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panzerbug

Wyatt's 2019-2020 Season

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Going to be a little different this year with Wyatt being in residency a few states away.  A lot of my information comes via instant messaging and it is like trying to fill a pool with a teaspoon.

We got Wyatt dropped off and started in school out at the Barca residency program last week in Arizona.  He has keeper training Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Team practice Monday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday.  He is assigned to there U16 team, but is also supposed to play up when he can with the U17 Developmental Academy and other teams as needed.  We will see how that works out for him, but he is really excited about it.

So far he is loving the program, basically living at a soccer club 24/7 so he can go play pick-up, screw around on the fields, train in the indoor center or work out in the gym whenever he has free time.  And he is surrounded by 80+ over young men and boys who are exactly as motivated as him.

They started training Monday this week. First keeper training session they worked just getting back into the swing of keeping since most the boys had been off for a month or more.  Wyatt was only out of training for about a week before we left to head out there and when he got there he went and trained with the summer camp keepers for the one day before he started school.  First session though got cut short by a dust storm (it is a desert), but the nice thing is they are not that common and they don't close the fields when it rains.

Already starting to get some of his tournament schedules and waiting on the league game schedule.  They do also have a video service for the games so we will get a chance to see him play most of his matches, but his mom is already planning to be out there for some of the tournaments and maybe a his season opener.

 

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Bloody hell sounds like quite an adventure, I look forward to hearing how he is getting on out there.

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So first full week in the books for Wyatt.  Got in two more club keeper sessions and 3 team practices to round out the week, before getting the weekend off to get caught up on laundry, physicals,  and getting some extra rest.  Keeper sessions they are still working on getting up to speed from the summer break and letting the keeper coach bench mark them.  Wyatt said they focused a lot on foot speed and movement, diving, and positioning.  Most of it is old hat for him, but how it fits into the club playing style is a lot different then at his last club.  So he is enjoying the review, but also liking how the keeper coach works in the reasoning behind things and how they work into the play style they use at team practice.

Team practices have been working on learning the system, the Barca way as they like to call it.  So far from what I can tell the big differences for Wyatt are that that want him to play it out of the back and no big booming punt.  He still gets a chance to play it long when the field opens up, but the first choice is always guaranteed possession and build form the back.  Since he has trained that way outside of the club last year it's not something completely new, but it is taking some adjustments.  Wyatt said the team coach really likes his skills, but commented that he needs to slow things down.  Wyatt will come in fast make the save, pop up and be distributing the ball out to the backs or wingers super fast, too fast at first.  The style of play has the keeper holding possession to give the players time to drop into the space and set up to build, and Wyatt was going to fast for that.  Coach called it "texas power ball attack".  So Wyatt spent the Wednesday and Thursday practices slowing things down and getting into the pace of the teams game.  By Friday's scrimmage he said he was getting into the grove and had a pretty nice game versus the U15 DA team.  He said he came up with a couple really big saves, on he described as a Terstegan save (sounds impressive over instant messaging), a nice jump to collecting a high ball coming in over the scrum in the box, and then a flying punch to clear a cross out of the box.  Seems to be keeping the coach happy and proving himself to his new teammates. His squad lost the scrimmage 1-2, but the two allowed goals were on the second keeper.  Wyatt says the kid is decent and his having played with the team last year helps him out some as he is already indoctrinated in the playing style, but enough of the team has turned over that he isn't entrenched with the players and coaches like when Wyatt has joined previous teams.

So for now he seems to be settling in, bonding with his teammates which is something that really didn't happen that much over the last couple of years, and enjoying the experience.  Still not sure when their league games start up, but hopefully my schedule will let me fly out to catch the opener or the tournament they play the start of next month.

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Oh to be young again! 😆 As long as he is enjoying it, and good that he is getting on with team mates. I couldn't think of anything worse than going all that way then not feeling part of the group.

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Second full week of training and he is still loving it.  Same general schedule as last week minus the dust storm on Monday.  Wyatt's biggest comment on the keeper training besides he likes it a lot is that the coach ties it into what they will be doing into practice really well.  They are working still on the learning to play as a team the "Barca" way so lots of focus on positioning, pace of distribution, and positioning before, during, and after the shot.   They did that at the Monday and Friday sessions, Wednesday was a classroom session focusing on self confidence and mental endurance during the game.  That was a first for Wyatt to have a GK coach focus a whole session on it.  Team practice focused a lot of all movement and then building to scrimmages using the skills at the end.  Wyatt was solo keeping the whole week as the other keeper hurt his shoulder doing some freetime training over the weekend with one of the older keepers.  He was out the for the week which meant Wyatt got some more work during practices as well as over the last weekend.  For last weekend they were having an ID camp for folks wanting to tryout for open spots or get on the clubs RADAR for the next season.  Mostly field players, but a few keepers.  They also use the preAcademy teams as opponents for scrimmages.  Friday night after keeper training and shooting drills he minded the net for his team as they shut-out the u16 ID campers.  Saturday they lent him to the u15 ID team who didn't have a keeper, not sure what that score was but he only got beat one time, while his team lost 4-2 with the U17 PA keepers minding the net.

