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Wyatt's 2017-2018 Season

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No games this week, but the never ecning march of tryouts continued sporadically thanks to the weather.  Wyatt had three team practices and one tryout open practice. The two potential reserve keepers/new keepers were at the Team practice and seem to be working to determine who will get the spot that is being vacated by the current reserve.  The current reserve has let the coach know that he is trying out for a lower divison team in the club so he can devote more time to band in highschool as a freshman next year, so the coach and selection group are giving the two potential keepers a harder look.  For the practices things have been pretty much mostly scrimmages and a little passing or striking and finishing work.  Wyatt typically will lead the keeper warmup unless the older keepers are there like they were Sunday, but in that cases him and the starter for the 03 squad will work with Wyatt to lead the warmups.  One practice this week was closed to new players as the team worked on condtioning and agility.  In the shooting and striking drills department, Wyatt continues to demonstrate a higher level of understanding that being in the net is more then standing on the line and deflecting balls.  One of the two new keepers has picked up on that and trying to do a better job of positioning and playing off his line, but both of them clearly haven't had to do that or been trainined that way.  In the scrimmages, its the same story as well.  Both hug the line alot.  One will leave the 6 yard box and move up some with the back line, but tends to root and then scramble to make a save that he should have been positioning for.  Wyatt feels pretty confident about himself, but also is a little worried because both the others are about 6-7 months older then him.  One is taller while the other is physically more mature as well, so Wyatt is concerned that in the american mindset of bigger is better, that they will both get picked because of that.  But he still goes out and plays his best and typically walks away as the best keeper at the end of the sessions.

Outside of the team sessions, he had his skills class on Monday, and then did 4 days of keeper training in the mornings for the rest of the week.  The keeper camp was with his regular private trainer and was a tuned up and prep program design to get the keepers ready for tryouts.  Most his friends from there already have signed with teams for the upcoming year, but thanks to the rules of the DA Wyatt's are still dragging out.  

Coach told the boys they will probably be skipping the open practices this week and focusing on regular team practices to get ready for their last game Saturday.  Between boys going on vacation, ones who have already dropped and moved on, and injuries, Wyatt's team will be running a little light on players.  So far though the core of the starters appear to be available so the game should be good.

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And that is a wrap for the season with Wyatt's team finally getting their last re-scheduled game in for the season.  With it being so late in the season they were missing 6 players who had either dropped from the team earlier or where on vacation.  They added the 03 who usually plays down with them and the reserve keeper despite trying out for other teams showed for the last game as well.  The Solar team they were facing off against was in a similar position, fielding 13 plus to 03s playing down.  Wyatt got the start and in general didn't have much to do as a lot of the game was battled out in the mids.  He did have a couple saves to make, mostly catching long shots on goal, but did make a nice 1v1 challenge and a foot save on a break through when the reserve centerback lost possession trying to be cool in the 18.  He had some goal kicks as well, but focused alot on his distributions from saves.  His team scored early in the first half to make it 1-0 going into the second half.  Wyatt stayed in for a bit, only making a single collection on a corner with a punt, and then a goal kick. The punt led to a counter that netted a second goal to make it 2-0 before the reserve keeper came in with 25 minutes left to get his last time in goal with the team.  The Solar supporters recognized the change really quick and got their players fired up and within 5 minutes of goign in, it was 2-2.  The mids started to suffer from the hear on both sides and the game turned into a lot of back and forth as the defense cleared balls forward adn started counters.  Finally with just a minute or two on the clock, Wyatt's team scored again to end it 3-2.  Not a bad win, but should have been a clean sheet for the team.  With that they finished 2nd overall in the divison.

Rest of the week was pretty busy for Wyatt.  Monday through Thursday he was doing keeper camp in the morning and afternoon with the private coach.  The coach was running a camp for the girls club he coaches at, but invited some others to join in.  Usually a few boys would show in the morning, but the afternoon sessions were typically Wyatt and a whole lot of girls.  Evenings he had 2 team practices, both of which featured players who they are looking at for spots, including both the keepers they are looking at to replace the current reserve keeper.  They also had 2 open practicse to attend, but the first one was optional so Wyatt went to a ID camp for some German scouts, more on that in a little bit.  For the team practices the coach would have Wyatt run the potentials through warmup and drills, then split them out for scrimmages.  After the first practice he asked Wyatt what he thought about both keepers.  Wyatt was pretty thoughtful with his answeres, giving pros and cons for both, but leaned towards the smaller of the two who was physcially more mature since his skills were better at this point, but he did say that he didn't think the kid would improve much more past this level.  Second practice the coach seemed to make up his mind and only the more physically mature keeper showed up.  Coach told Wyatt since the kid would be the reserve and maybe not get much time, he wanted him to be in a better position to hit the ground running, but due to the fact that he was probably as tall as he was going to get he didn't think he would last more then a year or two with the team.

All the boys continuing on got their contracts Wednesday and atleast two new boys as well on Thursday (the keeper and a centerback).  Still have a few open spots left, which the coach looks to be filling with a couple of forwards or mids to round on the team some what.  Should be interesting to see who gets chosen when we have our last round of Open tryouts in a couple of weeks.

