The boys woke up bright and early to catch their 10:00 AM international flight back to the United States. They return to the States with all of the knowledge imparted to them by their Real Madrid Foundation and generation adidas international coaches. They also go home knowing what it takes to play at the highest level in the world, and what they need to do to get there.
On the final day of the 9-day Real Madrid Foundation Select program, both teams faced off against some tough competition. The Select A group went head to head with perhaps the toughest competition of the week, the Real Madrid Academy’s ‘Cadete A’ team. It was an exciting match with plenty of goals scored that ended in a 3-3 draw. The Select B team ended their time here in Madrid with a 2-1 victory over Fratelsa Select.
As the week comes to a close, the Real Madrid Foundation Select boys savor their last days in Madrid. Today, the players had their last training session with the Real Madrid Foundation coaches and said their thankyous and goodbyes. Then they headed down to the city center for an exclusive soccer-themed city tour by one of generation adidas international’s own tour guides, Pete Kelly. Kelly, a soccer fanatic, gave the boys a city tour with a twist - Madrid from the perspective of a soccer fan. After enjoying the city center, the boys headed back to the hotel to rest up for their important match against Real Madrid Academy teams tomorrow.
This morning the boys were still coming down from the excitement of the prior evening’s events at the Santiago Bernabeu - watching Real Madrid C.F. take home yet another trophy under the leadership of the legendary Zinedine Zidane. At the match last night players got to witness a couple of world class goals which undoubtedly inspired them for their matches against Rayo Vallecano’s youth teams this morning. Both the A and B Select teams came out victorious, winning 0-5 and 0-2 respectively. After the matches, the boys braved the hot Madrid sun for one of their last training sessions at Real Madrid City.
After multiple days of double training sessions, the boys were given the day off to participate in everything Madridista. It was the perfect day for the players that are Real Madrid C.F. fans, and a good chance for those who weren’t already fans to convert. The day started with a visit to the incredible Santiago Bernabeu Stadium where the Real Madrid C.F. first team plays. The players toured the Real Madrid C.F. museum, checking out all of the hardware the club has won - including the 12th Champions League trophy won just recently in June. They also were able to see the grandeur of the stadium from the pitch level right in the players’ dugout. Lunch was an experience in and of itself, held at the Real Madrid Cafe, which has spectacular views of the Bernabeu. To top off a complete Real Madrid adventure, the players attended the second leg of the Spanish Super Copa between giants Real Madrid C.F. and F.C. Barcelona. ‘El Clásico’ was likely the highlight of the day as the players saw some of their idols like Messi, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos, take the pitch in real life.
In Madrid, soccer is taken very seriously, and the Real Madrid Foundation Select group’s approach is no exception. The boys had another double training day, with both morning and afternoon training sessions with their Real Madrid Foundation coaches. The rigorous training schedule gave the teams a glimpse of what life is like for the boys that live and play in the Real Madrid C.F. Academy. In between sessions, players participated in a workshop called “Thoughts on the Inner Game”, facilitated by generation adidas international staffer Joel Santos. He worked with the boys on the psychological aspect of the game, and how to avoid letting their ‘mental game’ affect their game on the field. It served as a great tool for the players as they move forward in this program to compete against top Spanish academy teams soon.
The teams began their first day with a double training session led by Real Madrid Foundation coaches at the state of the art facilities at Real Madrid City. The first session was followed by a guided tour of the facilities. Players were able to get a behind the scenes look at where some of the best players in the world go to train and relax. The boys powered through the hot Madrid weather in their second session, and headed back to the hotel afterwards for some much deserved rest and relaxation.
After an eventful trip filled with memories and learning experiences, both on the field and off, the team packed up and began their journeys home. They started their day of travel by departing to Amsterdam, and then continued to New York before catching flights to their respective hometowns. The girls return familiar with the training methodologies of the best women’s club in Europe, and will look to use this experience as a stepping stone towards their goals of becoming professional players.
The last full day of the program ended on a high note as both teams finished the week with a win. The Select A team took on the U18 Football Club Caluire team this afternoon and came out on top with a decisive 10 - 0 victory. The Select B team also finished victoriously, edging Croix de Savoire 2 - 1. After the matches the girls, still buzzing from their respective wins, headed over to attend the Ligue 1 match Olympique Lyonnais vs. Bordeaux. The girls finished off their evening with a farewell dinner at their preferred local restaurant, enjoying the company of their teammates and staff one last time in Lyon.
