Keeping up with the 2017 id2 National Selection International Tour to Spain

Keeping up with the 2017 id2 National Selection International Tour to Spain

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The 2017 id2 National Selection International Tour is officially underway, as 18 youth boys players prepare to participate in the prestigious Mediterranean International Cup (MIC). This marks the fourth trip to Spain in id2 history.

The id2 National Selection International Tour is the final programming element of the id2 Program cycle targeting boys born in 2003. This trip is organized through strong support from Nike, as well as LaLiga and Premier International Tours.

The trip starts with a domestic camp in New Jersey, April 6-8, before flying to Spain, where the team will play one friendly in Girona and then test their mettle in the MIC. Teams from China, Israel and Spain await the id2 National Selection’s group stage.

Stay tuned for ongoing coverage from the 2017 id² National Selection International Tour by following @USClubSoccer on Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #id2Spain.

Monday, April 17:

The boys say goodbye to each other today after becoming a tight-knit family over the past 11 days. It is remarkable how well these players bonded together and had each other’s backs on and off the pitch.

Stay tuned for the final video journal, which includes highlights from the playoff game against FC Inter Milan, as well as final thoughts from coaches and players.

Sunday, April 16:

Happy Easter from Espana! This is our final full day in Spain, and the boys got the chance to see the incredibly picturesque town of Tossa De Mar. Our Premier International Tours guide, Clive, directed us through the beach, a castle and city market.

We’ll have an early turndown for sleep tonight, as the group leaves for the Barcelona airport at 6:30 a.m. local time.

Saturday, April 15:

Only eight teams in Category C (based on age group) remain in the MIC playoffs. The id2 National Selection takes on FC Inter Milan at 10 a.m. local time at Estadi Palafrugell.

This will be the second time an id2 National Selection team has played Inter, as the 2014 team that traveled to Italy came up with a 0-0 scoreline.

UPDATE: The id2 squad played Inter to a scoreless regulation, before falling in penalty kicks. Tonight, we’ll go to the FC Barcelona/Real Sociedad game at Camp Nou.

Friday, April 14:

The id2 National Selection enters the MIC playoffs with an unblemished 3-0 record. The competition stiffens, starting with UD Perfeccionamente Global this morning at 10 a.m.

UD Perfeccionamiento Global, of Spain, is coming off a scoreless draw to Alboraya UD on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the defensive-minded team edged Costa del Este FC, 2-1.

UPDATE: The id2 National Selection team again used early goals to spur a victory, as Kevin Sliva (FC Portland) scored in the 4th minute and Mwinso Denkabe (Juventus SC) scored in the 16th. For Sliva, it was his first goal of the trip, coming off a corner kick, which he headed through. Denkabe has frequented the score sheet during the trip thus far, and his latest came less than a minute after he was subbed in.

In the second half, Dominic Vegaalban (Sacramento Republic FC) scored in the 30th after a Perfeccionamentio miscue left him 1-on-1 with the Spanish goalkeeper. Riley Lynch (SC Del Sol) added a goal in the 38th minute thanks to a strong run down the right side.

With a berth in the quarterfinals on the line, we play Club Gimnastic de Manresa at 6 p.m. local time.

UPDATE: The id2 National Selection bested Gimnastic de Manresa, 1-0, behind a 37th minute goal from Dominic Vegaalban. It was an especially physical battle, so the boys took a cold dip in the hotel pool afterward and then went to bed early. Up next is a quarterfinal match against FC Internazionale Milano at 10 a.m. at Estadi Palafrugell. MIC playoff schedules and results are available here.

Thursday, April 13:

It’s critical the id2 squad takes a one-game-at-a-time approach today, as the boys take on Shangwen-Nama (1-0) at 11 a.m. local time and then Hapoel Ramat Gan (0-1) at 5 p.m.

Shangwen-Nama defeated Hapoel Ramat Gan Wednesday morning, 2-0. Head over to the @USClubSoccer Twitter account for live updates.

