Sammy Friedrich of the United Soccer Academy Mt. Pleasant 17 Boys Premier was recently invited to train in Madrid Spain at the home of Real Madrid with the Generation Adidas Select program. This program selects top players from around the country and takes them to train at some of the world’s top soccer clubs. This year, 21 players in the 1998-1999 birth years from the USA were selected to participate in this training program. During their 8 day stay at Valdebebas (the home of Real Madrid Soccer Club aka “Real Madrid City”), the boys trained twice per day under the supervision of Real Madrid academy coaches and played 3 games vs. the top age group academy teams from Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.
Sam represented the club well, starting all 3 games and playing most of all the games. They lost 2-1 to Real Madrid’s u17’s and 3-0 to Real Madrid’s u16’s. They did pick up a win over Rayo Vallecano’s u17’s 2-1. There was also time to enjoy the local culture and do sightseeing around Madrid as well as attend the Kings Cup final (Real Madrid vs Galatasary) at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as well as the La Liga opener for Atletico Madrid vs. Las Palmas at the Estadio de Vicente Calderon.
“Being able to play and compete with the best players from around the US (on my team) and also in the world (Real Madrid’s academy) is an unforgettable experience that will stay with me forever. The players I played against were unbelievable! They were so technically and tactically advanced compared to any level I’ve played against. It was a real eye-opener seeing what it takes to make it big-time in soccer and it has motivated me to work harder in every training session to become the best player I can be.”