SAN DIEGO, Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As part of its ongoing mission to provide a solid pathway for elite players aspiring to play abroad, International Soccer Academy (https://internationalsocceracademy.com/) has announced today the inaugural group of 22 U.S. players who have moved to the FC Schalke 04 (https://schalke04.de/) campus in Gelsenkirchen, Germany and will immerse themselves in the professional environment for the duration of the 2021-2022 football season. FC Schalke 04 scouts finalized the roster selection after an extensive nationwide search and thorough online evaluation process.
Coached by UEFA A licensed coaches hired by FC Schalke 04, the groundbreaking International initiative focuses on the inaugural Under-18 team of elite U.S. youth soccer players training at the famed Knappenschmiede and competing against regional academy teams.
“We have had good experiences with Matthew Hoppe and Weston McKennie,” said Mathias Schober, Director of Knappenschmiede and Development. “When the opportunity came up to partner with International Soccer Academy, we saw the chance to further strengthen our position on the American market. It’s also a great challenge for our coaches to train an international team and develop the young U.S. players, but also themselves.”
Schalke has appointed Jens Grembowietz as the full time head coach leading the group of young Americans. Grembowietz, a former Schalke Academy and FC Schalke 04 II player also suited up for Dynamo Dresden and Preußen Münster before retiring in 2016 to become a coach.
“I am very much looking forward to my new task and am excited to get to know the team soon,” Grembowietz said. “Training with the young U.S. talents for a whole year is also a completely new experience for me. In addition to intensive training sessions and games, I expect that we will have a lot of fun. It is also important for me to bring the players closer to the German and especially the Ruhr culture.”
2021-2022 U-18 International Soccer Academy-FC Schalke 04 Integrated Academy Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cameron Hein (Frostburg, MD), Alec Laible (Rock Hill, SC)
DEFENDERS (3): Alex Hafer (Kingsville, MD), Tidiane Keita (Montreal, Canada), Jaime Villanueva (Tualatin, OR)
MIDFIELDERS (13): Dillon Bardhi (Scarsdale, NY), Pedro Bottene (Oxford, Michigan), Christian Chandler (San Antonio, TX), Jake Chung (Bellevue, WA), Reece Gaylor (Texarkana, Texas), Trace Higham (Acworth, GA), Andres Lopez (Chula Vista, CA), Antonios Loukas (Lake Worth, FL), Paolo Millan (Delray Beach, FL), Gavin Müns (Gig Harbor, WA), Christian Poehlein (Pennington, NJ), Christian Rodriguez (Port Orange, FL), Joseph Teutimez (Cypress, CA)
FORWARDS (4): Keiquon Aaron (Brooklyn, NY), Alex Cole (South Orange, NJ), Michael Divano (Bremerton, WA), Colin McGinnity (Colbert, WA)
Julian Kaliczok is the assistant coach, and is also a former Schalke Academy player. He has coached previously at SpVgg Erkenschwick, DFB Base Gelsenkirchen and VfB Waltrop.
“I am looking forward to accompanying the boys as assistant coach for a year and observing their development,” Kaliczok said. “Developing talent is an exciting task and I am curious to see what we can achieve during our time together.”
The Integrated Academy players will live at the 4-star stays by friends Gelsenkirchen, a 5-minute walk from the Schalke stadium and training fields.
“We are happy to welcome these players,” said Kai Brock, FC Schalke 04 Project Manager.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL SOCCER ACADEMY (www.internationalsocceracademy.com):
Founded by Eddie Loewen and Diane Scavuzzo, International Soccer Academy is the world’s leading youth soccer to professional career bridging program, with an ongoing mission to provide a solid pathway for elite players aspiring to play abroad. Providing real, authentic and expert development opportunities with top European professional soccer clubs, International Soccer Academy is focused on developing successful players who are driven to reach their goals of signing a professional contract, or play Division 1 soccer.
Since inception of the first session in October 2020, four International Soccer Academy players have signed contracts to be paid to play soccer in Europe.
Diane Scavuzzo – Co-Founder
International Soccer Academy