During action against an Academy Select team made up of the top players at the showcase, Lletget showed off his dangerous striking ability. From about 25 yards out, Lletget boomed a penetrating shot that found the back of the net. Ironically, he indicated after the match that striking is an area where he feels he needs improvement.

“In training we usually practice a lot on our shooting, and I always stay after because I feel like I lag off when it comes to shooting,” he said. “I finally tried to take a shot outside the box and it finally came. I was really happy for that.”

In addition to his prodigious talent, it’s Lletget’s work ethic and attitude that sets him apart and should serve him well in his professional career.

His humility can be attributed to his parents, who set a good foundation around him, though his drive comes from within.

“I had a talk with some kids recently and I told them that yes, Sebastian was very talented for our club, but he also went running six days a week and did work on his own,” Brasil said. “I told the kids, ‘you have to do the same to get a chance like the one he has.’ It’s good for other players to see his success and for the club in general. He deserves it. He’s worked really hard to earn it, and now he has to work even harder to see if he can make that first team.”

That will depend on how well Lletget can transition to his professional status. Over the past few years he’s been bouncing between clubs and locations, and now he can focus on his immediate career.

“They always say the soccer is faster in Europe, and it is,” Lletget said. “The pace is really a difference from the US and you have to adjust in every situation. It takes time, but I think I’m doing a pretty good job.”
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