Created on 2015-05-29 at 10:00 AM
This past weekend at the Allianz Arena, FC Bayern closed out the 2014/15 season in style with a win against Mainz and a memorable title celebration. But the action continued at the arena the following day with the fourth edition of the annual FC Bayern Youth Cup sponsored by partner SAP. Six teams from all over the world competed for the title this year with GPS, Bayern's US youth partner, representing the United States.
Ten players between the age of 14-16 were selected from GPS' 11 locations in the US with the selection focusing on kids from at-risk communities. The 4-day trip presented the players the opportunity of a lifetime to experience FC Bayern first hand and play at the world-renowned Allianz Arena and compete against other players from all over the world.
Day 1 saw the players link up at Boston Logan International Airport for the first time where they met GPS Director of Coaching and team Head Coach Pete Bradley as they prepared to set off for Munich, Germany. Stevaughn Service from New York said, “It was great to finally meet up with the other boys and to share the excitement for the trip. There was a great sense of anticipation throughout the squad.”
The teams were settling in at their state of the art facility and preparations were underway for their first training session. The team met at breakfast before being transferred to Säbener Strasse, FC Bayern’s training ground, where they were introduced to the staff. Alberto Butts Lee said, “The practice was amazing. The intensity was at such a high level and I loved all the coaches, they were fantastic.” The boys then stayed and watched the first team train and managed to secure photographs with some of the FC Bayern players. The team headed back and relaxed in preparation for the next day’s training and their trip to the Allianz Arena to watch FC Bayern vs. Mainz.
Training in the morning was followed by a trip to the Allianz Arena to watch the already crowned Bundesliga champions play against Mainz. Darren Pike was particularly overwhelmed by the Allianz Arena and said, “When we arrived, I was so shocked by the size of it. It was completely full, 75,000 people. The fans were incredible, they didn’t stop singing for 90 minutes!” The game ended with a 2-0 win for FC Bayern and the game was followed by the trophy presentation. Berty DiBiedma, from Florida said, “having the chance to watch Xabi Alonso live and the way he plays the game is an experience I will never forget. His range of passing, creativity and movement off the ball is so great to see. He will always be one of my role models.”
On the final day the boys had the once on a lifetime opportunity of playing in the Allianz arena. It was an early start as they were transferred to the stadium where they changed in the FC Bayern changing rooms before making their way onto the field through the players tunnel. The team performed well, with an overall record of two losses, two draws and a victory. Coach Pete Bradley stated ‘given the quality of the opposition I was extremely impressed and proud of the way the boys performed. Overall it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the talent that we have within our club and the continual development of soccer within the USA.” Bertie DeBiedma saw the chance to play on the same turf as Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi as the highlight of his trip, calling the opportunity “unbelievable” and “amazing”.
All the boys expressed their upmost gratitude to FC Bayern and SAP for the experience they were presented with, which wouldn’t have been possible without the two mentioned organizations. Additionally, they wanted to thank all GPS staff involved in making the tournament a success through their hard work over the last months, notably Scott Graham and Gavin McPhee. Coach Pete Bradley’s final thoughts commended the boys saying, “Their behavior and professionalism was impeccable throughout. They were a pleasure to have and represented GPS and themselves brilliantly. We look forward to hopefully welcoming a further invitation to the tournament in 2016.”
About GPS & FC Bayern's Partnership
To find out more about FC Bayern's famed youth academy and the partnership with Global Premier Soccer in the United States click here.