October 3, 2019
4:01 PM MDT
Barça Residency Academy standout Caden Clark was called to the U.S. U-16 Boys National Team Talent Identification camp that took in Chula Vista, California from September 19-23, 2019.
“Getting called into this camp was really big for me – I wanted to get back in with the national team,” said Caden. “This helped with my confidence and showed me that my hard work is paying off.”
According to U.S. Soccer, the Under-16 Boys’ National Team Talent ID training camp was held with the objective to “expand and improve the Men’s Youth National Team player pool”.
Fifty-nine players from U.S. Soccer’s three main scouting regions (East, Central, and West) made up the three teams at the camp. The teams played games against each other and against youth squads from Club Tijuana and LA Galaxy. On the camp’s last day, the squads were reshuffled and played against each other in two intra-squad games.
U.S. Soccer Director of Talent Identification Tony Lepore headed the training camp, while each regional team was led by three technical staff, including the three boys’ TID Managers: Henry Brauner (West), Garrett Biller (Central) and Cris da Silva (East).
“The level was high,” said Caden about the competition. “The scrimmages were very competitive and I feel like I did very well at camp.”
Clark played in various positions during the five days but always found a way to contribute to his team. At the right back position, he got involved in the attack, “I tried to bring something different to the position to try and help the team score”. When playing in the midfield on day three, he provided an assist that led to his team’s first goal of the game. “It didn’t matter where they put me,” he said. “I will always play my game whether that’s at center mid, right back, or winger.”
In addition to the on-field competition, the camp also focused on off-field education. Players were introduced to YNT principles of play and encouraged to take ownership of their development.
“I learned that when you go to things like this you have to be yourself,” said Caden, “Everyone got called in for a certain reason, the reason being the way they play the game, and you have to bring that uniqueness about you out on the pitch.”