All soccer players dream of representing their country, but there’s still nothing that prepares you for that moment. It’s an unreal feeling. The first time I got called in to U.S. U-17 national team camp last fall, I was kind of in shock.

But I worked hard. I got noticed. And I was ready.

Competing each week in the Austin FC Academy helped prepare me for the youth international level. The competition is very strong, and the speed of play is quick – but I can handle the transition.

Just in the last few months, I’ve had some incredible experiences. Going to South America to play friendlies against Argentina and Uruguay and scoring a late winner against Uruguay – it was crazy. I got subbed in for the last 20 minutes, and at 1-1, you just try to do your best to help the team win. When the ball went in, everyone was so happy. It was an amazing moment for our team.

Coming back to Texas and scoring against Santos Laguna at the GA Cup, then going with the U.S. U-17s to Europe and competing among the best players in the world at my age – and to score again against Portugal – it was pretty special.

Being with Austin FC, the goals are clear. All of us want to set and keep the standards high for everyone on the team. Having those experiences with the U-17 national team motivates me – I want to keep earning call-ups, get to the U-17 World Cup, and keep pushing myself.

As I look to my future, another thing that drives me each day is the chance to play for the Austin FC first team. That’s the goal. Moving here from Minnesota, it wasn’t easy. Everything is different: new environment, new weather, new people, new friends, new teammates, new club. But it’s a challenge I’m proud to have overcome, and Austin is somewhere I want to play.

One day, I want to compete at Q2 in front of our awesome fans. I want to show them what I can do. Watching our team play from the stands now, thinking about that, it gives me goosebumps.

Motivation | By Micah Burton

If you haven’t seen me play yet, I like to work hard for my team. I like the ball at my feet, and I like to create opportunities. Off the ball, I like to help my team defend, to recover the ball. I like to compete, to shoot, to score, to assist – to do whatever it takes to win.

My team, our academy – we’re like family, like brothers. On the field, our chemistry is really good, and we fight for each other. Off the field, we’re really close, we’re together.

I’m excited for what the future holds for us, and for this Club.