Young Goats Excelling at Bradenton
When US Soccer announced its U-17 Residency Program roster last fall, Chivas USA was represented for the first time in team history. Midfielder Adonis Amaya and forward Bradford Jamieson, both 15, moved to Bradenton Florida where they have lived and trained at the IMG Academy for the last several months. Recently it was announced that both players were renewed by US Soccer and will continue to participate in the program during the spring semester.
“It’s a good honor and it shows that the players have done well their first semester to have that renewed,” said Chivas USA’s U-16 Head Coach Mike Munoz. “After each semester the US staff evaluates the kids and gives them an update on how they’ve done so far. They also bring in new kids on trial, so there’s competition trying to see if these guys can take spots or not.”
Amaya and Jamieson are part of a 32-player program in Bradenton that is preparing for the U-17 World Cup in 2013. However, Munoz was quick to caution that the World Cup is far off, and the young Goats will have to earn the right to stay in the program for the duration.
“They can be released at any time based on performance,” said Munoz. “It’s an extremely competitive environment every single day.”
So far, their performance has been good. In fact, Amaya was even called up to a select U-17 roster and took part in an international friendly against France in December.
Although they won’t be with the Red-and-White Academy this spring, Jamieson and Amaya still maintain a close connection to their home club, where they’re considered key parts of the future.
“They’re still registered and full time players with our academy, with our U-16 team,” said Munoz. “If they were to get released they’d come back to us. They’re part of the club and they’re on our homegrown list. That means potentially we could sign them as professionals one day, that’s the idea.”
That day is likely still far off, as both players only recently turned 15. But the potential is there for both, and taking part in the Residency Program is a big step in their careers, as well as a positive sign of growth that the Chivas USA Academy and the entire club can be proud of.