The 2019 id2 National Selection International Tour is highlighted by four games against top academies in Belgium and France. In a span of seven days, the American delegation will face the 2005 academy teams of PSG, Reims, KRC Genk and KV Mechelen.
This is the first time in id2 Program history that the esteemed international tour travels to Belgium and France. Notable id2 National Selection alumni include: Christian Pulisic (2012), Jonathan Gonzalez (2013), Tyler Adams (2013), Corey Baird (2010) and Timothy Weah (2013). Earlier this month, id2 Boys Program Director and head coach of the id2 National Selection squad, Gerry McKeown, named his All-Time Best XI alumni of id2 boys programming.
The game schedule is as follows (all times referenced are local time zone):
While the marquee matchup is arguably April 6 against PSG in Paris, the other three opponents are also formidable. KV Mechelen’s first team plays in the Belgian Pro League, claiming European Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup titles in the late 1980s.
KRC Genk’s senior team also plays in the Belgian Pro League but has achieved more recent success. A member of the First Division A, KRC Genk has won four Belgian Cups (most recently in 2009 and 2013) and has qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2002-03 and 2011-12. In 2017, sportbible.com created a Best XI of players developed by Genk, noting: “Belgian side Genk are one of the top sides when it comes to producing and developing players and preparing them for top-level football.”
The matchup against PSG will be the third game of the trip, and it will take place at PSG’s impressive training facility. The senior team needs no introduction as the dominant force in Ligue 1 and the most decorated French club in history.
Stade de Reims, also referred to as simply “Reims,” also currently plays in Ligue 1, having been promoted from Ligue 2 last season. In the club’s history, Reims has clinched six Ligue 1 championships.
In addition to playing these formidable opponents, the delegation of the id2 National Selection International Tour will also be immersed in Belgian and French cultures. That includes attending a professional match at PSG to watch the home team take on Strasbourg in Ligue 1 action.
In total, the 2019 id2 National Selection International Tour spans March 29-April 9. Of the 18 players, there are 17 clubs and 13 states represented and one-German based athlete. For the 10th consecutive year, McKeown leads the team, which has played the likes of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Juventus, Inter Milan, Everton, Celtic, Atletico Madrid and Ajax over the years.
|8||Braxton Arpachinda||M / F||Sterling Heights, Mich.||Nationals||2005|
|10||Mataeo Bunbury||F||Prior Lake, Minn.||Minneapolis United SC||2005|
|9||Sebastian Carbajal||F||Napa, Calif.||Napa United 1839 Academy||2005|
|7||Anthony Castor||M / F||Kansas City, Kan.||Soccer Nation KC Academy||2005|
|3||Haroun Conteh||D||Glendale, Ariz.||Phoenix Rising FC||2005|
|17||Stevie Davis||M||Doylestown, Pa.||Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals||2005|
|16||Dominic Dubon||F||Sparrows Point, Md.||Philadelphia Union Youth||2005|
|11||Daniel Farberov||F||Summit, N.J.||STA||2005|
|18||Gregory “Dan” Jackson||M||Honolulu, Hawaii||FC Hawaii||2005|
|4||Alexander Lopez Hernandez||D||Mesa, Ariz.||Phoenix Rising FC||2005|
|5||William Lulka||D||New York, N.Y.||Manhattan SC||2005|
|15||Brooklyn Raines||M||Oak Lawn, Ill.||Barca Academy (Ariz.)||2005|
|14||Matthew Robinson||M||Floral Park, N.Y.||Barca Academy New York||2005|
|1||Noah Thomas||GK||Dublin, Ohio||Ohio Premier SC||2005|
|12||Ruwan Thoumoung||D||Wolfsburg, Germany||VfL Wolfsburg||2005|
|6||Joel Torbic||M||State College, Pa.||Allegheny Force FC||2005|
|2||Gino Valenti||D||Pittsboro, N.C.||Wake FC||2005|
|00||Joey Yakim||GK||Bel Air, Md.||FC USA Maryland||2006|
|Head of Delegation||Eddie Henderson||Issaquah, Wash.|
|Head Coach||Gerry McKeown||Summit, N.J.|
|Assistant Coach||Ian Mork||Sebastopol, Calif.|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Tyler Stakiwicz||Nutley, N.J.|
|US Club Soccer – VP, Competitions||Leo Garcia||Mount Pleasant, S.C.|
|US Club Soccer – VP, Operations||Greg Hutton||Mount Pleasant, S.C.|
|US Club Soccer – Director of Communications||Tyler Heffernan||Johns Island, S.C.|
|Athletic Trainer||Chris Young||Annandale, Va.|
|Videographer||Taylor Kruse||Columbus, Ohio|
Editor’s Note: This roster has been updated from a previous version to replace two players who are unable to attend.
Stay tuned to usclubsoccer.org for a daily log of activities throughout the trip, as well as a photo gallery on Facebook and various social media updates on Twitter and Instagram. Multiple video journals chronicling the journey will also be published during the trip.
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, including airfare, lodging, meals and gear. The id2 Program is an Olympic Development Program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation.
In addition to Nike’s steadfast support of this experience, Premier International Tours is offering its resources to enhance the 2019 id2 National Selection International Tour – serving as an on-site liaison for the duration of the trip.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.