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Local soccer star to represent Team USA in Europe

A local soccer star is headed to Europe to live out her dreams. Gabby Sylstra of Little Falls was selected from girls all across the country to compete in the United World Games.

Posted: May. 16, 2018 11:27 PM

Gabby Sylstra has been playing soccer since she was three years old.

"It's just, it's very tactical, it pushes you so it's a challenge," said Gabby about why she loves the game.

Now at 14, she's breaking barriers. She's the only girl on the Coliseum Milan Boys 2003 club team.

"I always tell her how honored I feel to be her mom," said Gina Sylstra. "The boys have been amazing. They just treat her like she's one of the other boys. There's no difference in how they treat her, they're respectful."

"We let her come to practice and from there it was a given," added her soccer coach Carmen Marsala. "She's that solid of a player where she fits right in with the boys and plays as hard as the boys do if not harder. She's probably got one of the best shots on the team. That's her forte."

Gabby was selected to represent Team USA in next month's tournament. The United World Games takes place in Klagenfurt, Austria. There are over 9000 participants from 40 different nations competing in 10 different sports.

This tour gives players the unique opportunity to see 3 European Countries while playing against quality international competition in an amazing Olympic Style Tournament. 

Gabby and her mom were both surprised, but very excited to be on the roster and travel across the ocean. "It's humbling, it's surreal."

She'll be accompanied by a special family member.

"My grandma is actually going with me," said Gabby. "It's pretty special. I mean it's been like her dream to go see me play soccer out of country and she's always wanted to go to europe so its a win win for both of us."

Gabby will embark on her European adventure June 18 and she'll be there for 10 days.

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