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Brookfield's Wangard on trial with Nicaragua national program

01/25/2017, 11:00pm CST
Andre Wangard

Andre Wangard is certainly well known to coaches within the U.S. Soccer youth system – the goalkeeper has been part of six of the organization's Training Centers over the past few years and plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

But Wangard, a Brookfield native who's a junior at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn., is getting a chance to make an impression on another national team program this week as he participates in a Nicaraguan youth national camp in Miami.

Nicaraguan full national team manager Henry Duarte Molina was scheduled to oversee the camp Wednesday and Thursday. Wangard said he is eligible to play for Nicaragua because his father's mother is a native of the Central American country.

"(The U.S. coaches) know who I am, but it's not there yet," said Wangard, who played for FC Wisconsin Nationals in the USSDA before transferring to Shattuck. "I would love to play for the U.S., but if they're not after me right now, then Nicaragua is a good option for me."

Nicaragua is 111th in the latest FIFA World Rankings and 13th among CONCACAF nations, just ahead of Canada, and up from No. 173 when Duarte Molina took over in 2014. The team finished fifth in the Copa Centroamericano, which ended Sunday in Panama, going 1-3-1 – all three losses coming by one goal – and will play Haiti in a two-leg playoff for the 12th and final spot in this summer's Gold Cup in the U.S.

Wangard has never been to Nicaragua, but assuming things go well this week, he could be traveling there next month for a camp for players born in 1999 and 2000.

"(Duarte Molina) already invited me to it, but I just want to talk to him about it so I can finalize it," said Wangard, who added that he speaks some basic Spanish and has several relatives in Nicaragua.

Tag(s): International  News