What does a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast have in common with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa? Several of the U.S. players trained in Bradenton at the IMG Academies, home to the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program.
Since its inception, 170 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 60 of those players have moved on to Major League Soccer or the professional leagues in Europe. Fifteen players have also registered at least one cap with the full MNT: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp, Oguchi Onyewu, Santino Quaranta, Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, Jonathan Spector, Heath Pearce and Josmer Altidore.
The U-17 players live on campus at the Academy and train in the morning under the guidance of Wilmer Cabrera and assistant coaches Paul Caffrey, Gerson Echeverry, Keith Fulk and Paul Grafer. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at Bradenton Preparatory Academy. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. team not only trains daily under Cabrera, but also has access to the IMG Academy’s spacious facilities.
The team regularly uses IMG’s state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation’s best sports psychologists that work at the Academy. The IMG Academy includes top-of-the-line soccer equipment, three Bermuda grass fields, an indoor dome with artificial turf, two swimming pools, newly renovated student housing and dining facilities.
The EDC is proud that Manatee County is home to this wonderful program that trains the Team USA atheletes that we are all getting ready to watch in this year’s World Cup in South Africa .