Bethlehem soccer star Claire Hutton revels in her USA 17-and-under soccer experience – Albany Times Union

Throughout her time playing for the Bethlehem varsity girls’ soccer team, Claire Hutton has utilized immense skills, exceptional speed and quick thinking to develop into a lethal scoring option for the Eagles. Right now, the sophomore standout is playing a patient waiting game.

Hutton was one of 36 of the finest 17-and-under players around the country competing for a slot on the national team in California. She flew back to Albany late Sunday evening from her week spent at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista and reveled in her experience matching up against the nation’s premier players.

“I am waiting to hear the news, actually,” Hutton said. “Waiting to hear if I will be invited back.”

Hutton, the Times Union’s Large School Soccer Player of the Year as an eighth-grader in 2019, felt every aspect of her initial experience with USA soccer at the national level was one to be cherished.

“It was pretty awesome, not just the soccer, but getting to meet and know players from all over the country,” Hutton said. “My roommates who I spent a lot of time with were from California, Texas and Ohio. It was so unique to be able to get that experience.”

As a seventh-grader, Hutton helped lead Bethlehem to the Class AA state final and earned Times Union first team plaudits after producing 11 goals and 12 assists — ranking second on the team in both categories —as a midfielder. In her second varsity campaign, Hutton shifted to striker and generated a school-record 37 goals to go along with 18 assists as the Eagles won another Section II Class AA championship.

The sophomore played midfield, one of 10 invited at the position, during her stay in California. She is just one of four players born in 2006 at the camp as 31 hopefuls were born in 2005.

Hutton believes she performed well in Chula Vista. There will be eight cuts made from the starting group of 36 hopefuls. Following the initial cuts, there will be another camp November 17-24, where eight more cuts will be made to narrow the squad down to 20 players.

If Hutton is fortunate enough to make it among the final 20, she will get the chance to compete in India in 2022.