The id² National Selection team roster for the 2015 id2 National Selection International Tour to Argentina, Feb. 28-March 10, has been revealed. Eighteen elite boys – 16 born in 2001 and two born in 2002 – from nine states throughout the country comprise the squad.
The complete roster is outlined below:
|10||Julian Anderson||M||Ocean, N.J.||PDA||2002|
|9||Luis Arriaga||F||Santa Rosa, Calif.||Santa Rosa United||2001|
|12||Ed Berumen||D/M||Salida, Calif.||Modesto Ajax United||2001|
|7||Eduardo Blancas||F||Napa, Calif.||Napa Valley FC||2001|
|15||Judson Burns||D||Argyle, Texas||Andromeda FC||2001|
|4||Domonic De Almeida||M/D||Lincoln Park, N.J.||PDA||2001|
|14||Jesus Esparza||M||Newark, Calif.||Palo Alto SC||2001|
|18||Angel Flores||F||Carlsbad, Calif.||Carlsbad United FC||2001|
|6||Abraham Gonzalez||M||Riverside, Calif.||FC Golden State||2001|
|11||Azriel Gonzalez||F||Las Vegas, Nev.||Heat FC||2001|
|16||Luke Hansen||D||Littleton, Colo.||Colorado Rush SC||2001|
|17||Bryang Kayo||M||Montgomery Village, Md.||Bethesda SC||2002|
|8||Lorenzo Lopez||M||Oregon City, Ore.||Crossfire Oregon SC||2001|
|1||Cole McNally||GK||Mt. Airy, Md.||Baltimore Celtic SC||2001|
|3||Togo Nakamura||D||Torrance, Calif.||LA Galaxy||2001|
|5||Leonardo Sepulveda||D||Corona, Calif.||Empire SC||2001|
|0||Noah Thomas||GK||Lakewood, Wash.||Washington Premier FC||2001|
|2||Donovan Wu||D/M||Medford, N.J.||FC Continental||2001|
Players were selected based on extensive scouting and participation in the id2 Program’s cycle targeting boys born in 2001, which included 12 Player Development Program (PDP) events and four id² Training Camps held in 2014.
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. The id² Program is an Olympic Development Program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation.
Gerry McKeown, id2 Boys Program Director and head coach of the id2 National Selection, said he selected the roster based on technical ability, creativity and personality. “We intend to go to Argentina to attack and allow our creative players to have freedom. We must stay true to the core values of the program and allow players room for expression,” McKeown said. “Our roster has good representation from all parts of the country. These players should feel fortunate for the opportunity that US Club Soccer and Nike have provided and remember that we left a lot of capable and talented players at home.”
All five previous id² international tours have been held in Europe, and McKeown was a strong advocate for dipping below the equator. “It’s an unknown,” he said about on-the-field expectations in Argentina. “We’ve never been to South America, so I’m not sure what we’re going to face in terms of emphases from the opposing clubs.”
id² National Selection will play a competitive slate of games against top Argentinian youth academy teams. The match schedule is currently being finalized and will be made available online soon.
“We’re going to be challenged in a way that’s very different from how we play in the U.S,” McKeown added. “The players we face will have more technical flamboyance, especially in 1v1 situations.”
In addition to competing against elite South American teams, the id² National Selection will be immersed in a multi-faceted experience on- and-off-the-field that also includes watching professional games and training in some of the country’s best facilities.
The group will arrive in Houston on Feb. 28 for a brief domestic base camp before flying to Argentina the evening of March 1. The id² National Selection squad returns to American soil on March 11.
Over the past five years, id² National Selection teams traveled to Germany and the Netherlands in 2010, England and Scotland in 2011, Spain in 2012 and 2013 and Italy in 2014. Opponents have included FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City FC, Everton FC, Celtic FC, AFC Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and PSV Eindhoven.
U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Juan Carlos Michia will accompany the group on the tour in order to scout players for potential inclusion in youth national team programming. US Club Soccer Board of Directors member and former longtime Duke University men’s soccer coach John Rennie will serve as Head of Delegation.
Numerous id² National Selection alumni have been called into U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs.