NEW YORK - Columbia senior Peppe Carotenuto was recently invited to training camp with Sporting Kansas City, formerly the Kansas City Wizards, of Major League Soccer (MLS). Carotenuto will participate in a week-long tryout with the squad from February 18-26.
"I have been training very hard and very diligently for the past couple months," Carotenuto said. "Not many people ever get this opportunity, it's almost surreal."
A two-time captain for the Lions, Carotenuto was plagued by injuries as a first-year but came on as a sophomore to earn honorable mention All-Ivy League accolades. The creative midfielder tallied two goals and an assist over the final three matches in 2008 and scored a goal in the season-closing victory over Cornell.
As a junior, the Scottsdale, Ariz. native led the team in assists and ranked third in points as he played in a career-high 15 matches. Carotenuto scored on a penalty kick in the 80th minute to give Columbia a 1-0 win on Alumni Day against Penn, then tallied an assist in a road win over nationally-ranked Dartmouth.
Injuries again hampered the co-captain as a senior, limiting him to nine appearances and three starts in 2010.
"I battled through more injuries during my collegiate career than I have throughout my 15-plus years of playing soccer, and I never felt as if I was able to show my true talent during my years as a Lion," Carotenuto said.
"However, I am confident enough to know that I can look back at my four years at Columbia knowing that I left the program in a better place than when I started and in that sense, I feel that I was successful in helping to rebuild a championship team."
Head coach Kevin Anderson named Carotenuto captain upon his arrival in the winter of 2008, and closed out the 2010 Ivy League campaign on a four-match unbeaten streak (2-0-2).
"Our coaching staff is very excited for Peppe as we wish him success and fully support him in his pursuit of a professional playing career," Anderson said. "Peppe served as a captain in each of my first two years here, was a model student-athlete and helped build a foundation for our program's success in the future."
"He has returned to school this spring and looks fantastic," Anderson continued. "He has truly embraced this opportunity and continues to prepare himself for success with Sporting Kansas City."
"Peppe has positioned himself into an ideal scenario as he is embarking on his professional playing career and is on pace to graduate with a degree from one of the greatest institutions in the world," Anderson concludes. "We will let this serve as the ideal scenario for all of our student-athletes for years to come."