hard to tell if Caio Correa is more obsessed with technology or soccer. The
Nantucket (Mass.) High sophomore midfielder spends eight to 10 hours each week
analyzing European matches and highlight clips of world-class players like
Ronaldinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, which he downloads from YouTube.com and
metacafe.com. Then, he says, "I film myself practicing their moves with the
webcam on my laptop in the basement."
But Correa is no
nerdy wannabe. His footwork and speed have made the him the most feared high
school player in Massachusetts; he's the state's top scorer with 32 goals and
23 assists. Yet what really sets Correa apart, says Nantucket coach Rich
Brannigan, is the lanky Brazilian's maturity and playmaking. "He gets the
team involved and makes everybody around him better."
Correa, who is 5'10" and 140 pounds, played in Nantucket's adult league
against mostly foreign-born men who work as cooks and landscapers on the
island. Though the league is highly competitive, Correa led it in scoring (29
goals) and was voted player of the year. Brannigan has fielded inquiries about
Correa from Division I schools including Notre Dame and St. John's.
his ball-handling skills in Rio de Janeiro, where he lived until his family
moved to Nantucket when he was 10. His first coach was his father, Luis, who
played eight years of pro soccer in Brazil against stars like national team
midfielder Zico. "When I was six, my dad would take me to the beach to play
futev�lei," says Correa, who describes the homegrown sport as a hybrid of
soccer and beach volleyball.
The Correas have
worked hard to carve out a comfortable life for their two sons in Nantucket.
Luis co-owns a house painting company, and Nelma, Caio's mom, cleans houses.
But Nantucket High stands to lose its playmaker at season's end. Luis is taking
Caio back to Brazil in December to try out with the 18-to-20-year-old
developmental squad of Voltaco, a Division I state team that's a feeder squad
for Brazil's elite pro teams. "If I do well there, one of the top teams
could sign me for millions," he says. "That's my dream. To follow in my
dad's footsteps." -- Luis Fernando Llosa