- High-Level Games Feature Players Who Prioritize Individual Training to Complement Team Training
- Two Select Games Were the Last of 44 Matches Played on the Day
- Nearly 300 College Coaches and Dozens of Youth National Team Scouts and Coaches on Hand
SARASOTA, Fla. (May 29, 2010) –Two Select Team matches that came at the end of a busy day at the 2010 Development Academy Spring Showcase in Sarasota, Fla., were the biggest draws of the afternoon with more than 300 college and national team scouts in attendance.
The Showcase continues on Saturday with 58 games slated across the 20 fields. Saturday will also feature a viewing party for the Men’s National Team Send-Off Series game against Turkey at 2 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2.
The two Select Team matches on Friday wrapped up a slate of 44 games. The mid-afternoon Select Team game featured players born in 1994 and 1995 - the younger end of the Academy spectrum - matched up against Solar SC U-15/16, while players born in 1993 made up the majority of a team that faced Texas SC DTH.
The Select Team players were chosen by Development Academy Technical Advisors for both their play on the field and personal development, which is helped by taking the initiative to improve their individual everyday environment.
“I always have a ball at my feet,” said Travis Pillon, who was part of the U-15 Boys’ National Team pool last year and played in the first Select Team match of the day. “I know that whenever I’m not working with a ball or training that there are other people in the world who are doing that and I don’t want them to have an advantage.”
Pillon, who plays for Mustang SC, says he has a ball at his feet every day, and often does individual speed work when he’s not training with his team.
Players train at least three times with their team during the week, and generally have two games on the weekend. Aside from the time with their team, elite players often allot time to train on their own or with a friend, and also try to incorporate fitness work into their personal routine.
“On days when our team can’t get together, I try to grab a friend and head to the park with a ball, or use my garage wall if there isn’t anyone around,” said the midfielder.
The Development Academy guidelines for players include at least one day of rest per week. Gatorade has provided hydration guidelines for all Academy athletes, including Fluid Loss Testing at Showcase events throughout the year. With the amount of time that top players spend training and playing games, rest, nutrition and hydration become vital to maintain a high level of performance.
“Rest days are important, and if coach instructs us to rest it’s something we know we have to do,” said Christian Kaschack. “It’s important to recover and let your body rest, but it’s still important to eat well and hydrate on those days so you’re ready to go for the rest of the week.”
Kaschak, a midfielder, was playing in his first Select Team match on Friday afternoon near the end of a stand-out season for the PA Classics.
“It was obviously a great experience to work with the national team coaches today and hear their perspective about the game,” said Kaschak.
Pillon was playing with a Select Team for the second straight Showcase, and says that the game came naturally to him once he calmed a few nerves.
The Development Academy Spring Showcase continues through June 1, in Sarasota, Fla., for the second-consecutive year. The Spring Showcase is the second event of the 2009-10 Development Academy season following the Winter Showcase, which was held from Dec. 4-8 in Phoenix, Ariz. Academy Playoffs will be held at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. from June 25-29 and Academy Finals Week will be held from July 9-18 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
For full coverage of all the Development Academy events, stay tuned in to ussoccer.com.