Keeping up with the 2017 id2 Training Camp in Casa Grande, Arizona

Keeping up with the 2017 id2 Training Camp in Casa Grande, Arizona | Rosters – Boys / Girls  | Photos

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. | The final id2 Training Camp of 2017 is being held at Grande Sports World, Dec. 7-10. This also officially marks the conclusion of the training camp portion of the id2 age group cycle targeting 2004 boys and 2003 girls.

As is customary for the fall and winter id2 camps, scouting extends to 2004 girls, as well, to accommodate upcoming U.S. Soccer Federation’s youth national team programming on the girls side. Beyond these two remaining camps, US Club Soccer will invite top performers from this entire age group cycle to participate in id2 National Selection programming: the id2 National Selection International Tour (Spring 2018 for boys) and the ECNL/id2 National Training Camp (Summer 2018 for girls).

Established in 2004, US Club Soccer’s id2 Program provides an opportunity for the country’s elite youth soccer players to be identified and developed, and scouted for inclusion in U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs. id2Program directors Gerry McKeown (boys) and Tricia Taliaferro (girls) implement curriculum and direct activities. The id2 Program is an Olympic Development Program (ODP) approved by the United States Olympic Committee and the U.S. Soccer Federation. There is no cost for players to participate or be scouted, and all meals, lodging and gear are provided by US Club Soccer and Nike.

Sunday, Dec. 10:

The final day of training camp looked a bit different from the prior days, with the athletes checking out by 1 p.m. to begin their travels home. As the girls’ final scrimmages were played Saturday night, all girls teams took the field at 8:30 a.m. for a recovery session of soccer tennis. On the next field, the boys held their two final 11 vs. 11 scrimmages.

While the players will be proud to have an id2 training camp under their belt and have gained the new lessons and skills it encompasses, they also must say goodbye to their new friends, gained over the past four days through playing the game they are passionate about.

That feeling when you realize #id2az is over…

A post shared by US Club Soccer (@usclubsoccer) on


Saturday, Dec. 9:

As the second full day of training camp, Saturday held a similar schedule to Friday. The athletes continued their two-a-day training, however the teams were rearranged, so the players had to adjust quickly to new teammates as they continued to give their all on the field. Saturday’s training sessions deviated a bit from the prior two days, as the boys focused on individual technical excellence and less on tactical team training. Meanwhile, the girls played their final 11 vs. 11 scrimmages of the long weekend.

  This morning, the #id2az goalkeepers went hard in a rare coed training session.   A post shared by US Club Soccer (@usclubsoccer) on


Friday, Dec. 8:

Friday marked the first full day of camp, with every athlete participating in morning and evening training sessions. The athletes were up bright and early to eat and be on the fields by 9 a.m. local time, stepping on to the grass to a chilly temperature floating around 40 degrees. Although, as the training continues and the athletes warmed up, the temperature followed suit. The first training session of the day featured tactical training, with focus on areas such as breaking out from the back. Friday’s second training session saw the players’ first full length 11 vs. 11 scrimmages of the weekend. On-site to scout the players is U.S. Soccer technical advisor, Alex Zotinca.

What a move! Just a taste of the talent we saw in the first training session of #id2AZ day 2.   A post shared by US Club Soccer (@usclubsoccer) on

Thursday, Dec. 7:

The opening day of camp was a half day, as players arrived throughout the morning and then transferred from the Phoenix International Airport to Grande Sports World.

After the participants checked in and briefly got settled in their accommodations for the extended weekend, afternoon training sessions awaited the nearly 120 players from all over the country, ranging from Hawaii to New Jersey. The athletes participated in technical drills to improve qualities such as, keeping possession in tight spaces and weighted passes. Assisting id2 boys director Gerry McKeown and id2 girls director Tricia Taliaferro were boys coaches: Eddie Henderson (ISC Gunners and US Club Soccer Board of Directors), Louis Mateus (Chicago Magic SC & U.S. Soccer), Ian Mork (NorCal Premier), Tom Shields (STA), Tyler Stakiwicz (PDA), and Mutanda Kwesele (Pacific Northwest SC). The girls were coached by: Emilia Dydasco (Leahi SC), Doug Landefeld (Michigan Hawks), Scott McDoniel (St. Louis Scott Gallagher), Celia Mosier (Richmond Strikers), and Stuart Self (Challenge SC).