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 of his second and third days in Italy below.
However, on Day Four, McCauley was elected as team captain for the team's match against PSV Eindhoven, a League One team. Prior to the match, a North American team had never won at the Viareggio Cup, but that all changed on Friday. McCauley's team knocked off the favored Eindhoven, 3-2.
McCauley's account of Day 4 in Italy:
I had an extremely exciting day today! It was our second game of the tournament, and coming from an initial loss, we had to turn ourselves around. We were playing against PSV Eindhoven, they are a League One team and have never been relegated. This team was expected to come out on top of our group as they had already beaten Empoli (who we play Saturday) 2 - 0. What surprised me was that I was selected to be the Captain for the match. We came out of the locker room pumped and had a lot of energy from the opening whistle. Five minutes in, we shocked the opponents by scoring and then later in the half made two more! Standing our ground the second half was tough, but we managed to pull through with a victory of 3-2! It was the first North American victory in the Viareggio Cup. I was honored to have been named as the captain in the accomplishment! As of right now the group is tied with each team having one win, so the result of who advances comes down to the final game!