UPDATE: The id2 National Selection team jumped out to an early lead against Shangwen-Nama and never looked back, winning 7-0.

In the afternoon, the id2 National Selection defeated Hapoel Ramat Gan, 4-0. For the second time Thursday, the group used an early goal – this time by Dominic Vegaalban in the 1st minute – to propel them through the game.

After completing the doubleheader, the team returned to the Mediterranean Sea for a brief recovery/ice bath substitute.

Wednesday, April 12:

The id2 National Selection team got off to a good start in the MIC with a convincing 3-0 victory over CDAFB Tegueste at Mont-Ras. Caden Clark scored in the 9th minute, assisted by Cameron Dunbar. Then, Clark buried a bicycle kick in the back of the net 10 minutes later, and the id2 squad took a 2-0 lead into halftime. Diego Luna finished a cross from Dominic Vegaalban in the 45th minute to extend the lead. Gavin Krenecki and Santiago Davila combined for the shutout in goal.

Afterward, the delegation went to the beach and refreshed their legs in the Mediterranean Sea. For the rest of the day, the team focuses on rest and recovery, as the team prepares for two games tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 11:

The id2 National Selection team walked to a nearby park for a light training session that includes stretching exercises and juggling competitions. In the afternoon, the delegation transferred to Platja D’Aro in Costa Brava, where we’ll stay for the MIC competition. Once the id2 team checked in with MIC officials, coach Gerry McKeown addressed the team and then began study hall for the players. Tomorrow morning, the team takes on CDAFB Tegueste at 10 a.m. local time.

Monday, April 10:

After breakfast, the id2 National Selection team walked around the Girona city center, including La Catedral de Girona. Our tour guide, of Premier International Tours, provided us with history snippets along the way. A scrimmage against Unio Girona Infantil A (’02s) awaits the group tonight at Centre Esportiu Vedruna. This is the final full day in Girona, as we transfer to Platja D’Aro tomorrow after lunch. UPDATE: The id2 National Selection defeated Unio Girona, 6-0, behind goals from Roald Mitchell (14th minute), Caden Clark (24th), Mwinso Denkabe (33rd), Riley Lynch (34th) and Cameron Dunbar (47th, 50th).

Sunday, April 9:

The delegation arrived in Barcelona around 9 a.m. local time and then took an hour-and a-half-long bus ride to Girona. After checking in at the hotel, everyone enjoyed their first Spanish lunch of the journey and then focused on resting until a light training session tonight.

Girona is a small, fascinating town, and we’ll be sure to explore it before we leave for Costa Brava for the MIC. For today, though, rest and hydration take precedent. You can read more about Girona on Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor.

Saturday, April 8:

This is the final day of the domestic camp in New Jersey, and it’s a light day. A morning recovery session in the headquarters hotel pool will help rejuvenate any bumps and bruises from Friday night’s scrimmages. After that, the delegation will have some R&R until flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport for a red-eye flight to Barcelona.

Friday, April 7:

After breakfast, the players headed out for their second training camp of the trip, where head coach Gerry McKeown and assistant coach Ian Mork placed an emphasis on pace of play and competitiveness. The afternoon featured both an academic focus – with study hall after lunch – and then two consecutive scrimmages against PDA and New York Club Soccer League’s PDP. Cameron Dunbar (Albion SC) and Josh Negrete (Cedar Stars Academy) scored a goal apiece against PDA’s ’02 team, and David Mejia (Peru) and Caden Clark (Minnesota Thunder Academy) found the back of the net against NYCSL’s ’02 PDP squad.

Thursday, April 6:

Players flew in to Newark Liberty International Airport throughout the day for the start of domestic camp. Inclement weather during the afternoon hours delayed several flights, but ultimately, all players arrived and started to get acclimated to their new teammates and coaches.

A light training session was held at night at PDA Soccer Complex, following the first team meeting.