Barca Residency Academy standouts Joseph Buckley and Leonardo Orejarena have been selected to train at FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy – La Masia from November 14 to 25 in Barcelona, Spain. This opportunity is a part of the academy’s unique partnership with the club which provides exclusive trial and training opportunities for its top prospects.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for both Joey and Leo to fully immerse themselves into the La Masia environment and test themselves at the highest level of youth soccer,” said Barca Residency Academy Director Ged Quinn. “As an academy, we are extremely excited to have our guys heading back to Spain after a couple of years off due to the global pandemic. These trips only help solidify our desire and dedication as an academy to have the first Barca Residency Academy player sign for FC Barcelona.”
Joseph “Joey” Buckley, a fourth-year Barca Residency Academy player who has consistently been a top performer throughout his time at the Academy will join the Juvenil B group (U-18) while in Barcelona.
“Joey is a player who has grown, developed, and embraced the culture here at Barca Residency Academy– he is a testament to the player pathway that we try to provide here and no player deserves this opportunity more,” said Quinn.
Newcomer Leonardo “Leo” Orejarena, who has had a very strong start through his first 12 games of the season at Barca Residency Academy will join the Cadet A team (U-16).
“Leo has impressed us all immensely with his technical ability, decision making, and desire to impact games and training in a positive manner,” said Quinn. “His attributes fit the FCB style of play extremely well and we are excited to see how he performs while at La Masia.”
During the two-week training period, Buckley and Orejarena will live, train, and compete in matches in the very environment that produced several world-class players such as Messi, Iniesta, Pedri, and Gavi to name a few. They’ll also follow in the footsteps of Bara Residency Academy alumni Julian Araujo, Matthew Hoppe, Caden Clark, and Brooklyn Raines who were also selected for training opportunities at La Masia during their time at the Academy.
“These training stints are a remarkable opportunity for our young academy players,” said Miha Kline Barca Residency Academy Director of Recruiting. “As we’ve seen before with our former players, being in our [Barca Residency Academy] environment has helped prepare them for this opportunity and do very well during their time at the academy in Spain. We very much look forward to seeing Joey and Leo do the same as well. Both of them have been outstanding so far this season and they fully deserve this opportunity and recognition of their quality, potential, hard work and their overall character.”