San Diego Football Academy Travel for Gothia Cup
San Diego Football Academy (SDFA) traveled to compete at the international youth soccer tournament Gothia Cup and to train with Celtic Football Club following a partnership between the two organizations earlier this summer. SDFA played in a series of friendly and tournament matches as well as had an opportunity to train on the grounds of Celtic FC.
Youth Soccer News: San Diego Football Academy (SDFA) return home following a trip to Scotland and Sweden for an opportunity to train at Barrowfield with Celtic FC coaching staff and for international youth soccer tournament Gothia Cup.
The highly trained youth soccer players had a chance to embrace an international soccer culture and experience the life of a European youth academy player — as well as compete against top talent from abroad.
Traveling as a young soccer player is an amazing experience — providing a glimpse into a world where the same passion for the beautiful game cuts across socio-economic challenges and cultural differences.
“Our trips to Europe are always wonderful — and an eye opening experience for both our players and parents who have the opportunity to come,” said SDFA Technical Director Johnson Asiedu.
“With our partnership with Celtic, our players train twice a day at a top level soccer Academy at Lennox with great coaches at facilities which are second to none. These youth players get to see at first hand what it is like in a top European team — to really live and train on a daily basis the way they do at the Celtics,” said Asiedu.
The boys typically trained twice a day with friendlies scheduled prior to Gothia Cup; the largest and most international youth football tournament in the world. The Gothia Cup draws more than 137,000 players, 15,000 coaches and parents from 80 countries every year to compete.
SDFA players played in a total of three friendly soccer matches as well as five competitive games during the tournament.
“We went to Sweden to play at the Gothia Cup, which is the biggest tournament in the world. Our players had a chance to compete and interact with some of the best teams in the world. You can see how much our players grew in this two and half weeks trip,” said Asiedu.
One of the many benefits of SDFA partnering with Celtic FC — the youth soccer team had a chance to meet Celtic Academy players during training at Lennoxtown as well train with the Celtic coaching staff at Barrowfield.
During the trip, the players traveled as a team and were able to experience what it is like for European youth players training at a youth academy abroad. The players slept in hotel rooms together — usually with no parents on the same floor — and they were held responsible for themselves.
Although the trip was ‘strictly soccer business’, the players enjoyed touring stadiums as well as visit gorgeous Edinburgh Castle.
“Its important for players from the U.S. To make this trips so we can learn and compete against some the more experience soccer countries and that goes a long way to open the eyes of our players and prepare them for a higher level,” stated Asiedu.
SDFA is a community-based soccer program in San Diego dedicated to providing a family-oriented, player centric atmosphere where kids can enjoy learning the beautiful game. Soccer players are developed — at both the recreational and competitive levels — by placing an emphasis on technical skills, good sportsmanship, community involvement and excellence both on and off the soccer field. The SDFA coaching staff bring extensive international experience. At SDFA, whether you are a so-called “A” team or “B” team, the training and practice methods are almost the same to develop each player to be the best that they can be.
This summer’s SDFA’s two-week trip was tremendous for the development of the boys selected to participate. They were able to compete against top talent and gain exposure for growth during the process. Traveling abroad for a youth soccer tournament is a lifetime experience. The SDFA, along with their partner, the Celtic FC, continue to provide an outlet for players to improve their skills as the first trip of the partnership between the two sides remains one for the books.