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It was about 10 months ago when most U.S. national team fans first saw or heard about Carlos Martinez.
The young Under-17 national team player wowed spectators with his two game-winning goals in last winter’s Nike Friendlies and eager and overzealous fans began penciling him in as one of the potential stars of the national team program even though he was just 15 at the time.
Martinez was certainly on that track as one of the jewels of the U.S. Under-17 national team residency program. At least before he was kicked out of the program recently.
ESPN Soccernet colleague Justin Rodriguez was all over the news that Martinez was dismissed from the residency program in Bradenton, Florida for violating team rules repeatedly, shedding some major light onto an unfortunate situation.
Martinez already has an agent and there is talk about professional trials and potential contracts for a player who doesn’t even turn 17 until January.
Has Martinez become a victim of his own hype? Is it just a case of an immature kid making some mistakes? Count me among those who worry about the future of a player who could wind up joining a long list of players who never fulfilled their potential because of their own inability to grow up, or the inability of those around them to lead them down the right path.
Again, Martinez just 16, so there’s still time for him to figure things out. Here is hoping he doesn’t lose his way because Martinez certainly has the talent to be special, but history has shown us that talent alone can only get you so far.
What do you think of the Carlos Martinez situation? Share your thoughts below.