CHICAGO (June 16, 2014) – Following the completion of the inaugural U-13/14 Development Academy Showcase, U.S. Soccer’s technical advisors and Development Academy director of scouting Tony Lepore have selected Weston FC to represent the USA at the 2014 Manchester United Premier Cup.
Technical staff factored in the U-13/14 Academy teams’ performances and evaluations during the 2013-14 season and the Academy Showcase in Westfield, Indiana. Additional factors included the club team’s overall development, style of play and character, among other elements, and Weston FC will now have the opportunity to compete in the event running from Aug. 6-9 in England.
“I want to congratulate Weston FC on earning the opportunity to compete in the Manchester United Premier Cup in August,” Lepore said. “It was a difficult decision because many of the academies had a great first season. In the end, it was a well-deserved reward for Weston, which had consistent performances throughout the year and had strong matches against top competition at our national showcase. Also, their professionalism and attention to a quality training environment is a good example for all of our academies.”
“We have selected the team that I believe has the best training environment in my area and maybe in the country,” said technical advisor Juan Carlos Michia, who oversees the Academy’s southeast region. “They have good coaches who give the players the right information, and you can see that when they go through the game. They just do their job. They’re organized. What I like the most is the way they want to play. They want to get better.”
The 2014 Manchester United Premier Cup field will consist of 20 clubs divided among four five-team groups. Many of the world’s top players have participated in this tournament, including Lionel Messi, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres, Jack Wilshere and Robinho.
“This will be an invaluable experience for Weston’s players and coaches headed to Manchester,” Lepore said. “The Manchester United Premier Cup offers a great opportunity to play against top-caliber competition and showcase their talents as they represent the U.S. academies.”
“When you play in this kind of tournament against international teams, it’s the way that you develop your game,” Michia said. “You also see where you are, and I think they’re ready. I think they’re going to have a good tournament, and they are going to remember this forever because they’re going to be watched by players, coaches and scouts from everywhere in the world. This is a big event.”
Future tournament details of the 2014 Manchester United Premier Cup will be available at manchesterunitedpremiercup.com, and followers can use the social media hashtag #MUPC2014.