Foreign Exchange Student: Jacopo Maddalon

Maddalon has traveled nearly 6,000 miles and plays soccer in Granite Bay.


Hayden Sommers

After scoring his first goal for United, Maddalon celebrated by pinching his fingers in the stereotypical Italian way, after his teammates teased him about the certain celebration prior to scoring.

His teammate chips in a pass finding his feet. He sets himself up and lobs the ball over the goalkeeper in style to equalize the scoreline and get his team back in the game.

Jacopo Maddalon, a junior at Granite Bay High School, is a foreign exchange student from Milan, Italy, who plays as a forward at Granite Bay United ‘05, a competitive club soccer team.

“My first reason that pushed me to be a foreign exchange student is my desire to discover a new lifestyle and a different society, but also trying to challenge myself with a language I usually don’t speak,” Maddalon said. 

Fluent in English, Maddalon practices the language 24/7 waking up to an American family at home, going to GBHS and attending club practice after practice.

“My time at Granite Bay High School has been fantastic; I discovered so many things about American High Schools and I love it, ” Maddalon said. “It’s like living in a movie.”

Apart from Maddalon’s extracurricular club team, the junior has full confidence that he will be joining the Granite Bay High School soccer team in November. 

For Granite Bay United ‘05’s head coach, James Parkhurst, having Maddalon on the team has been like a movie as well.

“Adding a player like Jacopo makes a team better,” Parkhurst said. “The positive effect on our team’s morale is inevitable given Jacopo’s character, attitude and commitment to the team.”

Many of Maddalon’s fellow teammates have expressed their excitement about Maddalon’s addition to the team, including United’s club captain Loudon Langley. 

“I think Jacopo has given us a clear advantage on the field,” Langley said.

Through bonding with the team, going out to eat after games and connecting with teammates outside of the soccer field,  Maddalon has developed the same humor as the rest of the team.

“Playing soccer is one of the things I most like,” Maddalon said. 

Yet, even more important than soccer/his American soccer venture, is the relationships Maddalon has with his peers/friends/parents. 

“(My goal is) to keep all the American relationships when (I come) back to Italy and (to have) a second home in Granite Bay,” Maddalon said.