Last December one of Gulf Coast United Futbol Club’s 2005 girls, Jessica Lawrence, was invited to train at the US Club Soccer id2 National Training Camp in Chula Vista, California. Established in 2004, US Club Soccer’s id2 National Identification and Development Program provides an opportunity for the country’s elite youth soccer players to be identified, developed, and scouted for inclusion in US Soccer’s National Team programs. Jessica describes her experience below.
In December I was invited to train nationally at the US Club Soccer Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, California. Being chosen for this was exciting but the opportunity to get to go wouldn’t have been possible without the full support of my coach, guidance from the team manager, and sponsorship from Gulf Coast United.
The experience of training in Chula Vista is one I will remember for the rest of my life! I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future. The 4-day camp was fast paced in which there were multiple training sessions throughout the day. I learned new skills and practiced with players from all over the country. A normal day at the camp started with waking up and walking to the cafeteria to eat, go to training, eat lunch, go to training, eat dinner, then talk with all of the players and coaches about the day and what needs to be done for the next. The trainings consisted of mostly field movement and how to quickly switch the ball from defense to offense and how to properly play different positions on the field. We also learned about sportsmanship and leadership off the field, where coaches discussed our role on our different teams. The most important day was the last day, where all the girls would be scrimmaging one another and recruiters and coaches would watch. The training showed me where I needed to go with improving skills and what level I could possibly achieve.
GCU is very supportive of their players and here is the proof. Up until COVID-19, I have played soccer non-stop since I was 7. I had never been severely injured up until a week before this training camp when I sprained my ankle. Although I healed enough to still attend training, I was worried about how I would represent my hometown and GCU. I expressed my concern to “Chic”, GCU’s Director of Coaching. His response to me was “I’m sorry you are not 100%. I hope you can still show them what you’ve got and have a lot of fun there!” I didn’t get to fully express my capabilities however I’m very grateful I got the opportunity to train at such a high level and to meet many players and coaches with a lot of experience.
Thank you, Coach Pryor, and Gulf Coast United for helping me get to go train nationally!