During the recent US Soccer Development Academy Showcase at Lakewood Ranch, IMG Academy's Ian McCauley was recognized by coaches from New York, and asked to guest play for an All Star team in the Viareggio Cup in Italy. The Viareggio Cup is one of the most important youth tournaments in the world and draws talents from the likes of Serie A and Serie B teams such as Inter, AC Milan, Atalanta, Fiorentina, Genoa, Naples, AS Roma and many more. Ian trained with his new teammates for four days in New York, before arriving in Italy over the weekend. McCauley is chronicling his experience for IMG Academy, and you can check out his first hand account below.
Ian McCauley, Day One in Italy:
Arriving in Italy has been unbelievable and has opened my eyes quite a bit to a whole different experience that I had yet to see. Luckily, our hotel is located right next to the beach, so that has given me a feeling as if I were home. The thing that made it stand out to me though was that the mountains are so close and clear from the beach. It was so interesting to see mountains and the beach so close together. Viareggio is located in the Tuscany region of Italy and the Italian Riviera. It is a very historic and beautiful part of the country. It is just north of Pisa, Italy.
The first practice went well. It was raining, but perfect weather with fifty eight degrees Fahrenheit. Training was short, but was a very fast pace since we had just landed the night before. We started by having some fun with a game called handball, and then went into a typical possession game. We finished the day with a pristine dinner of pasta. The best pasta I have ever eaten. I can't wait for tomorrow!