When it comes to hard work and dedication, Samantha Felder and Brooke Ulery are known for getting down to business. These high achieving U12 girls from Century United of Pittsburgh F.C.’s East site have been catching the eyes of U.S. Soccer Federation coaches for months.
Since their coaches from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Development Academy referred them for participation in their first U.S. Soccer Training Center event, both girls have been included in several regional trainings, most recently on October 27 in Medina, Ohio.
Coached by Keri Sarver and several other U.S. Youth National Team coaches, the area ladies were challenged to accomplish much more than they thought they were capable of, as Samantha described. Said Brooke, “The speed of play was very fast with a lot of attention to detail. The coaches really wanted every touch and pass to be accurate and precise.”
The 1.5 hour training sessions included warm ups with cone exercises, passing drills that required a good touch on the ball, small-sided games with a neutral target to pass to, and then a large-sided scrimmage. The girls learned a lot about themselves and the game.
“I learned a lot of new things that I can practice and work on, and try when playing in games,” said Samantha. Brooke remarked, “I have learned that every time I touch the ball, it really counts!”
Both of these outstanding players would jump at the chance to engage in future U.S. Soccer Federation trainings. “I would absolutely do this again because I feel the National Trainings I’m attending are an honor! Every time I go there I feel I learn something new, and it makes me a much better player. It’s a great opportunity that I don’t take for granted.”
Samantha agrees: “I would do it again if I am given the opportunity because I want to keep challenging myself to keep improving so I can get to the top level.” She thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the training, explaining, “It made me use all my skills, and I got to train with players stronger and better than me.”
Century United is proud of the focus Samantha and Brooke have demonstrated and the recognition they have earned. We wish these ladies the best as they continue their journey toward more achievements in soccer!