Photos courtesy of Barcelona
Of the nearly 1,000 youth participating in the Official FC Barcelona Soccer Camps USA seven-city tour, 14 of them, ages nine to eleven, caught the eyes of coaches from FC Barcelona’s Academy (La Masia) and FCB Escola, one of the world’s highest-profile soccer teams. This opportunity would be to join the U.S. team and compete in the 2014 Easter FCB Escola tournament. Previously, the tournament was open only to the Escola players in Barcelona. During last year’s U.S. camps, the Barcelona coaches recognized that many of the girls and boys players possessed superior soccer abilities. Subsequently, FC Barcelona management decided to select a minimum two top players at each camp location in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, San Jose, Danville, Portland, and San Antonio.
Team USA includes Michaela Ferrario, 11, of San Ramon, the only girl named to the team, and nine-year-old Felipe Schwartz, who travelled from Sao Paulo Brazil to participate in the New York camp.
Team USA will play in the 2014 Easter FCB Escola tournament in Barcelona and compete against boys and girls of the FCB Escola on fields of the original La Masia adjacent to Camp Nou.
The FCB Escola is a soccer school model based on FC Barcelona’s philosophy, aimed at children from 6 to 11 years old and whose main objective is the integral training of the students in the “Tiki-Taka” style of play characterized by short passing and movement, with players interchanging positions as they keep opponents in their own half and engineer moves that take them closer to goal. In Barcelona’s Champions League game against Spartak Moscow on Sept. 19, 2012, eight of the team’s 11 starters–including the world’s top player, Lionel Messi –were products of the club’s youth academy. Comparatively, most top European clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea are fortunate to have one homegrown player in their starting lineups.
“Our U.S. soccer camps provide elite training and the opportunity of a lifetime for a youth soccer player in the United States,” says Frank Bagheri, President, of Barcelona Soccer Camps, USA. “There is an additional opportunity for these players to be on one the biggest youth soccer stage in the world and to showcase their soccer skills.”
Bagheri adds: “Because of high demand of players looking to be discovered, we foresee that next year we will have to have tryouts for our camps.”
The following Team USA players were selected from camps in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, San Jose, Danville, Portland, and San Antonio.
Name: Age: Hometown: Camp Attended: Current Club:
—– —- ——— ————– ————-
Dyal 10 Los Gatos, CA San Jose, CA Pacific Soccer Academy
—— — ————- ———— ———————-
Schwartz 9 Sao Paulo, Brazil New York, NY Jockey Club, Sao Paulo.
——— — —————– ———— ———————–
Ramos 9 Irvine, CA Los Angeles, CA Pateadores Irvine
—— — ———- ————— —————–
Bowland 10 San Antonio, TX San Antonio, TX Classics Elite
——– — ————— ————— ————–
Jacobs 9 Benicia, CA Danville, CA Novato United
——- — ———– ———— ————-
Gee 10 Hillsborough, CA San Jose, CA. Juventus Sport
——- — —————- ————- ————–
Marion 11 Newport Beach, CA Los Angeles, CA LA Galaxy Academy
——- — —————– ————— —————–
Sent 11 Bellevue, WA Seattle, WA Eastside FC
—– — ———— ———– ———–
Fisher 11 Portland, OR Portland, OR Portland City United
——- — ———— ———— ——————–
Bardhi 9 Scarsdale, NY New York, NY New York Soccer Club
——- — ————- ———— ——————–
Condit 11 Mukilteo, WA Seattle, WA NW Nationals
——- — ———— ———– ————
Ferrario 11 San Ramon, CA Danville, CA San Ramon Soccer Club
——– — ————- ———— ———————
Jr. 9 Avenel, NJ New York, NY First Touch Football, Newark
——- — ———- ———— —————————-
Fulks 9 Austin, Texas San Antonio, TX Lone Star Soccer Club
—— — ————- ————— ———————
Because of the demands of parents, players, and over 52,000 social media fans, Barcelona Camps USA is finalizing dates for Winter Break camps in Los Angeles and San Antonio. Details will soon be released.
ABOUT OFFICIAL BARCELONA SOCCER CAMPS USA: Through the Official authorization of FC Barcelona, FC Barcelona Soccer Camps U.S.A. were established by Frank Bagheri, a long-time Coach, Referee and Soccer Organizations Board Member, and lifelong Barca Fan. He has grown the camps from 140 in its originating year in 2011 to its current seven-city tour and growing demand, to its upcoming “School Holiday Break” camps. Its 2013 summer camps drew capacity at over 1,000 participants travelling from as far as Brazil, Mexico and Canada. The FC Barcelona Facebook page has over 50,000 fans.