28 Feb First video journal available from 2016 id2 National Selection International Tour to Spain
The first video journal of the 2016 id² National Selection International Tour to Spain introduces the roster, explains the importance of the trip to the players’ development and highlights the first days of the trip in New Jersey and Valencia.
The id² National Selection team, made up of 16 boys born in 2002 and two born in 2003, represent 18 clubs throughout the United States. By trip’s end, the team will have played games against Infantil A (2002s) teams of Valencia CF (Feb. 23), Villarreal CF (Feb. 25), Espanyol (Feb. 29) and FC Barcelona (March 1).
“When you look at those four games, that’s a huge accomplishment to get those games and get those teams willing to play,” Gerry McKeown, id² National Selection head coach and id² Boys Program Director, said. “But more importantly, it’s a daunting task for a group that is only going to be together formally for three or four days, so we really have a challenge ahead of us.”
The delegation began its journey with a brief domestic camp in New Jersey, where two training sessions were held, including a Feb. 21 scrimmage against PDA’s 2000s.
Afterward, the team took an overnight flight to Barcelona and then traveled to its five-day base in Valencia. In the city on Spain’s “Orange Blossom Coast,” the boys trained at Valencia CF’s pristine Paterna Training Ground and played the host Infantil A (2002s) squad, Feb. 23.
Valencia CF took advantage of some American apprehension at kickoff to take an early lead with a goal in the 3rd minute. Although the id² National Selection team rebounded to piece together good possessions, Valencia tacked on another goal in the 33rd minute to take a more comfortable advantage into halftime.
In the 53rd minute, midfielder Max Goeggel (Ballistic United SC; San Francisco, Calif.) found striker Alfredo Moran Loera (Surf SC; Chula Vista, Calif.) at the top of the box, who then slotted a goal to the lower left post to trim the deficit to 2-1. Kawika Kelii (Maui United SC; Waianae, Hawaii) and Moran Loera each had a shot on goal to tie, but both were thwarted by the Valencia CF goalkeeper. id² National Selection goalkeeper Gandhi Cruz (Chicago Magic PSG; Aurora, Ill.) was solid in his international playing debut. Ultimately, Valencia CF won 2-1.
The following day, the team started a recovery day with a sight-seeing excursion to Parque de Cabercera to get a first-hand glimpse into the stunning architecture of the city. Later that day, the group returned to Paterna Training Ground for a practice to address the previous game’s shortcomings and prepare for a difficult match the next day against Villarreal CF Infantil A (2002s) at Villarreal Ciutat Deportiva.
That’s where the first video journal concludes, but in real time, the team went on to lose 4-0 to a talented Villarreal CF squad, Feb. 25. Clips from that game, as well as more training shots, a trip to the Mediterranean Sea and the first days in Barcelona will be included in the second video journal. The third, and final highlight video, will chronicle the boys in Barcelona, including games against the academy teams of Espanyol (Feb. 29) and FC Barcelona (March 1).
As has been the case the past two games, US Club Soccer will live tweet each match from its official Twitter account. “Follow” along for kickoff times, in-game updates and photos.
For more information on US Club Soccer’s id² Program, please visit usclubsoccer.org/id2.
ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER:
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages.
US Club Soccer offers youth and adult registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, and a variety of other programming and services. Anchored by Players First, US Club Soccer supports all facets of youth soccer through the five pillars of Players First: Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety. Other programming elements include National Premier Leagues, the id² Program and Player Development Program, and the National Cup.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and is supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.