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Former Nelson Youth Soccer's Matteo Faraguna commits to Bethany Vikings

The son of Al and Mel Faraguna joins the Vikings as a freshman defender for the 2021-22 NCAA Division III men's soccer season. — Submitted photo

Former Nelson Youth Soccer player Matteo Faraguna has landed a spot on the Bethany Vikings Men’s Soccer team for the upcoming NCAA Division III season.

Faraguna, who played in NYS until 2015 and Kootenay Whitecaps Academy from 2013-15, joins the Vikings as a freshman defender on the team upcoming season.

“At the end of the day, Matteo’s high academic GPA along with his athletics gained him a great offer and Bethany was the right fit and checked off all the boxes,” said a former coach of the NYS player.

The 6-foot, 172-pound fullback played for TOFC from 2015 to present before COVID-19 pandemic shutdown most youth sports in BC.

The impact of the pandemic not only shutdown sports, but it also closed the door on many university opportunities for graduating youth soccer players as USPORT teams in Canada granted varsity athletes an extra year of eligibility, altering the recruiting process in university coaches.

However, Faraguna always wanted to play varsity soccer. Instead of giving up, he began marketing himself outside BC, sending out resumes to coaches throughout North America.

The determination paid dividends, as Faraguna received offers from Canada and United States before settling on Bethany in Mankato, Minnesota.

Faraguna, who will study Business at Bethany, joins a Vikings team that went 7-2 overall and 6-1 in Conference.

Bethany was 4-0 at home.

The Vikings open the Division III season on the road on September 1 against Martin Luther College.

Bethany visits Buena Vista University September 4 before returning home to host Hamline University.