Promising young prospects from across the Northeast will converge on the Dana-Farber Field House to take part in a U.S. Soccer-sponsored training center on Saturday morning.
Eight members of the New England Revolution academy program will feature among the group culled from recommendations and scouting reports to comprise this select assembly of players born between 1994 and 1997.
All of the rising stars will train on the grounds of Gillette Stadium in two age-separated sessions under the watchful gaze of U.S. Soccer and Revolution technical staffers, college coaches and club bosses from across the region.
Similar sessions have sprouted up across the country over the past few years as U.S. Soccer has expanded its approach to evaluating younger players. Revolution director of youth development Bryan Scales believes the process provides a useful tool to identify talent for the U.S. youth international setup.
“There is definitely a benefit to having these market training centers around the country,” Scales told MLSsoccer.com. “They are terrific because players are constantly being evaluated and kids are constantly coming in. With this region, Tony (LePore, U.S. Soccer director of scouting) wants to see more players. He's more inclusive, rather than sticking with the same 20 guys. … He really makes sure to cast a wide net.”
For the Revolution, this particular net captures eight of its players in the U-16 age group. The likes of Revolution homegrown signing Diego Fagundez and highly touted defender Mitchell Taintor will test their skills against other promising players in a series of technical drills and a scrimmage during the two-hour session.
“This is the first one that we've hosted and we're excited to have our guys involved,” Scales said. “We're certainly excited to showcase the club a little bit.”
While the younger age group contains no Revolution academy players because the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program only encompasses U-16 and U-18 teams, the U-14 gathering allows the Revs to continue the process of assessing potential additions in the future.
“There are a lot of kids coming into this training center that we've seen before with other clubs,” Scales said. “We have tracked them on our own, but it'll be fun to see how all of these guys do playing against good players. When they come from their clubs and jump into these environments with better players, (it is important) to see which guys can adapt and survive.”
Revolution Academy participants in U.S. Soccer Training Center
- Daniel Apajee (Cranston, R.I.),
- Diego Fagundez (Leominster, Mass.),
- David Hepp (Natick, Mass.),
- Kevin Herrera (Lynn, Mass.),
- Yannick Kabala (Manchester, N.H.),
- Peguy Ngatcha (Manchester, N.H.),
- Christian Sady (North Andover, Mass.)
- Mitchell Taintor (Storrs, Conn.)