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Falcon soccer player Bellini gets invite to Brazil national U-17 tryout



Skyridge junior forward Kalena Bellini left Monday (Feb. 19) to train with the Brazilian Women’s National Team U-17 until March 8 in what amounts to an extended tryout for a spot on the squad that will play for the South American Championship in Paraguay during March.

The daughter of Buck and Marisa Bellini, she is one of eight attackers and 26 players overall to receive the call-up. The opportunity to train is not a guarantee of placement on the national team but the final squad will be chosen from the pool of girls who received these invitations.

The letter informing her of her selection also included this statement:

“A call-up to be part of their National Team is always a high point for the athlete and the recognition of her talent and the work done. It is also a testimony to the competence and strength of the football in the club for which she plays. All those involved deserve congratulations.”

This is a remarkable achievement all by itself but is made even more so because Bellini has recovered from both a torn ACL and a broken collarbone during her prep career.

As a freshman in the 2021 season, Bellini was the leading scorer for the Falcons with 10 goals and two assists.

She missed the entire 2022 prep season as she was recovering from surgery to repair her torn ACL and meniscus, an injury she suffered playing with her club team, Wasatch SC G07. She won back-to-back US Youth Soccer national championships in her age group with that club team. 


After rehabbing from her surgery three months faster than the doctor predicted, she tried out and made the Utah Olympic Development Program team and helped the ODP 2007 girls to win their first ODP Far West Region Championship in Arizona.

In the spring of 2023, Bellini also competed for the Skyridge track team and qualified for State in the 100-meter sprint, finishing in eighth place. During the fall season in 2023, she was the second-leading scorer for the Falcons with seven goals.

Her amazing recovery from her injuries can be partly attributed to the help of her brother Kendi, who is now a senior defender on the Utah Valley University soccer team.

Marisa explained what happened after her surgery. “She was devastated and almost fell into depression,” her mother said. “She decided to keep herself busy during the summer taking classes online while doing physical therapy.

“She started training with her brother in the backyard almost every day so that she could at least touch the ball for 10 minutes,” Marisa said. “She started thinking about her future without soccer and decided that she wanted to become a physical therapist to help athletes like her one day.”

As a result of those extra online classes, Kalena is on track to graduate a year early in May and plans to return to Brazil for more training after that regardless of the outcome of her current tryout.

A 4.0 student, she has accepted a full scholarship to play soccer at UVU and intends to enroll in January of 2025.

Both of Kalena’s parents were born in Brazil and she is a dual citizen. Her mother also lived in Japan for eight years and her father served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there.


Her mother teaches Japanese for the Alpine School District and Kalena is fluent in Japanese, Portuguese and English.

“Those seven painful months at home helped her to see what she needed to focus on to become a better athlete and what she really wanted for her future,” Marisa said. “Now she understands that trials come for a reason, and she is now much stronger not just physically but also mentally.”

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