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Athlete of the Week


Kicking overseas



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Jimmy Todd with the Manchester United Premier Cup trophy. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
July 18, 2012 - Kicker Jimmy Todd is heading to Shanghai, China, this week to compete in the Manchester United Soccer Club World Cup U-15 Finals.

Todd and his 14 teammates from the Nike Premier Vardar Soccer Club will represent the United States at the event. They will compete with teams from 20 different countries from Europe, Latin America, South America, Asia and Africa.

They earned the trip to compete in the World Cup after winning the Manchester United Premier Cup U.S. Final tournament on Memorial Day in Oregon. It was hosted by Manchester United Soccer Club and sponsored by Nike.

Todd aided his team by scoring the lone goal to beat against Real So Cal, from Los Angeles, Calif., during the championship game. Todd assisted with one goal against St. Louis Scott Gallagher as the Vardar shut down St. Louis, 3-0.

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They opened the event winning six games and tying one games.

The team won the tournament trophy and earned all-expenses paid trip to China for the World Cup.

"Before the tournament even started I had a good feeling with this core of kids," said Morris Lupenec, Vardar director of coaching who led the team. "They have great team chemistry and worked hard throughout. I couldn't be prouder of them."

The World Cup begins on Friday and will continue until Monday. While in Shanghai, Todd and his teammates will participate in training sessions provided by Manchester United First Team professionals and watch the match between Manchester United and Shanghai.

When Todd comes back to the United States, he will land in Chicago and head back to the soccer field. The team will play in the National Premier League National Championship, July 27-31. His team earned the opportunity after their showing in the regional playoffs. They beat the current Ohio State Cup Champions, the Columbus Crew, 5-0.

Todd will come back in time to prepare to play for the Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Soccer team as practices begin on Aug. 8.

He will also start his sophomore year at the high school in September.

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