Rising striker Claudio Repetto’s journey from Italy to Phoenix

Claudio Repetto wasn’t sure about the idea at first.

He has played for the academy of Italian Serie A club Genoa since the age of 10, operating with the wide-eyed accompaniment of academy players.

“Their goal is to get into the first team,” said Repetto, who now plays forward for Phoenix Rising.

But here he was, 19, when he was told by his agent that a first-team opportunity was a pipe dream. Even a loan to Serie B or Serie C, which many of his teammates aspired to, did not materialize.

Instead, his agent offered another plan: play college soccer in the United States.

“I wasn’t sure at first because I didn’t know the level of football in the US,” said Repetto.

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