After strong showings against top European youth academy teams in each of the past four years, US Club Soccer has announced that members of the 2014 id2 National Selection International Tour will aim to continue the momentum Feb. 27 – March 10, when members travel to Italy.
The id2 National Selection International Tour is the final programming element of the id2 Program cycle targeting boys born in 2000, which included four id2 Training Camps held during 2013.
The roster (found below) consists of 17 boys born in 2000 and one born in 2001, representing 16 clubs from 10 states.
During the tour, the team will have the opportunity to train, attend games and compete against youth teams from well-known professional clubs while gaining a unique educational and cultural experience.
The traveling party will arrive in Northern New Jersey on Feb. 27 for a brief domestic base camp before departing to Italy the evening of Feb. 28. After spending the initial portion of the trip in Florence, the squad will transfer to Milan and return to American soil on March 10.
A challenging schedule awaits the squad, with games schedule against the Giovanissimi Regionali squads of ACF Fiorentina (March 4), Inter Milan (March 6) and Juventus FC (March 7).
“Playing top youth academy teams in Italy will expose our players to European talent while being immersed in a different culture,” Gerry McKeown, US Club Soccer’s id2 Boys Program Director and head coach of the id2 National Selection, said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
id2 National Selection International Tour players will also watch two Serie A professional matches: Lazio at Fiorentina on March 2 and Fiorentina at Juventus on March 9.
This will mark the fifth consecutive year for the id2 National Selection International Tour, following on the heels of successful trips to Germany and the Netherlands in 2010, England and Scotland in 2011, and Spain in 2012 and 2013. Opponents of recent international tours include FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Ajax and Celtic.
Consistent with US Club Soccer’s philosophy that identification and development should be free to players, the organization is funding the trip in conjunction with the strong support of Nike; there is no cost to players.
Aided by their time at id2 National Selection International Tours and id2 Program Training Camps, numerous alums have advanced into U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs. The id2 Program is an Olympic Development Program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation.
The 2014 id2 National Selection International Tour is again being coordinated in conjunction with Premier International Tours.
|George Acosta||Hialeah, Fal.||Weston FC||2000|
|Valentino Ambrosio||Roselle Park, N.J.||New York Red Bulls||2000|
|Zico Bailey||Henderson, Nev.||Heat FC||2000|
|Alex Budnik||Arlington Heights, Ill.||Sockers FC Chicago||2000|
|Kelee Cornfield-Saunders||San Marcos, Calif.||DMCV Sharks SC||2000|
|Sebastian Cruz||Kerman, Calif.||Cal Odyssey SC||2000|
|JJ Foe Nuphaus||San Jose, Calif.||San Jose Earthquakes||2000|
|Nico Garcia-Morillo||Key Biscayne, Fla.||Weston FC||2000|
|Diego Gonzalez||Las Vegas, Nev.||Heat FC||2000|
|Colin Innes||Olathe, Kan.||Sporting Kansas City||2000|
|Curtis Johnson||Daniel Island, S.C.||SC United Mount Pleasant||2000|
|Ricky Mendez||San Rafael, Calif.||Marin FC||2000|
|Jacob Muchnick||Newport Beach, Calif.||LA Galaxy||2000|
|Ben Ofeimu||West Bloomfield, Mich.||Vardar SC||2000|
|Hunter Pinho||Cranford, N.J.||PDA||2000|
|Carlo Ritaccio||Westbury, N.Y.||BW Gottschee||2000|
|Tristan Weber||San Clemente, Calif.||United FC||2000|
|Joey Zarra||Cheshire, Conn.||Oakwood SC||2001|
Head of Delegation: Mike Sweeney (Independence, Ohio)
Head Coach: Gerry McKeown (Summit, N.J.)
Assistant Coach: Benjamin Ziemer (Sebastopol, Calif.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Matt Bernard (Roseville, Calif.)
US Club Soccer Staff: Greg Hutton (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
US Club Soccer Staff: Leo Garcia (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Athletic Trainer: Chris Young (Metairie, La.)
Videographer: Taylor Kruse (Columbus, Ohio)
U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor: Rob Becerra