Wyatt skipped the option practice to hit the German ID camp.  Was a little scattered on how it was run by the hosting club and Wyatt got lumped in with a mixed bag of u14s.  They started off with some 2v1 and 3v2 shooting and passing drills which Wyatt wasn't too into.  He was a little tired and frustrated by the organization and the folks he got saddled with as defenders.  After four rounds of that he worked with a u16 keeper from germany and the goal keeper trainer at the camp.  Wyatt enjoyed that and alot of the drills were centered around seeing how fit and conditioned the players were.  Wyatt despite already doing training twice that day and 4 rounds of shooting drills, dug and got his second wind.  He pretty much out worked the other keeper and the trainer mentioned that he was fitter then all the other ones who had already been through that station.  After that they broke up into teams for scrimmages on full size goals, 60 yard long fields.  Wyatt got some of the same players as earlier, so he spent a lot of time talking to his players between plays and keepign them organized.  He faced off against the host clubs best keeper, with Wyatt's side winning 12 -2.  Wyatt got scored on twice, once on a PK and then off a really nice volley on a floating cross just outside the 18.  Afterwards the scout came over and talekd with him.  Told him he got high marks in everything accept foot speed, and even was the best in several areas.  He said the only issue they saw was he was a litte slow on his feet in the shooting drills, but said if he could fix that and come back next year they would probably take him over to Germany to train with some clubs.  So not totally bad, and he has something to push him on through the year.

Outside of that he also did two regular private lessons, Friday and Sunday with the keeper trainer.  For those they worked a lot on double saves, recover from the first and speed to the second.  Coach also through in the standard mix of basic skills work and conditioning.  Wyatt also talked with him about the ID camp, so the trainer worked in some foot speed segments into the drills as well.

So now he is in a holding pattern for a couple of weeks before heading off to the FC Barcelona Academy for most of July.  Before then though he has a few team practices and some keeper and footskills classes, but mostly he is getting to take a breather and recharge his batteries after the long season he just finished.  Next year there are fewer games, but more travel with several overnights and a couple flights he will get to make.  I think he is looking forward to that and has already begun negotiating with his mother and I about letting him do those solo. 

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Well, finally everything is wrapped up for the season and Wyatt is off to his 3 weeks of residency camp in AZ at the FC Barcelona DA academy there.  

He got a week off, then had two last open tryouts for his team.  The coach has already signed Wyatt and the new reserve keeper, so they were there just to practice and help with the scrimmages and shooting drills as the coach sorted out the last few open spots on the roster.  First night was mostly just scrimmaging.  The keeper coach was there and spent some time working with the 4 age groups of keepers that were there, before turning them loose to their respective teams for scrimmaging.  Second night Wyatt and the new guy wasrmed up and then did some passing drills with the team.  As they were setting up to scrimmage a last minute tryout keeper showed up.  He came from one of the local clubs where he had gotten cut.  He had already tried out and been turned away from the other DA club in town, so called our director and arranged for a last minute tryout hopeing to push Wyatt or the other keeper out of a spot.  Didn't work out so well for him, for starters he was about the same level as the new reserve.  Second strike was that he was the keeper who got a 5 game suspsense for racial language against our team, so that really didn't endear him much to the boys and they went after him with lots of pressure forcing turnovers, goals, and got under his skin pretty quick.  Coach called him over after about an hour and told him that he didn't have a spot for him and offered up our a spot on the next lowest team, but the kid copped an attitude, tore off his gloves, and stomped off the field complaining about things.

Other then that he had a couple private keeper sessions, including one the Friday before he left for camp.  He was wanting to make sure he was ready to go, so he spent his down time as well doing some conditioning and speed work.  For the keeper session the coach ran them through refresher on the basics and worked a lot of double saves and aerial balls.  Wyatt got into that a lot and was feeling pretty good, but nervous Sunday when him and his mom headed off to camp.

He checked in yesterday afternoon and got his schedule and met his room mate, another u14 GK.  From there after orientation they did assessment/evaluation to figure out how to break them into groups.  Wyatt said he started off nervous and bobbled a few balls here and there, but the coach talked a second with him.  Told him it was okay to be nervous and that is why they did the warmups and that nothing there was considered relevant to placement.  With that he said he was calmer and went to work.  At one point he came out on a ball, saw the striker slow up trying to set up a chip shot, and Wyatt dropped a yard which let him make a good leap and touch the ball over the bar for the save.  The coach loved it, stopped practice for a second to discuss it, then turned Wyatt loose to keep showing his stuff.  By the end he felt he had made a good showing for himself and was surprised to find himself placed in the top group with the U19s and some U17-U18 keepers.  He was pretty stoked about it when he called and really looking forward to the sessions starting today.  From there he wil have a week of the keeper program, then move into two weeks of regular camp.  He will follow the field player schedule except for shooting and games, where he will glove up and play keeper.


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