More than 160 boys youth soccer players from around the country came to IMG Academy for the Super Y-League Olympic Development Program (ODP) national Camp, held Feb 21-24. For many of the players this was their second or third time to train at IMG Academy. For Sergio Mattius, a forward from New York, it was his second time.
“There’s a lot more here,” said Mattius of the Westchester Flames. “The field’s grass is so much better than turf, the atmosphere is great, great soccer and great weather.”
Another New Yorker, Erick Vega, had also been to IMG Academy before, playing in the USL Super Y-League North American championships.
“Everyone here is dedicated to soccer and it makes the environment better, more comfortable and everyone more fired up,” remarked Vega on the experience.
However, for Isaiah Owens, a New Jersey native, it was his first time to visit IMG Academy.
“I tell you, this is nice, state of the art, best in the country,” Owens said. “It’s nice to come down and meet the rest of the players and do what you love, plus the level of play has been pretty intense. It’s challenging, but rewarding when you do good.”
Goalkeeper Greg O’Connell participated in this camp last year and decided to attend IMG Academy as a result. He was ready to play in the camp again. “I’m really happy with the quality of play and my team is great," O'Connell said of his experience at IMG Academy.
For USL, IMG Academy and the players and coaches in attendance, the camp was a success.