17 Mar 2015 id2 National Selection boys team: Where are they now?
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 eight articles in an ongoing series looking back at the boys players who have participated in id² National Selection programming, as the 2018 id2 National Selection International Tour approaches. A series featuring girls players will be released prior to the 2018 ECNL/ id2 National Training Camp.
The 2015 id2 National Selection International Tour was held Feb. 28-March 10 in Argentina. The 2015 International Tour marked the first id2 National Selection trip to South America. The two-week tour saw the team face off against elite academy teams from Velez Sarsfield, Boca Juniors, Argentinos Juniors and San Lorenzo de Almagro.
During their recovery time, the athletes attended a Primera Division game between Sarmiento de Junin and Vélez Sarsfield at José Amalfitani Stadium and watched River Plate host Tigres UANL in a Copa Libertadores match. They also went on a sight-seeing trip excursion through La Boca, which included a tour of the Boca Juniors’ training facility, La Bombonera.
All 18 players from the 2015 id2 National Selection team have played or currently play for U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs, including four in the LA Galaxy Academy ranks. Four players are currently in the U.S. U-18 National Team player pool, while two have been placed in the U-17 player pool. Two players have already committed to play Division I collegiate soccer, and 16-year-old Azriel Gonzalez currently plays professionally in the USL.
- Julian Anderson (M), Ocean, N.J. – After playing club soccer for PDA, Anderson was recruited by the Philadelphia Union Academy, where he currently plays for the 14-U team. The midfielder is currently in the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team player pool.
- Luis Arriaga (F), Santa Rosa, Calif. – Arriaga is active in the U.S. U-18 Men’s National player pool and has played for Real Salt Lake’s youth academy in Casa Grande, Ariz. for three years. In 2017-18, he started eight of his nine appearances for the 18/19-U team, scoring four goals along the way. The high-scoring forward traveled with the U.S. U-16 National Team in 2016.
- Ed Berumen (D/M), Salida, Calif. – Before moving to the Sacramento Republic Academy in 2016, Berumen played on Modesto Ajax Club. In 2017-18, he started nine games for the 18/19-U team. He attended a Florida U.S. U-16 National Team camp in 2017.
- Eduardo Blancas (F), Napa, Calif. – Blancas was a member of Real Salt Lake’s Youth Academy, with Luis Arriaga, before moving to La Galaxy Academy in 2017, where he currently plays on the 16/17-U team. He has also appeared on the U.S. U-16 National Team.
- Judson Burns (D), Argyle, Texas – The defender joined the FC Dallas Academy in 2015, where he started all 15 of his appearances for the 16/17-U team in 2017-18.
- Dominic De Almeida (M/D), Lincoln Park, N.J. – Rated as IMG Academy’s No. 15 player in the class of 2020, De Almeida is one of the nation’s top defensive prospects. He has played in the PDA academy for several years, while also representing the U.S. U-16 National Team.
- Jesus Esparza (M), Newark, Calif. – Esparza has played club soccer for Palo Alto SC and De Anza Force Academy.
- Angel Flores (F), Carlsbad, Calif. – Flores plays for the LA Galaxy Academy in San Diego. He was selected to attend a 2001 boys U.S. Soccer Training Center.
- Abraham Gonzalez (M), Riverside, Calif. – The former midfield has converted to defender and has committed to play for San Diego State University. Gonzalez appeared in 25 matches for the LA Galaxy U-15/16 team before transferring to FC Golden State. He also represented the the U.S. U-16 National Team in the 2017 Tournoi de Montaigu tournament, in France.
- Azriel Gonzalez (F), Las Vegas, Nev. – In July 2017, Gonzalez became the youngest player in Seattle Sounders history to be signed to a professional contract. The 16-year-old had been in the Sounders academy for two years prior and now plays for Seattle Sounders FC 2 in the USL. The forward was added to the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team player pool in January.
- Luke Hansen (D), Littleton, Colo. – Along with Azriel Gonzalez, Leonardo Sepulveda and Luis Arriaga, Hansen is currently in the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team player pool. Since 2015, he has played in the Colorado Rapids Academy, where he has started 58 of his 64 appearances for the club.
- Bryang Kayo (M), Montgomery Village, Md. – Kayo began playing for the D.C. United U-16/17 academy team in 2017, and has since registered two goals, with 13 starts in 16 appearances. The midfielder is currently in the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team player pool, alongside fellow 2015 id2 Selection Tour alumnus Julian Anderson.
- Lorenzo Lopez (M), Oregon City, Ore. – Now a defender, Lopez has played in the Portland Timbers Academy since 2015. He started all 31 of his appearances in 2016-17, en route to being named in the U.S. Development Academy Western Conference Best XI.
- Cole McNally (GK), Mt. Airy, Md. – Before committing to play collegiate soccer at Wake Forest University, in December, McNally played club soccer with Bethesda SC.
- Togo Nakamura (D), Torrance, Calif. – As an LA Galaxy Academy player since 2015, Nakamura started all 11 of his appearances in their defense in 2017-18. He has trained with the U.S. U-16 National Team.
- Leonardo Sepulveda (D), Corona, Calif. – Sepulveda is another 2015 id2 Selection Tour alumnus currently in the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team player pool. He has been a teammate of Nakamura’s on U-13/14 and U-15/16 LA Galaxy Academy teams. The defender started nine of his ten appearances for the U-18/19 team in 2017-18.
- Noah Thomas (GK), Lakewood, Wash. – Thomas has played in the Seattle Sounders Academy since 2015 and last appeared for the U-16/17 team in the 2017-18 campaign.
- Donovan Wu (D/M), Medford, N.J. – Wu made his move to the Philadelphia Union Academy in 2015. Since, he has started 34 of his 35 appearances for the U-13/14 and U-16/17 teams.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles on the id2 National Selection teams from 2016 and 2017. More information on US Club Soccer’s id2 Program can be accessed here.
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