CONCORD, MASSACHUSETTS – The opening day of matches at US Soccer’s U14 Boys National Team ID camp gave more than 100 12 and 13-year olds the chance to make an impression on a cadre of national staff coaches in a low-pressure environment.
U14 BNT coach Manny Schellscheidt always stresses the removal of pressure from these situations, preferring to let players focus on learning and improving as soccer players. There is however a type of boiling down process as Monday and Tuesday matches among four U.S. Youth Soccer Regional ODP teams and two teams made up of scouted and otherwise invited players from outside ODP, will lead to pool play beginning Wednesday when approximately 45 of the players will be considered for the “hot” match. Who participates in that game each day is fluid, as is also the case when this cycle continues through events at Walt Disney World at Thanksgiving, Mexico in early 2010 and Home Depot Center next June.
More than 100 12 and 13-year olds are attending their first National ID camp.
Louis Mateus, a US Soccer Development Academy super scout and a longtime lieutenant of Schellscheidt at this event and with this age group, said coaches are looking for specific things in these first two days.
"The first couple of days we look to get to know the kids and get the kids used to each other. A lot of the kids don’t know each other yet,” Mateus said. “These first couple of days we look at the four regional teams and teams 5 and 6. Teams 5 and 6 a lot of times have never played with each other so its just good to get the kids used to each other and hope they start feeling comfortable with the play.”
Mateus added that as the camp goes on, skill, soccer brains, confidence and potential are among the most important qualities for which coaches are searching.
"The first thing we look for is, where is that kid’s skill level?” he said. “Now sometimes kids at different ages and different sizes are going to have different skills because they are still changing. They are stll maturing, but then you see the difference between the first day and the last day of the camp.
"A lot of times what you see that makes the dfference is a kid’s confidence. If a kid is confident often times you’ll see a difference by the end of the week,” he continued. “Those things are important to seeing if a kid has grown by the end of the week. If they are not confident they will shy away and get scared. So those things become important for us. Do you see a growth and does the kid show potential for the long term? If he’s an average player now do we think they can get a lot better?”
While we have some details from the opening day’s matches, we have to wait until Tuesday to get hometowns and states of the players from camp administrators.
Among players who caught my eye as I tried to watch three partially overlapping matches included:
- Region II’s Nathan Schultz, who looked very composed on the ball.
- Region I defender Billy Stevens who distributed and marked well.
- Team 5 goalkeeper Oliver Roberts, who despite being the smallest goalkeeper here, covered his goal with expertise, communicated well, came of his line decisively and made a highlight reel save to deny Team 6’s Sebastian Clark, who had struck a rifle shot at goal.
- Team 6 defenders Manuel Padilla, Eric Holt and Elijah Martin, who looked like a seasoned unit despite playing their first match together.
- Region IV winger Axel Mendez, who scored a 2nd half hat-trick, including a couple of laser beam shots from more than 30 yards out. Mendez also glides with the ball at his feet.
- Region III attacker Reynaldo Cevallos, who showed a lot of ability to run at defenders and control the ball in traffic.
TopDrawerSoccer.com will have continued coverage of this camp through its Friday conclusion, with more detailed roster information as it becomes available.Team Rosters
Goalkeepers: Gianni Carillo, Bronson Burke
Defenders: Carter Manley, Billy Stevens, Luka Martinovic, Oyewole Doluwamu, Noah Snyder, Kevin Herrera
Midfielders: Ajoni Martinez, Chase Casper, Anthony Viteri
, Joseph Swenson
, Rico Zbinsky, Theodore Miller
Forwards: Jake Rozhansky, Jorge Calin, James Ellis
Ward, Tony ArahbetyanRegion II
Goalkeepers: Craig Duggan
Defenders: Thomas Dieffenthaler, Connor Ballentine, Jeff Rhodes
Midfielders: Alex Underwood, Toby Kounviseth, Samuel Brown
, Jack Menard
Forwards: Nathan Schultz, Samuel Akpil, Morris Kamara
Subs: Elijah Brower, Matthew Nance, Viet Nguyen, Andres Torres, Jackson Weiss
, Hunter Barone, Nathan McLean, John Moderwell
, Gary HuangRegion III
Goalkeepers: Marius Heislitz, Jefferson Caldwell
Defenders: David Mejia, Vernon Bailey, Omar Castro, Wilfred Williams, Andrew Raad
Midfielders: Michael Clemmons, Ivan Alvarado
, Arturo Paz, Jack Gayton, Jeremy Colvin
, Arthur Patterson, Alan Winn, Reynaldo Cevallos
Forwards: Lawrence Zaiwo, Deandre Robinson, Demakwi Yomba, Reginald Epps, Austin StameyRegion IV
Goalkeepers: Andrew Epstein, Andrew Ferber
Defenders: Sam Tweeton, Esteban Reyes, Fischer Gallinger, Esteban Reyes, Djair Parfit-Williams, Nicolas Arevalo
Midfielders: Corey Baird, Rubio Rubin, Moises Rodriguez, Joab Santoyo
, Axel Mendez, Antonio Porrelo, Danya Kafai
Forwards: Alejando Segovia, Sebastian Bouchet, Andonis Amaya, Oscar Martinez, Rolando Velazquez, Team V
Goalkeepers: Alexander Gogic, Oliver Roberts
Defenders: Harrison Roche, Miles Davis, Brandon Curtis, Zachary Zandi
Midfielders: Declan McCabe, Imad Modaddidi, Brandon Tetro, Sebastian Joly, Ezequiel Cei, Derrick Etienne, James Buonavita
Forwards Alex Tejera, Daegan Debono, Teon Fountain, Jason Underhill, Kabala Gunyllain, Dan Aajee, Neil MartoranaTeam VI
Goalkeepers: Bryan Velez, Nicholas Zedan
Defenders: Elijah Martin, Eric Holt, Manuel Padilla
Midfielders: Jacob Kempf, Patrick Khouri, Issa Hassan, John Requejo
Forwards: Trevor Davock, Nate Cole, Evan Enders
Subs: Ethan Levy, Dakota Brinkman, Emerson Hyndman, Sergei Ptachik, Denis Kalamar, Carter Perry