He definitely is loving the the environment and access to facilities.  In his down time and off days he is working out in the performance center and bonding with his team.  We also got more of his fall schedule figured out.  They are doing 2 local tournaments, one as a preseason in two weeks, and another in October.  League play starts middle of next month, but he has two interclub scrimmages/games lined up for this weekend and next.  One this weekend is versus the local USL (2nd divison) teams academy.  He has 2 tournaments in November they announced yesterday, one in California and one in Florida that is a qualifier for a tournament in Spain.  He also got a release from the club to go to Germany for another week of trials in Germany in October, so busy fall season it looks like.

 

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Not much to report for the last week or so.  Wyatt had a good outing in the first inter-club scrimmage vs. Phoenix Rising.  Coach and keeper coach explained how starts were going to work for the keepers this season.  For scrimmages they would split the games 50/50/  For games they would try and have one keeper play the whole game, with the game going to the keeper who had the best week at practice and showed the most effort getting the starts.  For the scrimmage the coach started the returning players.  Not sure of when he went in, but Wyatt had to step in before the half.  The other keeper had a rough outing from the start, going down 0-3 before getting hurt (possibly re-injured his shoulder), so Wyatt finished out the first half for him and then went on to play the whole second half as planned.  For his part Wyatt said he was pretty busy, made 7 or 8 saves.  Early in the second half he went in on a 1v1 and got the ball in a dive, but the striker tried to connect with it at the same time and got a piece of Wyatt's head instead.  Wyatt retained possession, but stayed down for a little bit he said.  He said though he got up and restarted play before the trainers could look at him because he was worried about his team needing him for the rest of the game.  From there he went on to make several nice saves, including one where he got caught out of position and the kid tried to chip him, but he was able to get a hand to it and push it to safety.  Only goal he allowed was from a pk that resulted after he put a ball out to the left back who moved it to the centers where it got turned over and came back fast.  One of Wyatt's defenders tried to slow things down but caused a foul in the box for the pk.  Otherwise Wyatt said he played well and was focusing a lot on the ball movement and possession game they have been working on the last few weeks (the "Barca way"). 

After the game the trainers got their hands on him and the evaluated him for a concussion as the gk coach had a go at him for not coming out after getting hit in the head.  We found out later in the evening/early morning when we got the notification he had been hurt.  The initial assessment wasn't to bad and he only had some very minor symptoms, but after his concussion last season we were very cautious about it.  The team doctor and trainers evaluated him and put him on rest and observation.  He didn't have any followup issues over the rest of the weekend, but was not released to begin training again until this last Friday.  He was allowed to work out with in limits, so he spent the down time resting and working on in the gym a bit.  Friday his team scrimmaged another local club, but since him and the other keeper weren't released to play yet, they had the U15 keepers stand in for them.  Him and the other keeper worked out with the gk coach.  They did some light catching and diving drills to evaluate them, then spent the rest of the time working on distribution and building from the back.

He is supposed to start back to practice today.  He did get released to scrimmage yesterday versus the U15 pre-academy team.  Wyatt got the start, said he really didn't have much to do in the way of saves, which for him translates more into no big saves, but spent a lot of time working on the possession stuff.  Final was 6-1 with the goal coming against him from an off-sides play.  So looks like he will be ready to play in the tournament this weekend hopefully.

Other news is that he is supposed to get his kit this week hopefully and he is pretty excited about that.  They get the current Barca 2019-20200 keeper kit in the blue/green and grey with matching shorts and socks.  He is pretty stoked about it since it has been over 5 years since he has had a all matching kit.

