02 Apr 2014 id2 National Selection boys team: Where are they now? (VIDEOS)
By Heather Rule and Nick Wiese
Editor’s note: US Club Soccer congratulates its id² alumni, many of whom have turned youth opportunities into promising high-level collegiate and professional careers. This is one of seven articles in an ongoing series looking back at the players who have participated in id² National Selection programming. Top performers from id² Training Camps every year are invited to National Selection opportunities. For boys, that involves an annual international trip to play top youth academies around the world. For girls, that involves a world-class domestic camp with both ECNL and id² standouts.
The 2014 id2 National Selection International Tour to Italy included challenging matches against ACF Fiorentina, FC Inter Milan and Juventus FC. Although success isn’t necessarily measured by wins and losses in this intensive player development environment, the 2014 id² National Selection is the only team of its kind to win all its matches abroad. The delegation also participated in various sight-seeing activities and attended a professional game.
Fifteen players from the 2014 id² National Selection team have played or currently play for U.S. Soccer Development Academy programs, including four with the LA Galaxy Academy.
- George Acosta (M/F), Hialeah, Fla. – Acosta will be spending the 2017 spring semester in Bradenton, Fla., as part of the U.S. Soccer’s residency 17-U team. He has been playing club soccer for Weston FC.
- Valentino Ambrosio (F/M), Roselle Park, N.J. – As a member of the Red Bulls Academy, Ambrosio has most recently competed for the 15/16-U teams.
- Zico Bailey (D), Henderson, Nev. – Zico is a member of the LA Galaxy Academy 15/16-U team.
- Alex Budnik (GK), Arlington Heights, Ill. – Budnik will also be a member of the U.S. 17-U spring residency program in 2017. The goalkeeper plays club soccer with Sockers FC in Chicago.
- Kelee Cornfield-Saunders (D), San Marcos, Calif. – Another member of the LA Galaxy 15/16-U Academy team, Cornfield-Saunders has appeared for the U.S. at the 15-U level.
- Sebastian Cruz (F/M), Kerman, Calif. – Cruz most recently played for the De Anza Force’s 15/16-U squad during the 2015-16 season.
- J.J. Foe Nuphaus (M/D), San Jose, Calif. – After spending time at the San Jose Earthquakes academy, Nuphaus transferred to Hoffenheim. He is currently in the 17-U squad of the Bundesliga side.
- Nico Garcia-Morillo (F/M), Key Biscayne, Fla. – Garcia-Morillo has represented the U.S. at several levels, up to 17-U. He resides in Spain, where he competes for Atletico Madrid’s academy team.
- Diego Gonzalez (M), Las Vegas, Nev. – Gonzalez was a teammate of Zico Bailey, now of the LA Galaxy Academy, on the FC Heat and has stayed with the club at the 16-U level.
- Colin Innes (M), Olathe, Kan. – The midfielder is playing with Sporting Kansas City’s 15/16-U side and has been a part of that academy for several years.
- Curtis Johnson (D), Daniel Island, S.C. – Johnson spent time playing at South Carolina United Mt. Pleasant before moving to the South Carolina Battery Academy. The defender participated with the 15/16-U team during the 2015-16 season.
- Ricky Mendez (F), San Rafael, Calif. – After spending time with Juventus’s academy, Mendez moved to the San Jose Earthquakes 15/16-U squad for the 2016-17 season.
- Jacob Muchnick (M), Newport Beach, Calif. – Muchnick plays with Zico Bailey and Kelee Cornfield-Saunders on the LA Galaxy 15/16-U team.
- Ben Ofeimu (D), West Bloomfield, Mich. – Ofeimu has been on the Philadelphia Union 15/16-U team since 2015.
- Hunter Pinho (GK), Cranford, N.J. – Pinho has been impressing for PDA at the 17/18-U level, keeping two clean sheets in wins at the USSDA Winter Showcase in December 2016.
- Carlo Ritaccio (D), Westbury, N.Y. – A member of the U.S. 17-U team and of BW Gottshcee Academy, Ritaccio also spent time at the U.S. 17-U national team residency camp in the spring of 2016.
- Tristan Weber (D/F), San Clemente, Calif. – Weber was selected for the U.S. 17-U residency camp for the spring of 2017. In 2015-16 he was part of the LA Galaxy Academy, but has since transferred to the Strikers FC 17/18-U team.
- Joey Zarra (D), Cheshire, Conn. – Zarra is playing with the Oakwood Soccer Club at the 15/16-U level and has been since 2015.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles looking at id2 National Selection teams from 2015-16. More information on US Club Soccer’s id2 Program can be accessed at usclubsoccer.org/id2.
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