Today the team kicked off the day with their last training session of the week with the Olympique Lyonnais Academy coaches. After a great final session, the players said their thank yous and goodbyes to their coaches. The players’ first short visit to the city on Wednesday left the girls anxious to get back out and see more. This afternoon they did just that, but this time took a trip to nearby Switzerland! The team headed out to the Swiss city of Geneva, just two hours outside of Lyon. They enjoyed the beautiful Lake Geneva and some of the city’s famous monuments, like St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Place du Bourg-de-Four in the Old Town. Before heading back to the hotel to rest up for their match day tomorrow, the girls were sure to stock up on Swiss chocolates.
Today the team again arrived at the Olympique Lyonnais Training Center with their spirits high, beginning their day by attending the Olympique Lyonnais Women’s first team training session. The girls had the opportunity to meet the current Champions League title holders and to snap a few pictures with the team. After the session finished, the Select group gathered to eat lunch and to rest up for their first competitive matches against the Olympique Lyonnais Academy teams. Both Select teams fared very well. The Select A Team was held to a nil-nil tie, playing against the U19 Olympique Lyonnais Academy team, while the Select B team dominated in a 1-4 victory over the U16 Olympique Lyonnais Academy team.
Today was a busy day for the team, as usual, beginning with their visit to Groupama Arena, the home stadium to the Olympique Lyonnais first team. It was a relatively light soccer day, though, with only one training session with their Olympique Lyonnais Academy coaches. Taking advantage of some free time, the girls headed to the city of Lyon for the first time to do a little bit of tourism. The girls were excited to finally get to experience the beauty of the French city they call home this week. After some sightseeing, the team then ate dinner at a restaurant near their hotel before turning in for the night. They will need their rest ahead of the program’s first competitive match tomorrow against an Olympique Lyonnais Academy team.
The team started their day with a healthy breakfast in order to prepare themselves for the exciting day ahead of them. It was another day of double sessions, but with an added factor of excitement - Olympique Lyonnais players were incorporated into the training. Girls from the Olympique Lyonnais Academy participated in the day’s sessions, cranking up the level of play and intensity another notch. After the day’s rigorous training, the girls traveled back to the hotel to rest up in anticipation of more double days and important matches later this week.
Today, the teams had an early start as they made their way for the first time to the Olympique Lyonnais Training Center. They were received by none other than Gilles Salou, the Director of the Women’s Soccer Academy. After the inaugural meeting with Salou, the girls laced up their boots and headed to the pitch for the first of two training sessions that day. The first session was very technical, working mainly on skill-based exercises. Salou and the U-19 women’s head coach both participated in the training session. In between trainings, the girls were able to grab a bite to eat at the Academy’s cafeteria. The teams were also given a guided tour of the facilities to see where the current European champions train. After a long day packed full of soccer, the girls headed back to the hotel for dinner and some much deserved rest and relaxation.
Accompanying these elite players are invited head coach Adrian Solca (Solar SC), and supporting coaches Trip Ellis (FC Richmond) and Lindsay Smith (Montana Rush SC). Each coach was hand chosen from renowned adidas clubs nationwide to lead the team on their trip to Lyon, France. The plane touched down this afternoon and the team took their first steps in the beautiful city of Lyon, France. They transferred back to their hotel where they were given time to rest up from a long day of traveling and bond with their new teammates at the hotel. The girls went for dinner at a local restaurant next to the hotel and then it was straight back to the hotel to rest up for the tough week that lays ahead.
Manhattan SC is proud to announce that both Villa goalkeepers Alex Sutton and Teddy Lowen have been selected for the generation adidas international Real Madrid Foundation Select Program and Pride's Molly Fallek has been selected for the generation adidas international Olympique Lyonnais Program
Each year the top adidas youth soccer clubs nationwide have the exclusive opportunity to nominate players and coaches to participate in the generation adidas international Select program. 96 talented players have been invited to train this August at Real Madrid Foundation, A.F.C. Ajax, and Olympique Lyonnais - three of the world’s most powerful soccer clubs.
For more info check out the generation adidas international press releases, click here
Follow the Real Madrid Foundation Select Program from Aug. 12-20 on this dedicated Facebook event page,
Follow the Olympic Lyonnais Foundation Select Program from Aug. 12-20 on this dedicated Facebook event page,