 

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4 hours ago, panzerbug said:

Not much to report for the last week or so.  Wyatt had a good outing in the first inter-club scrimmage vs. Phoenix Rising.  Coach and keeper coach explained how starts were going to work for the keepers this season.  For scrimmages they would split the games 50/50/  For games they would try and have one keeper play the whole game, with the game going to the keeper who had the best week at practice and showed the most effort getting the starts.  For the scrimmage the coach started the returning players.  Not sure of when he went in, but Wyatt had to step in before the half.  The other keeper had a rough outing from the start, going down 0-3 before getting hurt (possibly re-injured his shoulder), so Wyatt finished out the first half for him and then went on to play the whole second half as planned.  For his part Wyatt said he was pretty busy, made 7 or 8 saves.  Early in the second half he went in on a 1v1 and got the ball in a dive, but the striker tried to connect with it at the same time and got a piece of Wyatt's head instead.  Wyatt retained possession, but stayed down for a little bit he said.  He said though he got up and restarted play before the trainers could look at him because he was worried about his team needing him for the rest of the game.  From there he went on to make several nice saves, including one where he got caught out of position and the kid tried to chip him, but he was able to get a hand to it and push it to safety.  Only goal he allowed was from a pk that resulted after he put a ball out to the left back who moved it to the centers where it got turned over and came back fast.  One of Wyatt's defenders tried to slow things down but caused a foul in the box for the pk.  Otherwise Wyatt said he played well and was focusing a lot on the ball movement and possession game they have been working on the last few weeks (the "Barca way"). 

After the game the trainers got their hands on him and the evaluated him for a concussion as the gk coach had a go at him for not coming out after getting hit in the head.  We found out later in the evening/early morning when we got the notification he had been hurt.  The initial assessment wasn't to bad and he only had some very minor symptoms, but after his concussion last season we were very cautious about it.  The team doctor and trainers evaluated him and put him on rest and observation.  He didn't have any followup issues over the rest of the weekend, but was not released to begin training again until this last Friday.  He was allowed to work out with in limits, so he spent the down time resting and working on in the gym a bit.  Friday his team scrimmaged another local club, but since him and the other keeper weren't released to play yet, they had the U15 keepers stand in for them.  Him and the other keeper worked out with the gk coach.  They did some light catching and diving drills to evaluate them, then spent the rest of the time working on distribution and building from the back.

He is supposed to start back to practice today.  He did get released to scrimmage yesterday versus the U15 pre-academy team.  Wyatt got the start, said he really didn't have much to do in the way of saves, which for him translates more into no big saves, but spent a lot of time working on the possession stuff.  Final was 6-1 with the goal coming against him from an off-sides play.  So looks like he will be ready to play in the tournament this weekend hopefully.

Other news is that he is supposed to get his kit this week hopefully and he is pretty excited about that.  They get the current Barca 2019-20200 keeper kit in the blue/green and grey with matching shorts and socks.  He is pretty stoked about it since it has been over 5 years since he has had a all matching kit.

 

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I like that kit, shame it's Barcelona. Not seen Ter Stegen wear the grey, just this Cyan one and a Black one so far. Just bought this kit in purple for myself this season.

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Wyatt is back to full schedule after taking the bump to the head a few weekends back, so he was able to play in the tournament as well as train all week.  Tuesday morning they started their am keeper training/specialty training practices.  So got to do a combined keeper practice with all the teams' keepers.  He also has been getting into the free day extra self led workout/training with his buddies on Tuesday nights.  They did some core and strength work on their own Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school as well.

Training wise with the tournament starting on Friday evening they only had two regular team practices and one goalie session (Wednesday).  I haven't really gotten a lot out of him about the specifics, but seems like the keeper training is split 50/50 between keeper skills and then ball control skills that tie into the possession style of play.  He did a little treat on Thursday night, got called u to train with the U19 DA team since one of their keepers was off for a school tour/visit.  He said he did pretty well with the team, made some nice big saves, then got to play center back for a bit during the rest of practice.

So he tournament was a local small local club one and was more of a last pre-season warm-up type thing for Wyatt's club.  In his age group they had two divisions with 4 teams in each, so basically you win your group you win the tournament for your division.  Was also a chance to see how the coach was going to manage the keepers.  Lead up to the season was for games they would get the goal the whole time and starter would be based off performance that week in practice.  Wyatt figured that the coach would go with the returning keeper just out of habit, but was surprised when he got the start in the first game versus FCDA 04B Real Junvenil.  He had the goal the whole time, although he said he spent most of it working back passes and playing  a highline to support the attack.  At first he said he didn't have anything to do, but then said he had to make two saves, but both were very workmanlike.  Final score was 3-0 for Barca.  Second game the other keeper started against CCV Stars 04 Boys.  Wyatt said the game was really one sided as his team dominated for a 5-0 win, said the keeper didn't have to use his hands the whole time and the closest thing he saw to a shot took was way out of frame.   Final game was versus the host club FBSL Tuzos Academy 04, Wyatt got the start and played the first half.  He said there was even less to do then in the second game, which was good since he was feeling a little under the weather.  Coach swapped the keepers at the half and the other keeper had nothing to do as well as the team coasted to a 3-0 win and took group and the tournament.  Wyatt said the coach was pretty happy with Wyatt's play, liked the way he was fitting into the system of play, and expected him to continue to do well.

