San Antonio native Landry Walker called up to U.S. Under-15 Team

The San Antonio FC Academy midfielder is excited to represent his country.

SAN ANTONIO – Since he was a young soccer player, Landry Walker has dreamed of an opportunity to play professionally.

While training with San Antonio FC’s Academy team last week, the 14-year-old signed a contract with San Antonio FC’s first team and was set to make his professional debut in the U.S. Open Cup match against Indy 11. But then he received bigger news.

Walker was called up to be part of the U.S. Under-15 National Team and will travel to Croatia to compete in the sixth edition of the Vlatko Markovic Tournament. The tournament consists of eight nations: Portugal, Belgium, France, England, the United States, Morocco, Japan and Croatia.

The invitation is an honor Walker said he won’t take lightly.

“I feel such gratitude for it, and I’m going to, obviously, enjoy it,” Walker said. “And I can’t thank everybody (enough), whether it’s my teammates or the coaching staff here just for helping me get there. I just feel thankful for my opportunity.”

“To be in the National Team, to be one of 22 players representing the U.S. and traveling to Europe to play England, Croatia, Morocco, I can’t imagine kinda what he’s feeling,” San Antonio FC Academy head coach Tim Chestney said. “I know, as a staff, we’re absolutely elated. It’s kind of the pinnacle.”

The celebration won’t be only for Walker making the national team. He will also celebrate his 15th birthday on May 15 while playing either England or Croatia.

The Walker family will have more to celebrate with Mother’s Day Weekend ahead of us and Landry’s father celebrating his birthday on May 19.

“His mom said they’re going to celebrate Mother’s Day, his birthday, everything all in one on this trip going over there,” Chestney said. “I don’t think many people will have a more memorable 15th birthday than Landry will. It kind of just adds to the whole occasion for him.”

Walker said he has plenty to look forward to when he heads to Europe.

“Just the opportunity and the competition,” Walker said. “Just to see what it’s like in other countries other than the U.S. because I’ve never even in my life been over to Europe, so I just thought it would be so cool to see what it’s like in other cultures and everything.”

The U.S. Under-15 National Team will leave for Croatia on Friday and compete from May 10-20.

Read more reporting and watch highlights and full games on the Big Game Coverage page.

About the Author

Nick Mantas is a KSAT 12 Sports Editor. He has previously worked in Lansing, San Fransisco and Abilene. Nick earned a Master's Degree in Sports Media from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Arizona, where he also interned as a strength and conditioning coach.

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