E.A. Sports Today

The dream begins

Oxford 11-year-old earns a spot on state’s Olympic Development soccer team, plays in an event in Memphis next month

Erin Turley of Oxford works the ball upfield during a recent game. Turley was recently named to the state’s Olympic Development team for players born in 2005. (Photos courtesy of Benji Turley)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Erin Turley sat in the stands at Legion Field when the U.S. Women’s National Team played its international friendly with Haiti in September 2015 and dreamed what it would be like to be one of those women playing down on the pitch.

She’s a little closer to that dream becoming a reality today.

The Oxford 11-year-old earlier this week landed a spot on the Alabama State Olympic Development soccer team. She’ll play in an ODP Sub-Regional event in Memphis Feb. 18-20 against 2005 teams from Kentucky, Kansas and Arkansas in front of ODP regional and U.S. Soccer coaches.

“I’m really excited,” Erin said. “It could be something really big.”

Erin is a center midfielder and striker for her Fusion travel team. She tried out for the ODP squad in December and was picked because of her speed and ball-handling skills.

“This is what most of the pro women’s players chose; why not give it a shot?” she said.

Erin thinks about the possibility of representing her country one day “a lot” and when she practices “I try my best to be the best.”

Her favorite player on the USWNT is Alex Morgan, because they play the same position. Now she’s about to take the first step in following in her footprints.

“It makes me feel real proud,” she said.

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