WAIPIO, Hawaii – Kapolei’s Shandon Hopeau received the invitation of a lifetime. The Hawaii Rush Soccer club star was invited to participate in the Real Madrid Select 2014. The camp taking place August 17th-24th in Spain is an invitation only soccer camp that provides training for the top 36 youth players around the world.
“I’m very excited. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was five years old,” said Hopeau. “It really gives me motivation to want to be the first Hawaii soccer player to be in Europe and playing.”
The Real Madrid Select 2014 offers facilities and coaching for the best players in the ‘98 and ’99 age group. Hopeau was one of two players from the Rush Soccer club (one player from Colorado) and the only player from Hawaii to be picked to participate in this camp.
“It is definitely an honor and it’s a very unique experience. Obviously about 20 to 24 kids around the country get the opportunity to get some experience like this,” said Arian Hoxha, technical director at Hawaii Rush Soccer. “Particularly for Shandon, being from Hawaii, I believe that’s a very unique experience and it’s an honor of course.”
One of the alumni notables from the Madrid camp is U.S Men’s National team player Jozy Altidore. Hopeau hopes to play amongst the best in world and make it to the highest level of soccer.
“I’m very excited. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was five years old,” said Hopeau. “Wanting to be like Christiano Ronaldo and all those big soccer players; getting all the fame and doing what I love.”
The mid-fielder not only stands out in his club play, but on his high school squad as well. Hopeau was tied for fourth in Division 1 scoring last year as a sophomore for the Kapolei Hurricanes with 11 recorded goals (stats courtesy of scoringlive.com) before losing in OIA semifinals to Kalani.