U19 National ODP Team in Germany!
The U19 National ODP Team, head-coached by Phil Nielsen the Team Chicago Elite Academy Director, concluded its Germany Tour with a very impressive performance in a 4-0 win over FC Lubars in Berlin. FC Lubars narrowly lost out on promotion to the First Division last season, so it was a formidable opponent for the young Americans.
But after a nervy first 15-20 minutes the U19s found their feet, and really started to play good patient, possession-oriented soccer that forced the FC Lubars players to spend most of the game chasing the ball. Avoiding the common American problem of getting impatient and wanting to play at a 100 miles an hour, the U19 showed great poise and maturity, and scored 4 great goals in the process. Especially the final goal was a thing of beauty, as the U19 defenders and holding midfielder kept the ball for 15 consecutive passes (in the process frustrating their own forwards who were begging for the ball :-) before a center-back found the left back on a weak-side run in behind the German defense with a perfectly weighted 40-yard pass.
Overall the game was a perfect end to the trip, as it showed that the players had embraced the theme and focus of the event. And it proved that American players CAN play patient possession-oriented soccer regardless of what is on display at most college, H.S., and club games all over the country. The German hosts and the referees were extremely impressed by the quality of the American play.
The U19s will conclude the event with a trip to the USA-Sweden game tonight at Wolfsburg and a pre-game BBQ with the friends and families of the U.S. players.