This week should be more of the same as they get ready to head into their first league games.  Most of the teams in group have already gotten a game or three in so far, so you can kind of see some indications of which are the team to watch.  For this first weekend they are facing off first against the team currently sitting in last after 2 very one sided games, then on Sunday they take on the team in first who has had one close win and but a 7 goal beating on the team in last place.  Nothing is certain in youth soccer though and Wyatt is also fighting of a late summer cold it sounds like.  So maybe a mix bagged of playing time for him this weekend.

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League play started this weekend.  Wyatt's team played two games to get caught up with the rest of the group that had been playing since late August.  First game was versus NSFC AZ 04 Boys Blue, the team that was last in group after the first few weeks of league play. The club is trying to follow a policy that for keepers they get the whole game if they start.  Coach decided that he wanted to have Wyatt rested and ready to go versus the tougher team on Sunday, and he needs to give the other keeper some games as well so he gave the other keeper the start versus NSFC.  Team won 2-0, Wyatt said it probably could have been more, but the team focused a lot on possession and ball movement.  He said the keeper didn't have anything to do other then work the back pass and support the build from the back play for the whole game, so he wasn't to upset he didn't get to play.

Sunday they took on West Valley 04B Black Arias, the team that was sitting in first, undefeated.  Wyatt got the start and had a much busier game.  The team still worked the ball around a lot, probably giving up some chances to score in favor of possession.  Wyatt said he did a lot with his feet and felt he had a really strong game on the ball.  On the keeper side he said he was pretty busy with lots of collecting and easier handling of the ball.  He said he had three big saves that definitely denied goals.  First was coming out and making what he calls a spread save on a shot from about 2 yards in his face.  Said he got a hand to it to get it safety.  Later he made a fast reaction dive to his near-post side low to stop another shot, and the final one was a low diving tip out in the left corner.  He did get beat once, not sure the exact details, but he said it was a real barn-burner, that he got a finger tip too, but wasn't enough to push it clear.  Final school was 3-1 for his team, which pushed them into first place for now in the standings.  Only low spot of the game was in the last few minutes, a 6'1" guy from the other team went after his 5'2" right back and they got into it.  His right-back was coming out on top when another player jumped in and Wyatt grabbed him to pull him off and almost got popped for the effort.  Ref got in and cleared it up, but both the fighter (1 each team) got a red for violent conduct) and more then like a three game suspension.

Training wise they had Monday off from team practice, but he still had keeper training.  Tuesday was his usual morning work out and then evening training with his group of friends/teammates.  Wednesday  - Friday was team, with keeper on Wednesday and Friday.  Supposedly they recorded the game and we should be getting access at some point in the near future so I can see how he played and maybe make some highlights.  For this week it is the standard trainign routine and then they play the team in second place who is also currently undefeated, so should be another good game for the keeper.

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Been a bit, but the boy has been trying to get his money's worth out of the team trainers and medical staff over the last 3 weeks.  Training wise things have been going pretty well for him barring a contact rash from something and then taking a really hard shot to the ribs this last week.  He has trained a few times with the older teams, subbing in for their keepers on the older teams as needed.  He did a season with the U17 and U19 DA teams a couple weeks back.  The U17 coach really liked how Wyatt did which is good as did the U19 coach.  This last week he subbed in at practice for both u18 keepers who were out sick Thursday night. 

They have had 2 games over the the last three weekends, the one versus the second place team, Wyatt came down with some sort of contact allergic reaction to something on his hands and elbows.  It was scheduled to be the other keepers game though anyways.  Team walked away with a 4-0 win and started cementing their spot at the top of the table. 

Following weekend no league play, but they did scrimmage the U15DA who have quite have some really good talent.  Their keepers are not residents at the camp and couldn't make the scrimmage in time so the U15DA coach got to pick his keeper and took Wyatt to fill in.  Wyatt's team didn't cut him any slack and used their spped and size to force some turnovers on the U15s, keeping Wyatt busy.  The lost 1-2, but Wyatt said the first goal was a really nice shot into the far upper corner which he got a piece of, but couldn't clear it.  The second one he called a team and keeper error.  U16 forward played the ball back and the U16 center-back cleared it forward to the U15 defender.  The player didn't get their quick enough and him and a U16 forward went 50/50 and size one out.  Wyatt came up to support, but got caught out and the coaches had said since it was a scrimmage the keepers weren't allowed to clear the ball out of play, but had to use their feet.  So Wyatt and the forward went after it and ball got knocked out to the side, but the U15 defenders didn't react quick enough and a U16 picked it off for the winning goal.  Wyatt wasn't to keen on that, said in a game he would have cleared it out safely so really should have been a 1-1 game in the end.

