Spencer and Delgado Called to U-18s

Academy players taking part in US camp

Ben Spencer Seattle reserves

Photo Credit: 
Richard Castillo / Chivas USA

It’s been a big week for the Chivas USA Academy.  In addition to yesterday’s news of Bradford Jamieson and Adonis Amaya continuing at Bradenton, Chivas USA also has two Academy players taking part in the US National Team’s U-18 camp this week. 

Forward Ben Spencer and midfielder Marco Delgado (both 16) might sound like familiar names to Chivas USA fans.  They’re key players in the Chivas USA Academy, and both spent significant time training with the first team last season.  Both players have also played in multiple reserve games for the Red-and-White, where they competed against professionals and grown men. 

According to Chivas USA’s U-16 Head Coach Mike Muñoz, the chance to play for the US National team is a just reward for a strong 2011. 

“They’ve come a long way in the past year and half, two years,” said Muñoz.  “Both those kids have been training with the first team consistently.  They’ve also been playing in reserve league matches where they’ve performed extremely well, and they’re both playing extremely well with the Academy team.  They rightfully deserve a chance to be a part of the US U-18 program, and I think they’ll do extremely well.”

The week is a huge opportunity for the pair of young Goats, as they have the chance to train with the best players in their age and try to make an impression on new U-18 coach Richie Williams.  Muñoz spoke with excitement about the ongoing revamp of the men’s side of US Soccer under Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and how it offers fresh opportunities to all players.  Spencer and Delgado can make a big impression in coach Williams’ first camp, and perhaps establish themselves as major players in their age group.

But this isn’t just an opportunity for Spencer and Delgado.  Their week spent with the National Team in Florida can benefit the entire Academy, says Muñoz.

“It’s extremely beneficial to our other academy players,” said Muñoz.  “Ben and Marky are kids who see themselves as leaders.  When they come back they instill the experience that they received with the national team and they bring it to our academy players.  They’re not selfish, they’re not guys who put themselves above the team… They don’t get big egos when they come back.  They want to improve themselves, but they also want to improve their teammates as well, so it’s huge.”

The camp is being held in Florida, and runs from January 2nd to the 9th.  Afterwards Ben and Marco will return to Carson where their academy teammates are already getting set for the season.