It’s difficult to start off a year better than Revolution Academy forward Isaie Louis (2005) began his 2020 campaign. Within a two-week stretch in late February, Louis featured for the Revs' Under-17 team at the GA Cup qualifiers in Utah, before receiving his first call-up to U.S. Youth National Team camp. In his first year with the Revs Academy, Louis has already scored five goals in 14 games between the U-15 and U-17 levels.
A versatile and speedy option up front, the Everett, Mass., resident’s development has skyrocketed over the past few months. He joined New England as a product of Valeo FC, one of the clubs in the Revolution Under-12 alliance program. We asked Louis how he has been able to take leaps forward in his game and how young players can benefit through the alliance.
What appealed to you about joining the Revolution Academy?
Louis: My ultimate dream and goal is to be a professional soccer player. The Revolution is our local soccer team so it only makes sense that I would want to be here. The Revolution coaches came, saw me play a few times. After talking with them a lot, they invited me, my family and my Valeo FC coach down to talk and tour the new facility. The plans they had for the future were very exciting, so after discussing with my family and my coaches we decided it was the best environment for me to continue to develop and hopefully achieve my dreams.
What has been your favorite part about playing with the Revolution?
Louis: My favorite part about being a member of the Revolution Academy is the structure of how it’s like a family, and also the commitment of the coaches and the organization to help its players improve on and off the field. For example, [Under-17 Head Coach] Patrick Ouckama and [Director of Youth Development/Under-19 Head Coach] Bryan Scales have done a great job helping me with transportation to the training facility this season.
How did your experience prepare you for your first Youth National Team camp earlier this year?
Louis: The Revolution Academy really helped me prepare for my first national team camp back in February by having me train up an age group with the Under-17 team. I’ve also been playing in games with the U-17s, which has allowed me to get used to a faster speed of play with older players. They have helped me improve individually by providing me great training and match analysis, and also pointing out things they think I should work on. We learn to play as a team and support each other here.
What do you think it takes for young players to succeed at the highest level?
Louis: Some sacrifices I feel top young players need to make in order to achieve their goals are giving up some of the normal, fun things teenagers do such as hang out with friends or playing video games so you can go to training. It involves spending long hours in traffic every day to go to training, doing homework in a car, and spending less time at home with your family. You give up a lot to train more, you push yourself even when you are exhausted to keep improving.
How do tournaments like the GA Cup this past February help you prepare for your future career in soccer, whether that be college or the pros?
Louis: Tournaments like the GA Cup have given me a glimpse into the future by providing an opportunity to play against other strong MLS club academies. The higher level of competition allows me to play closer to the collegiate and the professional level. The traveling, eating meals with my teammates, and team meetings at hotels all make it feel like I’m developing in more of a professional environment.
How do younger players benefit from playing in U-12 Alliance clubs -- like Valeo FC -- where the Revolution Academy coaches can monitor your development from an early stage?
Louis: Valeo is a lot like the Revolution Academy in that it was also like a family and everyone there has a sharp focus on soccer, training, and improving. Being with the Revolution has been a little different because of adapting to a different style of training. At both academies, the coaches and the whole organizations committed to help me improving as a soccer player and as a person and try to support me on and off the field to help me reach my goals.