FUEL Soccer Talk: Identifying top young talent; Struggles with Recovery; Scuffed Podcast;

Turning the page to a soccer Wednesday!!!

Determining the best: US Soccer launches new YNT U-14 talent identification program

With the objective to expand and improve the Men’s Youth National Team player pool, U.S. Soccer will launch a new Youth National Teams Under-14 Talent Identification Program this month. This new scouting model will function as a collaboration between the U.S. Soccer Talent Identification department (TID) and the Youth National Teams Program. The new YNT U-14 TID Program is designed to discover and introduce a larger base of top talents at the U-14 age group into the scouting funnel of the older U-15 to U-20 YNTs. A mini-camp format will help evaluate and inspire high-potential players while accelerating their development in an engaging and challenging environment. A similar YNT U-14 TID Program will be implemented for female players next season.

The program starts with the in-market scouting process: players will be observed in games and the top talents selected to attend YNT Identification Centers. Formerly known as Training Centers, Identification Centers are scheduled to be held in 25 key markets nationwide and will be overseen by U.S. Soccer TID Managers and YNT Network Scouts. These single-day sessions, hosted at local clubs or U.S. Soccer member organizations, gather more than 600 top talents each year in the U-14 and U-15 age groups.

Following the in-market scouting process, YNT U-14 TID Regional Mini-Camps will bring together 80 of the best players from each of U.S. Soccer TID’s three scouting regions – East, Central and West – for a three-game, round-robin competition. Overseen by the U-14 Boys’ National Team Coach, the five-day camp will feature four, 20-player teams (one representing each scouting area), playing three games against each other over the course of four-and-a-half days.

How would you best prepare to show off your skills in front of coaches?

Christian Benteke: “The hardest thing to do is work hard when no one is watching”

Many soccer players suffer injuries and unfortunately some are of the very serious nature. Players facing surgery and/or a long recovering period have to examine their love of the game. For some, whatever the cost, the reward of returning to the pitch is too high to not at least try.

The struggle, both physical and emotional, of returning from a serious injury has been captured in a behind-the-scenes documentary on Crystal Palace star striker Christian Benteke’s injury recovery. The inside look at Benteke’s road back to the pitch is detailed in “Christian Benteke: 18 Weeks Out,” produced by Crystal Palace.
The film details his recovery exercises and workout programs put in place by the CP medical staff in order for Benteke to return to 100 percent. Trying to deal with the emotional side of not playing, Benteke gets frustrated at times, yelling out one time, “There are so many things to think of.”
He says: “The hardest thing to do is work hard when no one is watching.”
In 190 Premier League appearances, Benteke has 69 goals and 18 assists.

Check out the documentary here:

How would you best deal with a long recovery?

Listen to this: Scuffed Podcast has the American soccer pitch covered

There are ways to watch soccer, listen to soccer and follow soccer. Then there is the Scuffed Podcast, which lets soccer fans follow their favorite sport by just listening. Scuffed, hosted by Adam Belz and Greg Velasquez, is an in-depth show about not only the U.S. Men’s National Team but also focuses on young players to watch and the great sport of soccer in general.

And the reviews are in: “It’s my primary source for American soccer news.” “This pod has everything – detailed tactical analysis, interviews and updates on youth national teamers.” “The absolute best USMNT and USYNT coverage anywhere.”

Guests so far have included Tab Ramos, the U20 men’s national team coach; Marc Nicholls, the academy director for the Seattle Sounders; Scott Donnelly, the coach of Atlanta United 2; Martín Vásquez, the academy director at Real Salt Lake; Brian Clarhaut, the 32-year-old coach of Nykopings BIS in Sweden and one of only a handful of American-born coaches in Europe; and a bunch of promising young players: Chris Richards, Sebastian Soto, Richie Ledezma, Alex Mendez, Jacori Hayes, Justen Glad and Chris Durkin. The Scuffed podcast is available for download on I-Tunes.

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What guests or subjects would you like to hear on Scuffed?

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