MELBOURNE, Fla. | The first id2 Training Camp of 2019 is being held at Viera Regional Park, February 28 - March 3.
As per 2019 id2 programming, the four-day camp will select boys born in 2006 and girls born in 2005, who were selected from US Club Soccer’s Player Development Programs (PDPs) and other nationwide scouting efforts. US Club Soccer will invite top performers from this full age group cycle to participate in id2 National Selection programming: the id2 National Selection International Tour (spring 2020 for boys) and the ECNL/id2 National Training Camp (summer 2019 for girls).
Established in 2004, US Club Soccer’s id2 Program provides an opportunity for the country’s elite youth soccer players to be identified and developed, and scouted for inclusion in U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs. id2Program directors Gerry McKeown (boys) and Tricia Taliaferro (girls) implement curriculum and direct activities. The id2 Program is an Olympic Development Program (ODP) approved by the United States Olympic Committee and the U.S. Soccer Federation. There is no cost for players to participate or be scouted, and all meals, lodging and gear are provided by US Club Soccer and Nike.
The athletes are arriving in the early afternoon, before checking-in, meeting with their respective program directors and coaches, and having lunch ahead of their first training session. The first group headed to the fields at 3:30 before the second group at 5:00 p.m. The first day's training saw the players getting to know their teammates skill sets and coaches as they dove into passing and dribbling drills, worked on maintaining possession, and finally played some brief instructional scrimmages on smaller fields.
After dinner, the boys had a meeting with their coaches to discuss their expectations from them this weekend, and what the coaches can expect from the players.
The second day of camp is always a busy as one, as the athletes start two-a-day training sessions. It was a cloudy morning as first group of players took the field for the opening session at 9:00 a.m., but the sun was out in full-force by the end of the session.
As the heat turned up, so did the athletes. While the boys practiced building out of the back, as well as passing drills, the girls scrimmaged through the first session.
After lunch, Boys Staff Coach Tom Shields led the boys players in a team-building exercise before resting and returning to the fields for the afternoon session.
On the field, the girls ran drills to improve first touch, passing, attacking in the final third, and finishing, while the boys played their first full length scrimmages of the weekend.
After the evening field session, the athletes had dinner then finished off the night with their respective program directors. Gerry McKeown gave a presentation on the National Selection International Tour and what he searches for in each position in his selections. While Coach Tom presented on mentality and mental toughness to the girls players.
Saturday will see another long day as the players continue two-a-day training.
On the third day of camp, all four girls teams took the field at 9:00 a.m., and participated in numerous technical drills and strategic walkthroughs. The boys stayed behind in the hotel to watch the morning's English Premier League matches, and analyze play with their coaches and teammates .
After lunch, the girls met with program director Tricia Taliaferro to discuss scouting priorities, before Beyond Pulse co-founder Michael Sup brought in the girls data from the weekend, that has been tracked with Beyond Pulse's smart belt technology. Sup analyzed the girl's physical data to put numbers and metrics behind all of their hard work.
Coach Tricia Taliaferro meeting with the #id2FL girls to discuss scouting priorities. “All of you have a special quality or you wouldn’t be here. If you want to play at the highest level, determine and keep developing your special quality while adding to the rest of your game.” pic.twitter.com/IxRXK4tEX2— US Club Soccer (@USClubSoccer) March 2, 2019
In the evening sessions, the girls played their final full-length matches, while the boys also played games, incorporating the new technical and tactical qualities they have picked up so far this weekend.
Tomorrow morning, the boys will play their final games, while the girls participate in a recovery session, before the athletes must say their goodbyes and head home.
The fourth and final morning was a beautiful, sunny day that saw the first set of boys teams on the field at 8:30 a.m. Last night, the boys coaches shuffled them four teams ahead of the final full length matches they played this morning.
While the first boys game was being played, all of the girls athletes took the field for a recovery session, after playing full length games last night.
The final whistle of id2 training camps is always bittersweet. As the players begin their travel back home, excited to bring the new skills and knowledge they acquired with them, they must say goodbye to their newly made friends and their coaches, who have spent the weekend giving their all to boost these young athlete's development.
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.