When Logan Magonigal is involved, the goals always follow.
Magonigal has already scored 12 goals this season as a forward for Pleasant Grove High School, helping lead the Eagles to a scorching 9-3-2 record. Ten of his goals came in just three games—including four against Rosemont last month.
But the junior’s most important score came earlier this year when he joined the California Development Academy, an elite club that grooms players from the Sacramento region for college and professional teams, along with the United States national team.
It was an honor not many high school students receive. It also came with a price.
The academy requires all players to leave their high school teams and commit to a grueling 10-month program. Magonigal, who still attends classes at Pleasant Grove, was forced to leave behind many of his friends on the Eagles’ squad.
Still, the opportunity was too good to pass up. Playing for CDA against other elite clubs from across North America improves Magonigal’s chances for a college scholarship when he graduates in 2013.
“The payoff is the level of competition is even higher and we’ll be seeing lots of college coaches along the way,” said Dave Magonigal, Logan’s father.
Higher competition indeed. The former Eagles standout played his first academy match on September 24 against the Vancouver Whitecaps—and lost 5-0 against a more physical and stronger team.
But Magonigal, the Elk Grove Athlete of the Week, still has 10 months to score—and accomplish—additional goals. Elk Grove Patch caught up with him after practice this week and asked him about his new team, how he feels about facing tougher competition, and if he really hasn’t missed a day of school since kindergarten.
You just started your first season with the California Development Academy, one of the most prestigious youth soccer teams in the Sacramento area. How did it feel to receive a spot on the CDA squad?
I was really excited because it gives me the opportunity to be seen by lots of college scouts. The coaching this year has made me a much better player and helped improve my weaknesses on the soccer field.
The CDA squad is a 10-month commitment—which meant you could no longer play for Pleasant Grove High School. How difficult of a decision was it to leave your high school team?
I really wanted to still play high school, but I knew I couldn’t, because if kept playing high school I’d have to quit CDA. That would take a toll on getting into the college of my choice.
What’s the one thing that you’ll miss from playing high school soccer?
The thing I liked best about high school soccer is that I got to play with all of my friends from school and everybody from the school supported me.
Now that you’re playing for CDA, you’ll be facing squads from all other North America. Is that intimidating at all?
It is. It’s nerve-wracking but I just try to focus on the game. I know I’m not going to score as many goals as I did [for Pleasant Grove], just one here or there. The level of play is a lot faster and everybody is a lot stronger and physical. It’s a lot harder to score.
When you’re not playing soccer or studying, what are you most likely to be doing?
I like hanging out with friends, going to movies and football games. I like to play PlayStation 3. I like to play tennis, too.
Playing for CDA is often a stepping-stone for playing college soccer. Are there any schools that you’ve considered so far?
I’ve been looking at University of San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. I’ve visited all three of the schools—I kind of liked the locations of all three of them. I liked how small USF was, but it was still a good school. I liked that UCSB was close to the ocean and I liked how Cal Poly looked.
Do you ever think about playing professional soccer one day?
That’s my goal. But I think getting into a good Division I college and playing well there is my best chance of being seen by [Major League Soccer] scouts and getting onto one of the MLS teams.
Lastly, rumor has it that you’ve never missed a day of school in your life. Is that true?
That is true, I’ve never missed a day of school. There are some days where I don’t want to go, but I just remember that I have to go to school to succeed, get good grades and go to a good college. I don’t get sick very often. When I do get sick, it’s usually over Christmas break.