PORTLAND, Ore. — With an eye on the future, U.S. Club Soccer’s id2 program continued on Saturday in the Pacific Northwest. This year’s iteration called in boys and girls born in 2001, combining training sessions with scrimmages at the Nike World Headquarters.
Team Three 3, Team One 1 (Boys)
Team One took on Team Three in the first boys match of the day on Saturday. Despite the fact that those being showcased hadn’t played together before, there was sound technical ability on both sides that led to decent possession for each team throughout the match.
Salvador Villegas for Team 1 showed nimble footwork and quick dribbling ability and flashed the potential to dictate the center of the park. Villegas occasionally held the ball too long but his dribbling did open up opportunities. Those opportunities manifested with team 1’s true striker, Abraham Gonzalez, and a more #10 style forward, Mitchel Hutter.
Gonzalez, a tall athletic player, offered value via strong hold up play and good ball control. Hutter combined nicely with Gonzalez by offering less athleticism but good skill and great vision. Team 1’s only goal came from Gonzalez and his great speed to catch a darting through ball. With his second touch at full speed Gonzalez bodied out a defender on his back, touched the ball around the oncoming keeper, and slotted the ball into the then empty net.
Other notable performances came from Gabriel Arredondo who showcased atheleticsm and fluid and dynamic dribbling. Cameron Duke also provided some valuable through balls to benefit Team 1.
The first ten minutes could have gone either way but then Team 3 kicked it into high gear with Angel Flores as the spark plug – Flores would finish as the clear man of the match. He showed great speed and tremendous strength but he coupled those assets with his quick technical touch and lethal striker’s dynamic. He was a constant problem for Team 1’s back four because of his talent and his ability to check to the ball and hold up play and then on the very next possession make a dangerous run into space.
A great goal started from Devlin Spikes who nutmegged his defender and slotted the ball to Flores who in-step, left foot, powered it into the upper left of the goal. Another goal came from Bryce Sancegrow who offered an impressive 25-yard knuckleball with enough power and deception to beat the keeper. His goal capped a consistently strong performance from the midfielder.
A defensive standout was Mario Rocha who, as center back did well against the troublesome Abraham Gonzalez. Rocha is a classically strong back and has good vision for when to commit to a tackle. His ability on the ball was also noted.
Lorenzo Lopez also managed to put his best foot forward in a strong second half. Lopez, playing midfield, displayed great vision and awareness and was able create opportunities out of nothing for Team One. Lopez particularly impressed when dealing with a ball cleared to him off a corner. He feigned a right footed pass while pushing the ball onto his left side, losing the defender, and he had his feet set to step right into a strong left footed shot, which forced the keeper to make a great save.
Certainly there is ample talent and unbridled potential within this portion of the id2 program. There will be more articles following more matches so stay tuned for updates on the nation’s best up and coming soccer talent.