I have posted a couple of recent articles that have referenced the Nike Friendlies. It is a high level, invitation only tournament being held at the IMG Academy site in Bradenton, FL. It is where the best US prospects are given an opportunity to immerse themselves in soccer, leaving their families and friends and continuing their high school education while developing as soccer players as well.
Springfield will be well represented this weekend as this list reflects:
Andy Ellsworth will participate in the Premier Referee Academy being held in conjuction with the event
Tyler Williams and Heath Melugin from Kickapoo are playing with their Scott Gallagher teams (U16 & U17)
Stephen Conner from Glendale is joining the Scott Gallagher U17 team as a guest goalkeeper
The event will feature 65 teams from 20 states and will also include four of the US Men’s National Teams, from the U15’s to the U18’s as well as the Brazilian U17 team. It would be a great trip just to be able to watch those games!
In Tyler Williams case, he has been to St. Louis for 12 outdoor practices since Nov. 12th. As his Dad noted that is 12 practices in the last 17 days. Here is the schedule of games Tyler will play with his U17 team:
Scott Gallagher U17– (Ranked 6th in Region II and 29th in the Nation)
Dec 1st vs. Dallas Texans (ranked 18th in nation) @ 2:00 pm
Dec 2nd vs. FC Delco (ranked 4th in the nation) @ 4:00 pm
Dec 3rd vs. Pateadores (CA) (ranked 27th in Region IV) @ 12:00 pm
Dec 4th vs. Greater Boston Bolts (ranked 38th in Region I) @ 10:00 am
On top of that schedule, Tyler has also been kind enough to agree to write about his experiences this coming weekend. Andy Ellsworth will also be continuing his series of articles with his experiences at the Referee Development sessions. I’m going to be tracking the game results and providing brief updates on this site during the games which run Thursday through Sunday. When Tyler and Andy return, I’ll be sharing their experiences with you.
Good luck to Andy, Tyler, Heath and Stephen. Springfield Soccer will be well represented by this group and I look forward to hearing all about it!