Soccer Superstar

Freshman stars in sports reality show, trains with professionals


Photo provided by Randi Thortis

During a taping of “Ultimate Soccer Star” competition reality show, freshman Randi Thortis gets important information.

Eden Amberber, Reporter

As she shows off her skills in front of the judges, she doesn’t break a sweat. She is confident. She knows she has skill. She is sure she will make the cut.

Freshman Randi Thortis is set to star in a Nickelodeon reality television show, Soccer Superstar, which will premier this summer. The show is a soccer competition where teams based in major cities are eliminated round after round. One lucky winner is named the Ultimate Soccer Star and is invited to visit a premier European soccer club.

“We play games every few days, then they kick out the ones that didn’t do well,” Thortis said. “[Competing cities include] Dallas, Denver, Tampa and San Diego. [There are] three [girls] from each city, which make up one whole team.”

Thortis’s family initially heard that the show was holding tryouts on the local news. She initially misinterpreted what the tryouts were for.

“We first thought that they were just tryouts for coaches to come look at you for college,” Thortis said. “But, it wasn’t. We soon realized it was for a TV show, making [my family] more excited.”

Thortis left for southern California on April 1. She continued schooling on the show’s set throughout that month and was provided with personal tutors and on-set teachers.

“[I did] school three hours a day on set using personal tutors,” Thortis said. “That [was] different, but worth it.”

The show has various judges high up in the soccer world, ranging from professional players and former Olympians, including Marcelo Balboa, member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and Angela Hucles, member of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

“It [was] super awesome to know that Olympic Gold Medalists would come train us,” Thortis said. “They were harsh, but it [was] good for me.”

Following tryouts, Thortis was confident. She said she was comfortable with most of the drills and performed well.

“There were multiple things we had to do, but I think [tryouts] went well,” Thortis said. “My family was surprised at how confident I was.”

When receiving the call that confirmed her acceptance, Thortis was frightened at the idea of being on television, but was comforted by knowing she would be playing the sport she loves.

“I’m not really doing the show for fame or anything like that,” Thortis said. “I just hope I can improve my skills and make it big.”

After one week, Thortis was let go from the show. Although Thortis was eliminated early-on in the competition, she was still grateful for the opportunity.

“My team, the Dallas team, was one of the first eliminated,” Thortis said. “It’s [sad], but it’s okay. It was still great, experience-wise. We were lacking teamwork and just did not measure up.”

Thortis said her competitors kept her on her toes. But, her team bonded together for the first time, in their third game.

“My favorite memory was the game where we beat [a semi-professional team] 2-0,” Thortis said. “We were in sync that day, like a true team.”

Looking back, Thortis now regrets her tryout and said that if she could change anything, it would be her performance during it. When the judges eliminated her, they recommended Thortis try out again for the show next year. Thortis currently plans to.

“For jerseys, they assign you your number by your rank in tryouts,” Thortis said. “They range from one to 11, with one being the best and 11 being the worst. I got jersey number 11. I had barely [made the cut]. I know that I’m better than how I performed. But, maybe I’ll do better next year.”

Although Thortis expected the judges to be hard to please, she did not expect them to be as straightforward as they were.

“If you made a bad move, they’d call you out with no mercy,” Thortis said. “They judged your every move. It was beneficial though, I always knew what I had done wrong and what I needed to work on.”

Overall, Thortis said the experience exceeded her expectations. She knows that this was a rare opportunity.

“I mean, it’s just something not a lot of people get to do,” Thortis said. “How many can say they’ve been on TV? It’s once in a lifetime.”