VIDEO: 2018 id2 National Selection team wins all three group stage games, advances to round of 16

VIDEO: 2018 id2 National Selection team wins all three group stage games, advances to round of 16

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PLATJA D’ARO, Spain | The 2018 id2 National Selection team won all three of its group stage games, March 28-29, in convincing fashion, earning advancement to the knockout rounds of the Mediterranean International Cup.

While the first video journal chronicled the opening days of the 2018 id2 National Selection International Tour – including the domestic camp in N.J., scrimmage against Girona FC Infantil A and player introductions, the newly released second video journal includes highlights from these three group stage games.

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) added one goal apiece. Anders Bordoy (Riverhounds Academy) provided an assist.

On Thursday, the team played a doubleheader with a mid-day kickoff against Canary Islands-based Club Daniel Carnevali. Rodriguez Lopez continued his strong play in the midfield, setting the tempo with a goal in the 6th minute. Just before halftime, he scored again – this time assisted by Alcalá.

Thursday evening, the id2 National Selection played Racing Sarriá CF having already clinched the group. Regardless, the boys came out focused and found the back of the net three times each half. Gambone had two assists and two goals (7th, 40th). Mearse finished strong inside enemy territory, scoring twice (38th, 42nd). Rodriguez Lopez (11th) and Juan Gonzalez, of NASA United FC (25th) added goals. Alcalá and Gonzalez also assisted once apiece.

With those three shutouts, the id2 National Selection had posted shutouts in nine consecutive matches, dating back to the 2017 team. On this year’s trip, Nylmar Gonzalez (Marin FC Alliance) and Nicholas McCune (San Ramon FC) are in goal, aided by a strong defensive line.

That’s where this second video journal concludes, but in real time, the team advanced to the round of 16 – defeating CE Europa (Spain), 3-0, Friday morning and then losing to RCD Espanyol Infantil A (Spain), 3-0, Friday evening. Espanyol remains a favorite to win this age group of the MIC, as this team is coming off an impressive 3-0 victory over FC Barcelona Infantil A two weeks ago.

More details about those games will be available in the next update – alongside the third video journal – in the coming days. The id2 delegation is now enjoying sightseeing excursions and cultural experiences in Platja D’Aro and Barcelona before returning to the United States, April 3.

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.

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.

Be sure to “follow” @USClubSoccer on Twitter and Instagram for live updates from Spain.


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