The Fresno Fuego might bring aboard one of the top high school players for the final five weeks of the season.
Nathan Smith, who will be a junior at Buchanan High, is expected to meet with coach Scott Alcorn this week to discuss the possibility of joining the Fuego, Fresno's amateur team that competes in the Premier Development League with rosters made up mostly of men ages 20-30 years old.
Smith, 16, has spent the past two years living in Bradenton, Fla., to train in the U.S. youth national program. A defender, Smith finished playing for the United States in the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico last month.
"He's young, but he can handle this level," Alcorn said. "He'll train with us for sure. Getting him on the roster will depend on his recovery and where he's at in his cycle. Does he need to rest? Can he keep playing right now?
"For someone like Nathan, I'm looking to sign him to benefit his career, not necessarily to benefit the Fuego."
Smith would become the youngest Fuego player ever, if he joins.
The Fuego (8-0-3) has a 19-game unbeaten streak dating to last season and is in second place in the PDL's Southwest Division, with five regular-season games remaining.
The Fuego must remain in the top two of the division to reach the playoffs.
- The Clovis Sidekicks' struggles in their first season at the semi-pro level continued this past weekend, recording a 2-2 tie with the Claremont Stars on Sunday and falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Premier FC on Saturday.
The Sidekicks, who dropped to 2-7-1 overall and 1-6 in the Pacific North Division of the Women's Premier Soccer League, received a goal from Cami Privett and Ashley Sherr during Sunday's match. Privett provided the Sidekicks' lone goal Saturday.