LIVERPOOL, England -- Budding soccer star Marc Pelosi lives a couple blocks from the cradle of British rock music.
But the long-limbed Sunnyvale teenager hasn't explored all the tourist spots that pay tribute to where the Beatles got their start a half century ago.
Pelosi, 18, doesn't have time for anything but soccer -- Liverpool's other passion. The midfielder has spent the past year developing his game for the storied Liverpool Football Club in hopes of someday playing in the English Premier League while also representing the United States in major international tournaments.
He turned down a chance to play in college or with Major League Soccer to become one of the few young Americans to try to advance through a foreign youth academy.
According to the website Yanks-Abroad.com, 18 Americans are playing on the senior sides of English clubs, including eight in the top-level Premiership.
Pelosi is leaving nothing to chance. He marshals all his time and energy for training and playing games as a member of the under-21 Reserve League roster.
"Every time we have a game we get the next day off," Pelosi said in a café near his apartment. "I usually just go out with friends to eat and then go home and sleep in until 1."
That's pretty much it.
It's also why Pelosi, a gifted left-footed midfielder, receives glowing reports from Liverpool's academy staff.
"He's the kind of
Pelosi has moved around the field this season but appears to be settling in as an attacking midfielder. He scored two goals last month against Manchester City in his first start of the regular season for the youth squad. The season runs through early December.
Borrell added Pelosi brings a positive, hardworking attitude to camp every day. "He's never looking for excuses," the Spanish coach said. "He's looking forward to learning day in and day out."
Pelosi has learned much in the past 21/2 months under Borrell, who coached Lionel Messi when the Argentine star joined Barcelona FC as a kid. Borrell also trained Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Christian Tello -- current Barcelona stars with Messi.
It's difficult to fathom Pelosi getting similar tutelage in the United States, even if American coaches are as knowledgeable and seasoned as Borrell. MLS began in 1996. Liverpool FC has 120 years to its credit as well as a special exhibit at the Museum of Liverpool about its rivalry with neighbor Everton.
The one historical note Pelosi has learned involves the Titanic. "It took off from Liverpool," he said.
Last season the former Bellarmine College Prep student lived with a family while acclimating to his new city along the Mersey River. But now Pelosi has moved into his own apartment in a building where a few teammates live.
The compact city center is cluttered with shopping characteristic of a giant American mall. It doesn't offer Parisian-style daily produce stands along side streets. Instead Pelosi shops at a U.K. department store chain that feels like an upscale Walmart.
He's still learning to cook. His mother, Birgit Pelosi, visits often from the South Bay to make sure he enjoys home cooking.
The overall experience isn't entirely new though. Pelosi was one of 40 players invited to be in residency with the U.S. national under-17 team in Bradenton, Fla., when he was 15.
The way Pelosi handles his freedom has left U.S. coaches optimistic. Under-20 coach Tab Ramos calls him a "no-miss" type of player.
"He's at the top of what we have," said Ramos, formerly a U.S. national team star. "It's not like we've had 50 players at Liverpool over the past 10 years. And he's probably the only one Liverpool has high hopes for."
Ramos sees Pelosi as an "all-terrain" midfielder who has a foot in the offense and defense. Borrell has used him throughout the midfield and also as a left outside back.
The player welcomes the variety because "for the rest of my career I can play any of those positions."
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.