When 95 players from 50 different soccer clubs gathered for id2 Training Camp in Taunton, Mass. last month, Cole Kelly and Tyler Kolankowski represented Century United FC as they showcased their talent to top national coaches and US Soccer scouts. Backed by the recommendations of Century’s Tom Ovenden and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy’s Scott Gibson, the duo set out to sharpen their soccer skills and find out what it takes to achieve long-term success in the sport.
Their four-day camp was jam-packed with activity. Players worked through a rigorous daily schedule that included four hours of tactical sessions, four hours of game play and an hour of video breakdown and discussion. As Tyler describes, “Our schedule was very busy. We trained twice a day, and they gave us plenty of time to rest, but we needed it because the training was very intense, fast, and hard work.”
“We had speakers every night to break down the training,” adds Cole. “Coach Gerry [McKeown, US Club Soccer national team coach] spoke to us every night. He told us to embrace soccer as a lifestyle.” The boys came away from the camp feeling very inspired. Cole shared, “My favorite speaker was Tony Lepore, the US Youth National Team scout. When we watched the video of the U17 Youth National Team [with him], we learned different tactics for how to play from the back, and he said [to us], ‘That can be you someday.’”
In addition to their sessions, the guys enjoyed meeting other players from the eastern US and making new friends. They are keeping in touch with many of them through text messaging and Instagram. Tyler mentioned excellent food as well. “[It] was delicious, especially the Chicken Parmesan.”
When asked if they would like to participate in future id2 Training Camps, both boys exclaimed, “Yes!” They are hoping for a chance to attend an Arizona camp at the end of this year, and maybe even train with the US youth team in Europe.
We’re extraordinarily proud of Cole and Tyler for their hard work and incredible achievements. Century United wishes these outstanding players the best of luck as they continue working hard toward their goals.
For more information about the id2 program, visit US Club Soccer on the web.