VIDEO: 2018 id2 National Selection team’s tournament run stopped by RCD Espanyol in MIC round of 16

VIDEO: 2018 id2 National Selection team’s tournament run stopped by RCD Espanyol in MIC round of 16

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PLATJA D’ARO, Spain | The third video journal from the 2018 id2 National Selection International Tour is now available, showing highlights from the team’s Mediterranean International Cup playoff games on March 30.

The boys played CE Europa (Spain) on the morning of March 30, winning 3-0 in the round of 32. Later that day, the id2 National Selection team ran into the powerful RCD Espanyol Infantil A squad and lost 3-0. Espanyol, which had defeated FC Barcelona Infantil A convincingly two weeks prior, went on to beat Barcelona again in the MIC championship game on April 1.

  • First video journal (March 22-26): Domestic camp in N.J., scrimmage vs. Girona FC and player intros
  • Second video journal (March 27-29): Group stage games vs. opponents from Trinidad & Tobago, Canary Islands and Spain
  • Third video journal (March 30): Playoff highlights vs. CE Europa and RCD Espanyol

“The first thing I’m going to tell you is that I’m really proud of you,” id2 Boys Program Director Gerry McKeown said in the locker room after the tournament-ending loss. “I like the way we fought. I like the way we battled.”

With the id2 National Selection’s 3-0 victory in the opening round of the playoffs against CE Europa, that extended the program’s streak of shutouts to 10, dating back to last year’s team that advanced to the MIC quarterfinals. Against CE Europa, Brooklyn Raines (Inter FC) scored in the second minute, followed by Andrew Dutra (California Odyssey SC) in the fourth. Kevin Mearse (Scottsdale Soccer Blackhawks) added insurance in the 40th off a cross from Logan Calpito (formerly Rush Hawaii).

That’s where that shutout streak would end, though, as RCD Espanyol scored twice in the opening half and once more late in the final period. The id2 National Selection team competed well and challenged the Espanyol defense on various occasions in the second half, but ultimately, the more experienced Espanyol group triumphed. Two days later, that Espanyol team knocked off the defending MIC champion FC Barcelona Infantil A, 1-0, in the title game.

Since its tournament-ending loss, the id2 National Selection team has shifted its focus to immersing itself in Catalan culture throughout the Costa Brava region. The boys kept up with the MIC playoffs by watching Barcelona’s and Espanyol’s quarterfinal matches and then their championship game. That’s where the third video journal concludes.

Since then, the delegation has transferred to Barcelona for the remainder of its journey in Spain, where sightseeing excursions continue, including a stadium tour of the famous FC Barcelona grounds: Camp Nou.

The final video journal from the 2018 id2 National Selection International Tour – to be released in the coming days – will feature the group’s brief stay in Barcelona and concluding thoughts from players and coaches.

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.

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’s resounding support of the tour and the id2 Program in general, LaLiga is offering its resources to enhance the trip. Premier International Tours is also assisting with travel logistics, and, like previous years, is serving as on-site liaison.

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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