This last weekend Wyatt was on tap to be minding the net in league play, but Friday night in practice stopped a point blank shot in training.  Played through it and later after practice mentioned to the trainer that his side hurt some.  Trainer looked him over and got the team doctor and their secondary physician involved.  Diagnosis was nothing broken, cracked or bruised, just a really hard thump.  In the pregame game treatment on Saturday he was still a little sore and the decision was made to rest him rather then risk aggravating it and give him more time to recover in preparation for him heading to Germany next week for trials again.  Wyatt said that he really didn't miss much of a game, his team scored 5 goals in about 10 minutes (took a while for them to get into the game) before the coach put on the breaks and had them just work on possessing and moving the ball for the rest of the game.

Keeper training wise they continue to work the basics and integration into the team style of play.  Wyatt is trying to get some photos from one of the assistants of some of the saves he has been making in practice and keeper training.  He says the biggest focus for the last few weeks has been his set speed.  Keeper coach has been pushing him to set and react quicker to moving plays.  Wyatt said he has made a bit of progress on it and gotten some kudos from the coach about his progress.

This week is all about return to play training and getting him in his best form before heading to Germany.  We get him home Friday for an evening before shipping him off to Frankfurt for a week, then again for an evening on the return trip.  Typical Wyatt though he wants to get in a training session with his keeper coach here Friday night and maybe a morning season with his skills trainer on the way back through before heading back out to school.  

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Well, got the boy back out to Barca and he seems to be functioning well this morning.  To weeks back he returned to play and practice.  They cleared him for light keeper training, Wednesday, although him and a couple team mates rain their own training session Tuesday night.  Wednesday night keeper training was light in the extent that the coach was just told to keep him from flying as much as usual.  For practice with his team Wednesday and Thursday he wasn't in the net but played defensive mid and left winger.  Friday we got him back home for the evening.  He was hyped up and went to try and catch a session with his local keeper coach, but he was out of town for a showcase with club teams in Colorado.  Wyatt got into Germany Sunday and met three other players who were their from Greece for trials, 2 keepers and a forward.  They went out to the local club field and trained some on their own Sunday.  Monday they started the week with a training session with the keeper trainer from the scouting group he was their with.  That evening he was at Elversburg, a club he had trialed with last time.  He said it went pretty well with the only thing that they wanted to see him work on was his positioning.  He consistently sets a little to the right more then he should. Tuesday was another trainer session, then he went to Waldhof Mannheim.  There he started working with the keeper training group, then moved on to practice with the U17s.  He said at first everyone was sort of standoffish, but then he pulled out a flying upper 90 save and the boys let out a big cheer and warmed up to him after that.  Wednesday he revisited Pirmesans which he trialed with last time as well.  Said it went pretty good, said he played well with the ball at his feet, managing to "turn" a forward twice to establish some street cred with the field players.  Thursday was another morning training session and then another new club, Kickers Offenbach.  There they spent the whole evening just working with the keeper coach while the scouts watched.  Wyatt said other then a little issue with language, he did really well.  Friday he had he review training session and evaluation meeting.  Since we don't have access to European passports alot of the trials are more about getting him used to the German system, training methodologies, and some initial exposure with the clubs.  The two biggest things he came away with to work with was his positioning, he sets to his right a little, not a lot, but it was something that they felt like he could improve.  Also his left foot (hist off foot) said he about 80% with it, and they want to see it at 100%.  Interesting thing was in the reviews is that for those two things they ranked him well above the German keepers he was playing with, but said he had shown such improvement with it since last time, they figured he could improve more and that would make him stand out even more.  Overall he got really good reviews, and 2 of he clubs made it clear they expected the scouting group to bring him around next time he was in the area.  The clubs said he was good enough to be the started for there U17s, U18s, and possibly their U19s.  The scouts also talked with him some about his development path.  Since he turns 18 the summer before his senior year of highschool, they are starting to talk some about him maybe signing with a U19 program and doing his senior year in Germany and going from there.

So over all not a bad trip for him.  He also got the VIP treatment on the way home.  Since he has to fly as an unattended minor he got boarded early and got to wander around with the flight crew while they prepped the play for the flight.  Even got to spend some time talking with former Dallas Mavericks NBA star Dirk Navinski.  Down side is while he was gone his team had a sort of mixed bag of games.  The weekend he left they had three tournament games.  Won 2, lost 1, but the loss kept them out of the finals.  The day he flew back they also lost their first time in league play.  Temporarily moves them down to 2nd in group, but they have 2 games in hand and should be back on top after the double header weekend they have coming up.  So he has his work cut out for him, but shouldn't be to hard getting back up to speed with his team.

