28 Mar VIDEO: Domestic camp and scrimmage against Girona FC highlight first video journal of 2018 id2 National Selection International Tour
GIRONA, Spain | The first few days of the 2018 id2 National Selection International Tour are chronicled in the opening video journal of the trip. That includes player introductions, a brief recap of the domestic camp in New Jersey (March 22-24) and highlights from the squad’s scrimmage against Girona FC Infantil A (March 26).
The 18-player id2 National Selection roster is a collection of standouts from 16 clubs spanning 11 states. This represents the final programming element for the age group cycle targeting boys born in 2004.
Before flying overseas, the delegation began to build its foundation in New Jersey, training at PDA Soccer Complex for two days and scrimmaging the host club’s 2003s academy team. That PDA ’03 squad includes id2 National Selection alumni Daniel Edelman (2016 & 2017) and Roald Mitchell (2017).
id2 Boys Program Director Gerry McKeown is charged with leading the team in the id2 Program’s ninth trip abroad. Assistant coaches Ian Mork (NorCal Premier Soccer) and Tyler Stakiwicz (PDA & Rutgers University), along with Clint Peay (U.S. Soccer Federation scout) round out the technical staff. Long-time US Club Soccer Board of Directors member Shawn Blakeman is serving as head of delegation.
Two days after arriving in Girona, Spain, the id2 National Selection faced another strong, pre-Mediterranean International Cup test in a scrimmage against Girona FC Infantil A. After surrendering two goals in the first 10 minutes, the id2 team rallied for two goals later in the first half. The first was by Andrew Dutra (California Odyssey SC) and the equalizer by Allan Rodriguez Lopez (San Antonio SC).
The second half went scoreless. After the final whistle, the opposing coaching staffs agreed to advance to penalty kicks – not to force a result, but to practice the situation before both teams compete in the MIC later this week. The 2017 id2 National Selection team was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Inter Milan in penalty kicks.
“Very interesting contest against a really strong, physical team that put us to the test,” McKeown said. “It was a difficult game. There are a lot of lessons that we can learn in how we started the game and came out to play. Fortunately, we were able to come back and play some really good soccer. 2-2, ultimately, was a fair result.”
That’s where the first video journal concludes. Since that night, the team enjoyed a cultural experience walking around the Girona city center before transferring to its MIC headquarters hotel in nearby Platja D’Aro. Group stage games began this morning (Wednesday). The id2 National Selection earned the top spot in Group L, drawing opponents from Trinidad & Tobago, Spain and the Canary Islands.
In Wednesday’s opening game, the id2 squad downed Trendsetter Hawks (T&T), 8-0. It was a balanced attack with four goals in each half. Kevin Mearse (Scottsdale Soccer Blackhawks) tallied two goals and an assist. Alejandro Alcalá (Stockton TLJ FC), Tatenda Chigede (TSC Hurricane), Niall Dunn (Scottsdale Soccer Blackhawks), Andrew Dutra (California Odyssey SC), Dominic Gambone (Canton United SC) and Allan Rodriguez Lopez (San Antonio FC) tallied one goal apiece. Anders Bordoy (Riverhounds Academy) added an assist.
Up next are two games on Thursday against the remainder of Group L: Club Daniel Carnevali (Canary Islands) and Racing Sarriá CF (Spain). Be sure to “follow” @USClubSoccer on Twitter and Instagram for live updates from Spain.
The MIC takes place on the northeast coast of Spain at the Costa Brava, featuring some of the best clubs and academy teams in the world. In its history, top teams like Brazil National Selection, Mexico National Selection, Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool FC and FC Inter Milan have all competed. Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., Gerard Piqué and other world-renowned stars have taken the MIC pitch.
Numerous id2 National Selection alumni have advanced to the highest levels of the sport, including Christian Pulisic (2012), Jonathan Gonzalez (2013), Tyler Adams (2013), Corey Baird (2010), Danny Barbir (2012), Collin Fernandez (2010), Matthew Olosunde (2012), Tommy Redding (2011), Ben Swanson (2010) and Timothy Weah (2013). Just prior to the 2018 id² National Selection International Tour, US Club Soccer released an “id2 where are they now” web series detailing each year’s National Selection boys alumni.
In addition to Nike, LaLiga is offering its resources to enhance the 2018 id2 National Selection International Tour. Premier International Tours is also assisting with travel logistics, and, like previous years, is serving as on-site liaison for the duration of the trip.
Consistent with US Club Soccer’s philosophy that identification and development should be free to players, there is no cost to players. The id2 Program is an Olympic Development Program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation.
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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 environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.