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Midfielder Pittaluga wins tryout’s spot for Fire camp

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Updated: February 6, 2012 9:39AM

Fabrizio Pittaluga didn’t expect to hear from the Fire on Dec. 19. So he went about his day of training, and by the time he checked his phone, he noticed he’d missed quite possibly the most important call of his soccer career.

‘‘I had recognized the area code,” Pittaluga said.

He called the Fire right back and learned he’d beaten out more than 160 other players to win the annual two-day open tryout held Dec. 14-16 at the Bridgeview Sports Dome. The Fire announced Wednesday that Pittaluga, a midfielder, will join the team for its first preseason camp Jan. 20 in Ave Maria, Fla.

‘‘I was definitely tired afterwards,’’ Pittaluga said. ‘‘I’m not used to the cold weather, being from Miami. It wasn’t one of the hardest things I’ve done [in soccer], but there were a lot of nerves.’’

Pittaluga, 22, came to the United States from Lima, Peru, in 1991 and has U.S., Peruvian and Italian citizenship. He played for Miami Kendall FC in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in 2007-08.

After the first day of tryouts, only 24 players were asked back.

‘‘Sometimes it’s a long shot,’’ Fire coach Frank Klopas said. ‘‘His awareness, his soccer intelligence and his technique stood out from the rest of the players. We felt he was the best.’’

As the preseason camp nears, Pittaluga probably will continue the same training regimen.

‘‘I’m in good shape and in good form,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m running and working on ball work and swimming. But I want to make sure I don’t overtrain.’’

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