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100% with his wrong foot. Sorry but not even most professional keepers can kick that well with their wrong foot so bit of a weird one to pull a kid up on if you ask me.

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1 hour ago, Bucks13 said:

100% with his wrong foot. Sorry but not even most professional keepers can kick that well with their wrong foot so bit of a weird one to pull a kid up on if you ask me.

I think it is reaching a little bit as well, but I think they want to set a goal that forces him to try.  I wouldn't put it past Wyatt though to really try for it, his skills trainer here in town that he works with would spend half the sessions doing everything as a lefty, so mentally he thinks he can do it.

 

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Wyatt had a busy first week back at school.  Got back and dropped right back into training.  Big focus was getting ready for the double header coming up and getting back into the swing of things with his team.  Things got shaken up a bit midweek.  The U17 DA team was missing a keeper so they were going to pull up one of the 16s to be the reserve.  The other keeper spent Wednesday night training with the U17DA, but then on Thursday before practice, Wyatt got called into the managers office and filled out his paper work to be registered as a development player for the DA.  So he trained Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with the DA keepers and the U17DA team.  He was really fired up about it and said he really played well.  Said his work with the ball at his feet was spot on, and Thursday night he came up with a lot of big saves, 3 full extension dives, 2 superman to push balls over the bar, and 5 spread saves as he calls them.  Made a decent impression and got some good feedback and kudos from the coaches.  Friday and Saturday sounded like more of the same.  He said he really felt like he was being pushed to perform and couldn't sit back relaxing and just turning it on when he needed too.

Sunday come game time he was the reserve keeper for both the u19DA and the u17DA.  Both games started the usual way, team getting a feel for the opponent and moving the ball and then starting scoring near the half and into the second half.  Both teams won 5-0, but Wyatt didn't get any minutes since the coaches were trying to give some of the regular squad bench players minutes with the limited subs they had available.  Wyatt wasn't too bummed, he was hoping he would get some time, but he also recognized he was low man on the ladder.  He is hoping that he will get more time with the DA teams for training and earn some minutes as the season goes on (which is what his development plan specifies).  In the interim his team has a off weekend this week and then heads to Florida for the first US version of the Mediterranean International Cup.  Only a limited number of age groups are being allowed for the first iteration of the tournament in the US, but the big prize is that the team that places in first in each age group gets a bye into the 20th anniversary edition of the tournament in Spain spring of 2020.  They have announced some of the teams playing at the one here in the states and it is a lot of foreign clubs US academy programs like what Wyatt is in for Barca and some local Florida clubs, so not sure what the competition will be like.  If they make it to the one in Spain they will see some of the big clubs in Europe's academies, so a nice carrot to work towards.

Since Wyatt was with the DA for the weekend he missed his teams two league games.  First one they played a lower table team and won easily 6-0.  Second game they played one of the other two top teams in the table who they had beaten 5-1 earlier.  Other team went up 0-3 on his team pretty quick, but then his team fought back into with the help of a hat-trick by one of the forwards to end 4-3 with the comeback win.

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Nice... So Wyatt was basically with teams 2 and 4 years older than him right? The coaches must have some faith in him to have him that high up the age range, obviously having to play should the other keeper go down for any reason.

How does this Barcelona thing work? I'm slightly confused about it, so is he at college and his team is linked with Barca?

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Sort of.  The way the age groups work out is sort of a birth year thing, so boys he plays with are born and 2004 or younger.  So most the U17s are about a year and a half older and the 19s tend to mostly be 2 and half to 3 years older.

The Barca academy is a partnership between Barcelona in Spain and a sports academy that formerly was associated with one of the MLS teams.  Barcelona runs it as a full-time residency program for high school age players (grades 9-12, ages 14 - 19 typically).  Barcelona provides the soccer side of things (training methodology, play style, etc.) while the sports academy provides the facilities and infrastructure (dorms, food, fields, etc.).  The Coaches are all trained by Barca and there are two full-time technical directors/managers that are from Barca and have coached in their youth program before.  The teams are broken into two general groups, the pre-academy (U15/16/17/18/19) that compete in state and national leagues and events, and the US Soccer Development Academy System (U15/17/19) where it is limited to 90ish clubs across the US that are a mix of local independent youth clubs and academies associated with semi-pro and pro clubs.  

