PITTSBORO — This week, Seaforth rising sophomore Sofia Viana is living out one of her dreams.
Viana, who starred for the Hawks’ girl’s soccer team this past spring, is currently in Teresópolis, Brazil, competing in a training camp with the U17 Brazilian women’s national team. She told the News & Record this week that she was completely shocked when she heard the news she had been called into the camp.
“I was extremely proud that I was one of a few selected to represent my country, but I was also stunned because my biggest dream had just come true,” Viana said. “I will never forget the look on my parents’ faces when we were celebrating. Their tears and smiles and pure happiness I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
Viana was born in Miami and was raised in the United States, but she holds dual nationality with Brazil. She had participated in a few Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) talent ID camps in Florida in the past, but this is her first time officially competing in the national team system.
The rising sophomore plays club soccer for the North Carolina F.C. 2008 ECNL G team, which competes in the Elite Clubs National League. On top of her responsibilities to her high school team, she also trains four nights a week with her club team.
This past spring, Viana led the Seaforth girls soccer team in both goals (33) and assists (25) from her forward position as just a freshman. She helped the Hawks amass a 17-6-1 overall record and reach the third round of the 2A state playoffs before falling to Raleigh Charter. Seaforth is coached by Viana’s dad, Giovanni Viana.
She called the experience of playing at the high school level this past spring, “one of the best experiences of my life.”
“My freshman season was probably one of the best soccer seasons I’ve ever had, not just because of the soccer, but because of the family that we built,” Viana said. “Whether I was having a good day or a bad day, just going out on that field with my teammates fixed everything. This team truly holds a special place in my heart. Because at this point Seaforth soccer isn’t just a team. It’s my family.”
A tenacious attacking player with a knack for finding the back of the net, Viana has modeled her game after Brazilian legend Debinha, who plays for the Kansas City Current of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and will play for Brazil in the Women’s World Cup this summer.
Viana said she saw Debinha play pretty regularly when she was with the N.C. Courage from 2017-22. She even made a habit of speaking with her after the games, and at one point she exchanged phone numbers with the two-time NWSL champion.
“I started texting her and ever since she has accompanied me throughout several of my accomplishments,” Viana said.
Viana will compete at the Brazil U17 camp until July 9. During the rest of the high school offseason, she plans to work most on improving her finishing, whether it be off the dribble, from a cross, off a free kick or outside of the box.
So far she said she has enjoyed her time competing in Teresópolis, an opportunity she said has been simply “incredible.”
“The people here and my teammates have been extremely welcoming and kind toward me since the beginning,” Vianna said. “It’s a different culture and I absolutely love it. The training has been good and very demanding. Everyone here is at the highest level and to train against them really makes me a better player and person.”