Silvia Espelt from Spain is a former women’s soccer player in the USA. She was placed by Athletes USA in 2011 at Clayton State University and now helps other players make their dreams come true. Not only did she play for Clayton her first two years of university, but she then went back to Spain to play at a National level from 2013 to 2019. Before university, Silvia played for the select team of her community in Madrid and then at 16 years old she was called up to training with the National U-17 team of Spain. After arriving to Clayton, she made Second Team All-Conference in 2011, while the team achieved one of the best overall records they had ever earned in a long time.
Women’s Soccer in the USA vs. Spain
When asked about the differences about playing in Spain and in the USA, Silvia stated that “the main one is clearly the best possibility to combine sports with studies”. She talked mainly about how the professors were kind and helpful, especially when Silvia had to travel for games or miss class for practice. All the staff and professors at the University understand very well that the majority of their students are also part time athletes. Finally, she also mentioned that she loved the classes she attended at Clayton. She noticed that the professors would teach in a way that there was more real-life examples and case studies. Not all theoretical work, which is not something she saw in her classes back home in Spain.
The Warmth of the Team
Silvia talked very highly of her former team back in the USA and mentioned many great moments enjoyed with her teammates. She clearly remembered how nice and understanding all the girls were. Especially when Silvia was very quiet and afraid to talk because of the cultural and language differences between Spain and the USA. Silvia even said how one day, the captain of the team approached her and told her “you shouldn’t have a problem to speak, if we don’t understand the accent, we will not laugh, we will just try to get it”.
Aftermath of an Injury
When Silvia was a little girl, she was diagnosed with a growth illness, which lead her to suffer of severe knee pain. Such medical condition worsened and forced her to return to Spain after enduring fairly hard treating. She had to leave Clayton, even though the coaches wanted her to come back. After many hardships with this illness she even had to stop playing. Silvia then started working with Athletes USA, the company that helped her achieve her dreams of becoming a women’s soccer player in the USA on a sports scholarship. She is currently the Placement Director of Athletes USA, with a major role of helping athletes achieve their dreams as well.
Free evaluation of your Soccer Scholarship Chances > athletesusa.org/apply
Silvia’s Scout Profile – @seathletesusa
Naomi’s Scout Page – warubi-sports.com/naomi-vivas
Student athlete born and raised in Mexico City with dual citizenship in the United States. Played as the only girl in a D4 all-boys national league in Toluca, Mexico, and then got recruited to play soccer at Lindenwood University- Belleville. Currently finishing her last semesters of undergraduate majors at Lindenwood University.