Basically Barca, like a lot of foreign clubs are sniffing around the US to find talent, and thanks to our messed up federation, they typically don't have to pay parity, development or other fees for signing players who don't come from the MLS academies.  Most of the clubs just sort of license their names, and the coaches go and learn how to coach their way, but for most purposes they are like independent franchises.  The Barca program is controlled way closer by Barca.  They keep an eye on the boys and usually take a group over every year for training in Spain.  

For Wyatt it is like his own little soccer paradise.  Everyone there is there to play, so all are motivated.  He has unlimited access to training facilties and fields whenever he wants outside of school and practices.  Unlike a lot of youth clubs they have a pretty big staff like the professional club academies from trainers to team physicians and all the various coaches and such.  There program has produced some professionals at various levels in the US and international, and has a really good track record of placing boys into college programs should they decide they don't want or can't find a professional slot.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, panzerbug said:

Sort of.  The way the age groups work out is sort of a birth year thing, so boys he plays with are born and 2004 or younger.  So most the U17s are about a year and a half older and the 19s tend to mostly be 2 and half to 3 years older.

The Barca academy is a partnership between Barcelona in Spain and a sports academy that formerly was associated with one of the MLS teams.  Barcelona runs it as a full-time residency program for high school age players (grades 9-12, ages 14 - 19 typically).  Barcelona provides the soccer side of things (training methodology, play style, etc.) while the sports academy provides the facilities and infrastructure (dorms, food, fields, etc.).  The Coaches are all trained by Barca and there are two full-time technical directors/managers that are from Barca and have coached in their youth program before.  The teams are broken into two general groups, the pre-academy (U15/16/17/18/19) that compete in state and national leagues and events, and the US Soccer Development Academy System (U15/17/19) where it is limited to 90ish clubs across the US that are a mix of local independent youth clubs and academies associated with semi-pro and pro clubs.  

Basically Barca, like a lot of foreign clubs are sniffing around the US to find talent, and thanks to our messed up federation, they typically don't have to pay parity, development or other fees for signing players who don't come from the MLS academies.  Most of the clubs just sort of license their names, and the coaches go and learn how to coach their way, but for most purposes they are like independent franchises.  The Barca program is controlled way closer by Barca.  They keep an eye on the boys and usually take a group over every year for training in Spain.  

For Wyatt it is like his own little soccer paradise.  Everyone there is there to play, so all are motivated.  He has unlimited access to training facilties and fields whenever he wants outside of school and practices.  Unlike a lot of youth clubs they have a pretty big staff like the professional club academies from trainers to team physicians and all the various coaches and such.  There program has produced some professionals at various levels in the US and international, and has a really good track record of placing boys into college programs should they decide they don't want or can't find a professional slot.

 

 

Very nice. Shame it is all linked to Barcelona mind you. 😋👎

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Hectic weekend and start the to week.  Wyatt continues wearing his two hats at the club as the team gets ready for a tournament in Florida this weekend.  Last week he alternated training with the U17DA (Mon/Thur) and his team on Wednesday and Friday in preparation for his teams league game that weekend.  It was scheduled for this coming weekend, but they got it moved to last weekend.  So Wyatt had the goal for the game and typically for anything involving youth soccer things didn't work out like they seemed they should.  Team they played is comfortably parked at 4 in the table.  Not been showing well enough to beat the top three, but doing well enough to make sure they keep the other team locked below them.  Wyatt's team went into the game with 5 starters out with injuries and recovering for the tournament this weekend, and one player on a red card suspension after making a tackle to prevent a evening goal in the 4-3 game the weekend before.  About 5 minutes in other team catches his squad in a bad way off a missed corner kick, get a break away and make a nice shot on the goal, butting it low and to the corner out of his reach.  Overall his team controlled play and was dominant, but when they lost possession things came back at him pretty quick and two more similar goals went in against him as he saw the game out to a 7-3 win for his squad.  He said he didn't have to make any really spectacular saves, just lots of routine stuff.  Lots of work with his feet in the back moving the ball and helping try and control the speed of the game.

This week he started off with his team practicing last night and a combined keeper session that included all the keepers who were active (usually they are split into U16 and younger and U17 and up).  The remaining practices for the week he is supposed to be training with the U17DA, then the team heads out Friday for the tournament in Florida.  They got their bracket and schedule and looks like 2 local clubs and a affiliate academy for Juventus.  He also said they are pulling back a couple of the U16s that were playing up with the U17 pre-academy squad for the tournament as well, so hopefully they do well and win a spot in the tournament in Spain in the spring.

