Years ago, Joanna Seca was stuck at a playful crossroads in life. It was while celebrating one early childhood birthday.She doesn’t remember exactly what age she was, but there sat a new Barbie doll playhouse given to her as a gift. Nearby sat a soccer ball.
“My mom said I didn’t even touch the dollhouse,” Seca said. “I was more excited about getting the soccer ball.”
Seca’s now decorated and accomplished career on the pitch began to blossom shortly after, a career that recently has taken the North Arlington senior overseas for a month to Portugal.
Seca, 17, was selected to play for the U19 Portuguese women’s national team.
“Joanna absolutely lives for this game,” said North Arlington girls soccer coach Dan Farinola, who’ll be without his top player for the first three games this season before Seca returns home.
“I can’t even imagine what it’s like for her to have this opportunity on a level like this. Her commitment to the game is incredible. She’s really the most determined athlete I’ve ever coached.”
The current trip is Seca’s fourth time playing in Portugal — where she has citizenship after both her parents emigrated from there to the United States — but only her second time participating in qualifying games.
The goal, for Seca and Portugal, is to qualify for the 2016 U19 European Women’s Championship with upcoming scheduled matches against Israel, Norway, and Estonia from Sept. 15-20.
Until then, Seca practices and trains daily with the national team — living at a training facility or out of hotels when traveling — and played in a pair of friendlies against Poland in late August.
“Hopefully with this experience we can be successful and qualify,” Seca said through an email exchange, unable to make or receive calls while in Portugal.
To finish story: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/high-school-sports/girls-soccer/north-arlington-s-seca-gets-world-experience-1.1404998