The environment and the opportunity were too much for Annah Lindberg to pass up. The standout Forest Park High School girls soccer player wanted to find a way to elevate her game, while doing it in a warm-weather climate.
The IMG Academy in Bradenton ,Fla. met Lindberg's needs on both fronts. Lindberg will finish her junior year at Forest Park before enrolling in IMG this summer and spending her senior year training and going to school in Florida.
"It will benefit me more in the long run," Lindberg said.
Lindberg is coming off a sensational sophomore season in which she was named the Cardinal District and Northwest Region Player of the Year after recording 27 goals and nine assists for 63 points.
Lindberg, who has committed to North Carolina State, got a taste of life at IMG and its facility three years ago when she attended a camp there.
Lindberg's mom Amy first broached the idea of looking into IMG last fall and Lindberg was interested in going.
"I can get my education there and go for soccer as well," Lindberg said. "I can train everyday and the weather is always nice."
Lindberg had to apply to IMG by going through an admissions process, but she did not have to try out for the soccer program.
Former James Madison University assistant women's soccer coach Bobby Johnston is the director of IMG's Soccer Academy's Girls Program.
Johnston was already familiar with Lindberg after seeing her play while he was at JMU. Johnston's presence at IMG was another reason for Lindberg to go there since the two had developed a rapport.
Lindberg will compete with the IMG's U18 team.