Academy News: Six Barça Residency Academy Players Trial at La Masia

Academy News: Six Barça Residency Academy Players Compete at La Masia

February 28, 2019

As FC Barcelona’s official youth soccer residency academy in the United States, six Barça Residency Academy players are selected annually based on their performances during the season and their level of talent, to train and compete at FC Barcelona’s famed youth soccer academy – La Masia in Barcelona, Spain.

This direct access provides Barça Residency Academy players with a unique opportunity to train and trial at the very academy that produced FC Barcelona greats such as Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. During the week, Barça Residency Academy players train and compete in matches with La Masia’s top youth teams while being closely observed and evaluated first hand by some of the world’s most renowned youth development experts, with the potential of becoming FCB prospects.

The following six Barca Residency Academy players were selected for the 2018-19 La Masia trial that took place February 17-23:

Caden Clark – Midfielder, Academy U-17

Djibril Doumbia – Goalkeeper, Academy U-19

Nick Fernandez – Midfielder, Academy U-19

Matthew Hoppe – Forward, Academy U-19

Christian Ortiz – Defender, Academy U-19

Brooklyn Raines – Midfielder, Academy U-15

Academy Director Sean McCafferty, Technical Director Xavi Bravo and Director of Recruiting Miha Kline accompanied the players in Barcelona were “extremely happy with the boys’ performance and the trip overall” said Kline. Below is their feedback on each player’s performance during their week at La Masia.

Caden Clark – Caden was the only returning player from last year’s Barcelona training week where he impressed the FCB staff. He picked up where he left off by playing well and scoring in a friendly game for FC Barcelona versus SC Cambuur from Holland. Caden showed his qualities both in training and in the game and impressed the FC Barcelona staff with his ability to link up and get into dangerous attacking positions on a consistent basis.

Djibril Doumbia – Djibril had an excellent week of training as well as an impressive 45 minutes versus Servette FC (Switzerland) where he made an excellent save in a 1v1 situation to keep the game at 0-0. His presence and command of his area was very good and filled the backline full of confidence when coming for crosses. Distribution was consistently at a high level and he received some top training hours during the week where he learned a great deal and enjoyed himself in the process.

Nick Fernandez – Nick had an extremely impressive game versus FC Martinenc (Catalonia) which was capped off by an excellent run into the box where he calmly slotted the ball past the Goalkeeper and put FC Barcelona Juvenil A 3-1 up. Nick’s range of passing and ability to move the ball efficiently was at a high level throughout the week and he saved his best performances for the two friendly games versus Servette & FC Martinenc in which he impressed the FC Barcelona Juvenil A and Juvenil B staff.

Matthew Hoppe – Matthew trained very well throughout the week and showed great maturity & discipline in his performances in the friendly games versus Servette and FC Martinec and was unfortunate not to score vs. the latter where he saw his header come off the post. Matthew also had an excellent turn and strike with his non-dominant left foot from which the goalkeeper made an excellent save. Matthew held the ball up well and linked up efficiently with the FC Barcelona Juvenil A & Juvenil B players and looked very much at home at this very high level.

Chrisitan Ortiz – Christian had an excellent week of training and although he started tentatively in the first friendly game versus Servette he grew in confidence and played very well for the last 30 minutes of the game. His speed and willingness to get forward and join the attack was there for all to see and his 1v1 defending was excellent throughout the week. Christian had a very composed and confident performance in the second friendly game vs. FC FC Martinenc and was involved in some of the good attacking play which led to some goal scoring opportunities.

Brooklyn Raines – Brooklyn settled in right from the first activity and looked very much at home training with the FC Barcelona Infantil A team. He showed great confidence and maturity in possession completing a high percentage of his passes throughout the week and linked up well with the FC Barcelona players in his age group. His one and two touch play was impressive and he definitely showed that he can play at this level which is the biggest compliment he can receive.

During the trip the players were given a tour of the world-famous Camp Nou, the home stadium of FC Barcelona which has a seating capacity of 99,354, making it the largest stadium in Spain and Europe and the third largest futbol stadium in the world. They also attended the FC Barcelona vs. Real Valladolid match on February 16th that resulted in a 1-0 win for FCB.

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