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Busy two weeks for Wyatt.  He rounded out the week leading up to the tournament with a double practice, training with the U17DA, then his team one last time before they headed out to Florida.  He really enjoyed the tournament experience, since they travel and stay as a team, was lots of fun.  The tournament was structured so they played 3 games Saturday, quarters and semis on Sunday, and finals on Monday.  Saturday was really wet, was raining for most the early games.  Wyatt got the goal for the first game, which was lived streamed until the rain got so bad they shut the feed down.  Was liking watching them play in a fishbowl that was overflowing.  Wyatt has lots of soggy game experience and training though so he wasn't too put out by the conditions.  He has some work to do, came up big on a header off a cross with a reaction save to push it clear, then some routine stuff and sweeping to hold the shut-out.  The field players had a bit of trouble finding the net though and the game ended in a draw.  The coach alternated the keepers for the tournament, so the other keeper got the second game.  Game wasn't streamed so didn't see how things shook out, but they went down 1-3 and wound up third in group after the second game.  Way the tournament was structured after group play first two teams went to gold bracket for knockouts and bottom two went to silver bracket.  Going into the third game they need a few things to happen.  Needed the second place team to lose and needed to blow-out their opponent to get he tie breaker win in the standings to advance to gold.  Wyatt got the start (thanks to rotating keepers) and made a few saves, but mostly routine stuff.  His big part of the match was moving the ball around in the back to help pull in the forwards and give the mids and his forwards space to operate.  They dominated the possession pretty well and went on to win 6-0.  

At first it looked like they weren't going to advance as the second place team was reported as winning versus the first place team in group, but then the scores were corrected and Wyatt's team moved into to second and got the spot to advance to the gold bracket for knockouts.  Quaterfinal match and the other keeper gets the start.  Doesn't go that well as the first few minutes out of the gate he has a 1v1 off a lucky turn-over and break away to go down 0-1.  After that the team sucked it up and started controlling possession.  Had 5 or 6 shots go off the woodwork, missed a few sitters, but did managed to put 3 away to win it 3-1.  Semi-final it was Wyatt's turn in the rotation again.  Played a PSG US affiliate team playing a similar possession style as Barca with some long ball thrown in to keeper things honest.  They would hold the ball then open the field and play it long over the back to several runners.  Kept Wyatt pretty busy for the whole match.  He had a couple nice saves in the first, then they got a PK off a suspect handball call in the box.  Wyatt played it right, but the kid made a perfect shot into the lower corner with Wyatt just getting his finger tips to it, but not enough to see it out. Second half the other team didn't park the bus, but stayed aggressive forcing Wyatt to have to make some saves to keep his team in the game.  He made a nice spread save off a corner kick that went just outside the box and came back through traffic.  Then a diving save to touch a ball wide.  His center back cleared it, but it came right back high and Wyatt popped up and touched it over the bar.  He also was pretty busy with his feet, handling some back passes under pressure, including having to skill a forward when he got the ball on a shirt pass from his centerback.  Team rallied though and evened it up, then got the winning goal off a PK.

They advanced to the final to face another PSG team, but this one was no where near as skilled as the previous one.  The other keeper got the rotation in the net and they scored early on a quick counter, then basically started playing kick ball.  Anytime they got possession they would boot it long and then clear it out long trying to kill time.  Wyatt's team had lots of looks and missed a PK that would have tied it up, but just couldn't seem to connect with the back of the net to go down 0-1.  Forward from Wyatt's team did win the golden boot and the attacking mid won the MVP for the tournament.  The opposing keeper won the golden glove.  The keeper scout who was there though talked with Wyatt for a bit after the match and told him had his team won he would have gotten it, but their tournament rules said it had to go to the keeper on the winning team of the final.  Small consolation, but he had a lot of good feedback for Wyatt as well as an offer to join a similar program in France.   

The got back in Monday evening, Wyatt turned around and flew home Tuesday for a funeral and back to school on Thursday afternoon.  Since he missed practice Wednesday he wasn't expecting to get the goal this last weekend in their second to last league game, but he still worked hard at practice.  Saturday morning they had an extra keeper session, then the coach talked with them about getting their recruiting  profiles started for college.  They played that evening and Wyatt was surprised to get  the start.  Team won 4-0.  Wyatt said he only had a couple saves to make, coming up big on a corner kick with a spread block, then a few other routine things, along with lots of back-passing and distributions.  The win clinched them first place in the divison for the season with one game left to go.  

Final league game is this weekend, then they prep for a showcase in California the following weekend.  After that it is a couple of weeks until he comes home for winter break.

 

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Very nice. All sounds like it is going well so far. Keep up the good work Wyatt!

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