(CHARLESTON, S.C.) – US Club Soccer – a prominent member of the U.S. Soccer Federation and the leading organization developing soccer clubs across America – today announces members of the 2016 id2 National Selection International Tour will travel to Spain, Feb. 20-March 2.
A group of boys – 16 born in 2002 and two born in 2003 – from 18 different clubs around the country form the id² National Selection team that will play against top LaLiga academies, watch a professional game and train in some of Spain’s best facilities.
The international tour will continue to be supported by Nike, and new to 2016, LaLiga is offering its resources to enhance the experience. Premier International Tours is also assisting with travel logistics.
- LINK: Full roster
Head of Delegation: Tim Lesiak (Maineville, Ohio)
Head Coach: Gerry McKeown (Summit, N.J.)
Assistant Coach: Jim Barlow (Montgomery, N.J.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Matt Bernard (Folsom, Calif.)
- Tuesday, Feb. 23 vs. Valencia Infantil A (2002s), 6:45 p.m. CET at Paterna Training Ground
- Thursday, Feb. 25 vs. Villarreal CF Infantil A (2002s), 7 p.m. CET at Villarreal Sports City
- Monday, Feb. 29 vs. Espanyol Infantil A (2002s), 7 p.m. CET at Campo de juego Badalona
- Tuesday, March 1 vs. FC Barcelona Infantil A (2002s), 7 p.m. CET at Ciutat Deportiva Joan Gamper
About the Tour
Players were selected based on extensive scouting and participation in the id2 Program cycle targeting boys born in 2002, which included several Player Development Program (PDP) events and four id² Training Camps held in 2015. With as many clubs represented as possible, the selected group will represent this country’s diversity of soccer styles.
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.
US Club Soccer’s id² Program previously toured Spain in 2012 and 2013, playing games against the likes of Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The group will arrive in New Jersey on Feb. 20 for a brief domestic base camp before flying to Barcelona the following night. The id² National Selection squad returns to American soil on March 2.
In addition to competing against four elite Spanish academy 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.
Gerry McKeown, id² Boys Program Director and head coach of the id2 National Selection, bears the difficult task of gathering 18 players from 18 different clubs and making them a cohesive unit. “It’s a great opportunity for our young players that we’ve selected from the camps,” McKeown said. “It’s a great chance to test themselves against the world’s greatest.”
Over the past six years, id² National Selection teams traveled to Germany and the Netherlands in 2010, England and Scotland in 2011, Spain in 2012 and 2013, Italy in 2014 and Argentina in 2015. Opponents have included FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, Atlético Madrid, Manchester City FC, Everton FC, Celtic FC, AFC Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and PSV Eindhoven.
U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Todd Saldaña will accompany the group on the tour in order to scout players for potential inclusion in youth national team programming. Numerous id² National Selection alumni have been called into U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs.
As has been the case in past international trips, video journals will be made available from Spain. Video journals from past trips are available here: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010.
About US Club Soccer
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States.
US Club Soccer offers youth and adult registration, league and cup-based competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id² Program and Player Development Programs.
Through US Club Soccer, all of a club’s programs – recreational, competitive and adult – are able to unite under one organizational umbrella, creating a “members for life” culture within each club.