Traveling around the world doesn’t faze Brian Iloski these days.
The midfielder, a recent contestant in Nike’s The Chance competition, recently returned from a global tour with the team, with stops it Portland, Los Angeles, Turin, Italy and Manchester, England. A total of 16 players trained in those separate location, while three winners were selected to join the Nike Academy at the end of the journey.
And while he wasn’t named as one of the trio, Iloski had nothing but good things to say about it.
“It was a great trip,” he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “We got to go to a lot of places and experience a bunch of new things.”
At each stop along the way, the Nike squad played against competition like the U.S. U17 Men’s National Team, Juventus’ U17s, as well as a Nike Academy squad in Manchester.
All along the way, Iloski was evaluated by the program’s coaching staff, not to mention training and playing in front of other club teams and scouts associated with the competition.
Some of the highlights for the 17-year-old off the field – one of the youngest contestants involved in the trip – included getting a chance to tour Manchester United and City stadiums, and also getting to sightsee in London, which he said was one of his favorite parts of the trip.
It was definitely an eye-opening experience for him, in several ways.
“I think it helped me be more disciplined and realized what it takes to be a pro,” he said.
Along with that, he left with several new friends, as the group of players from around the world spent a total of 35 days together, and Iloski said that “we got to know each other really well,” during the tour.
Despite not finishing as one of the three winners, there still is plenty that Iloski has to look forward to when it comes to soccer. After the trip, he joined the LA Galaxy U18 Academy squad, and will play and train with the talented group through at least the rest of the Academy season.
“[LA] invited me, they kind of brought it up, and I liked the idea so I decided to go for it,” he said.
There, Iloski will also have the opportunity to possibly compete with the Galaxy at the Dallas Cup Super Group, which would give him more chances to play in front of coaches and scouts from around the world, not to mention being connected with the MLS club.
But his immediate future is sorted, and it’s heading back overseas, as Iloski is once again traveling to Europe, this time to compete with the U.S. U18 MNT as they play in France and Romania from March 15-25.
“I’m excited for that coming up in a couple of days,” he said. “I’m looking forward to playing with the national team again and just hope to get more experiences with the U18s.”
And after spending 35 days away from home – not to mention last year’s trip to Barcelona for the finals of the Chance – he doesn’t let life on the road bother him.
“It’s tiring at times, but I don’t really mind it,” he said.
That’s a good sign, as it probably won’t be the last time he hops on a plane and heads to Europe to play soccer.