Three players from the Sounders FC youth system -- Ray Serrano, Peter Carriker and Charlie Holmes -- have been invited to participate in the U.S. Soccer Boys National Team Futures Camp. According to U.S. Soccer, the purpose of this which invites 64 prospects from the 2002 and 2003 age groups who were born in the latter half of the year, ran from May 26-30 in Carson, Calif.
With this recent slate of call-ups, Sounders Academy has had 19 players across all age groups receive invitations to participate in U.S National Team programming over the past year and a half.
According to U.S. Soccer, the purpose of the Futures Camp is to provide Director of Talent Identification Tony Lepore and his staff with an opportunity to evaluate elite prospects “in the ’02 and ’03 birth years who appear to be on a later physical development path and/or are born in the second half of the year”. The structure of the camp will help the staff control for relative differences in growth rates among younger players, ensuring evaluations more accurately reflect each player’s ability.
“We have lots of bright young players in the pipeline, and are we aware that development is rarely a highway,” said Sounders Academy Technical Director Marc Nicholls. “This camp gives a great opportunity to players who may be a bit underdeveloped physically and born in the later part of the year.”
Serrano, born in 2002, signed the Sounders Academy U-14s from youth-club partner Spokane Sounders. After impressing in his own age group, the attacking midfielder was promoted to the U-15s and subsequently the U-16s. While playing for the U-16s in Generation Adidas Cup, he tallied a brace against San Jose Earthquakes and scored the Rave Green’s lone goal against Liga MX-side Chivas de Guadalajara,.
Carriker and Holmes, both born in 2003 and members of Seattle United, are enrolled in the Sounders Discovery Program. SDP is a training program which invites the top prospects from local clubs between the ages of 10-13 to train twice-a-week with the Academy staff. Each session is designed in accordance with the Sounders Academy training and development curriculum. SDP has drastically improved the efficacy of scouting and evaluation, as well as the overall quality of player development in the region.
Both Sounders Discovery Program and the Academy’s youth-club partnership program were implemented in the past couple of years, and this recent slate of call-ups is indicative of the club’s robust and burgeoning youth system. As both programs continue to evolve and improve, supporters can expect to see even more young Sounders representing the Stars and Stripes.