Only 13 years old and already with a passport full of stamps, Jack Imperato is using his feet to travel the world.
The youngster from Texas is blazing a trail across Europe with training opportunities at some of the top academies in the world. Last month, Imperato’s made his latest stop with a trial with Liverpool.
“Paul Dalglish has been a part of Jack's soccer life since he was nine years old,” Jon Imperato, Jack’s father, told TopDrawerSoccer. “He served as his coach for three years in the Lonestar Soccer Club and still today remains a massive part of his soccer development. Paul felt like Jack needed this test and coordinated the visit. The Liverpool trip has been in process for awhile now and it was just a matter of picking the right time to go.”
It was a one-week stay for the youngster that was jam-packed with opportunities.
“The trip was amazing,” Jon Imperato said. “Liverpool is a first class organization and the kids are their top priority. They treated Jack like one of their own. In addition to Jack attending five training sessions, two gym sessions, and playing in a game, he toured Anfield, met some players at the Melwood training center and was provided tickets to the Liverpool/Manchester United match.”
The formal feedback will be provided in the coming weeks, but the initial evaluation was positive toward the Texan.
“They commented that they liked his technical ability, passion for playing, personality, and his free understanding of how the game should be played,” Jon Imperato said. “I do believe the plan is to get back there soon.”
Liverpool is not the only club to take a look at Imperato. The Lonestar standout was invited to train with Spanish club Valencia last year after he was picked from as the winner from a camp.
“Jack attended a camp hosted by TNGS out of Spain,” Jon Imperato said. “They evaluated over 150 kids aged 10-18 and picked one that would play in the Valencia academy for a week. Jack was the winner.”
Valencia offered Imperato a spot at the academy following his team there, but it was not the right time for the then 12-year-old, according to his father.
“I do think we will need to address that as family at some point,” Jon Imperato said when asked about what the family would do if offered a spot at a European academy. “For now, the most important thing on our agenda is focusing on his soccer development and making him a well rounded young man. Currently Jack has so many great things going for him In Austin. He's currently a designated player (2002 birth year) in the Lonestar U14 Developmental Academy and will be attending the Soccer Academy at St. Stephens School next fall.”
The Daglish family has also provided invaluable guidance to the family, according to Jon Imperato, which should come in handy with the amount of options that the youngster is set to have in the future.
photos via Jack Imperato's Twitter