Junior Ben Speas will not be playing on the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy soccer team this season because he was named to the U.S. U-17 National team in Bradenton, Fla., CVCA coach Jason Spodnik said.
Speas is in a pool of 40 players who train in Brandenton and attend IMG Academy. Spodnik said Speas could return to CVCA for his senior year.
Speas, a 5-foot-7, 145-pound midfielder who earned first-team all-district honors last fall, had eight goals and 12 assists for CVCA (17-2-1) as a sophomore.
He then played for the U-17 National team. His biggest achievement in an American uniform came April 27 in Larne, Northern Ireland, when he scored a goal against Israel in a 5-1 U.S. win.
Spodnik said a player of Speas' caliber will be hard to replace in the Royals lineup.