April 4 – The Mediterranean International Cup (MIC) kicks off this week, a friendly tournament for leading youth teams played on the Spain’s Costa Brava, this year it will feature a team from US Club Soccer’s id2 programme for the first time.
This is not a national US team organised by the US Soccer Federation but a nationally selected team by US Club Soccer, a club-based organisation that provides support, tools and education for its members from coaching to administration and registration, as well running competitions.
At the heart of the US Club Soccer philosophy is “the growth and development of (US) soccer clubs in order to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages.”
Over the past two years the organisation has increasingly looked to international markets and Spain in particular – there is a partnership with LaLiga in place – to bring in coaching knowledge to raise the standards of youth football and develop a larger pool of players that can compete at the highest levels and on a par with the world’s best.
The id² National Selection team will first meet in New Jersey with a domestic camp, April 6-8 before moving camo to Barcelona and Girona on April 9. On April 11, the group moves on to Playa D’Aro for the MIC competition.
“The ultimate objective of the id2 Program is to help identify players for our U.S. Soccer National Team programs without associated financial costs. Youth soccer in our country can be an expensive proposition, and we feel it is critical that economic status should not be a barrier to participation. The MIC tournament will provide a platform for U.S. Soccer to observe how our players are able to compete against the age-appropriate, best players in the world,” said id² Boys Program Director Gerry McKeown.
US Club Soccer is fully funding the trip with strong support from Nike – the id² Program is an Olympic Development Program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation.
As a development programme it has provided numerous players to US youth national teams. Current US national team players Christian Pusilic and DeAndre Yedlin have both came through the programme.
“Most of the players were selected from id2 Training Camps that directly follow our programming. Since our selections are not focused on physical components, some of our late bloomers represented the YNT later on in the process. We have a unique opportunity to identify players that are in underserved areas not covered by the traditional Federation scouting process. Our goal is to continue finding players in this vast country of ours regardless of affiliation that may have otherwise been overlooked,” said McKeown.
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