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Players no longer need to travel to Spain to get world class training. Fundacion Real Madrid coaches coming to New Jersey.

“My son attended the Real Madrid Foundation Camp in Madrid from 2009 to 2012, both as a day camper and over night. The experience for him was amazing, as he played with great players and was exposed to top level coaching. The level of soccer was quite high, something he was unable to find at any of the other camps he had attended. His coaches had all played for Real Madrid or had been in their youth coaching ranks for many years. The experience certainly elevated his level of play, and he credits his all-League selection as a sophomore on his high school team in large part to the improvements he made through the Real Madrid Camp”. –Alex Haight


LaCantera Academy Coaches Coming to Princeton area

By Sean Miller
Times of Trenton
December 22, 2013

Many kids who grow up playing soccer dream of one day training and playing with a world renowned club.
Now, one of the world’s largest clubs is going to make the first half of that possible.

The mighty Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid is bringing the coaches from La Cantera, which is the academy program for the big club, over to Princeton this spring and summer. The program, which is usually run out of Valdebebas, Spain, will travel to the pitches of the Princeton area for a week in April, then will return for three weeks in July.

The first session will run April 14-18, and then Ciudad Real Madrid, the name for the base of operations for the academy, will set up shop on this side of the Atlantic for three weeks, starting July 7 and running until July 25. The elite development sessions will consist of 90 minutes of training each weekday, and will be broken up by age into four separate groups: ages 8-9, 10-12, 13-15, and 16-17.

After speaking with Pablo Gomez who works for the club, this program will be about trying to bring the style of play that is taught all the way through La Cantera to the kids of the area.
“We want to help the elite players of the area to develop better football skills,” said Gomez. “Football as a game is the technical, tactical and mental side of things. Players must develop all three to become the best they can be.”

Edmund J. Haemmerle III works for Princeton Sports Management, the organization that is bringing Fundacion Real Madrid to Princeton. He is excited for the chance to bring the club here.

“All the coaches that are coming work for Ciudad Real Madrid,” said Haemmerle. “They are the same ones that work with the youth team now. It is also nice that the project helps with Fundacion Realmadrid.”

Fundacion Realmadrid, from the Real Madrid website, “Is the instrument by which the club makes efficient use of its social and corporate responsibility, and by which it develops projects of a social and formative nature.” The Foundation is active all over the world, helping to grow the game in many ways, from building pitches to training. It tries to use the immense draw of the club to enact change for the better wherever it can. It is a model that more clubs should try to follow.

The game is growing by leaps and bounds in America, and one of the centers for the explosion in popularity has always been New Jersey. There are so many good club teams in the state, as well as Eastern Pennsylvania and New York City. The team picked Princeton because of the central location, and also because of the facilities in the area.

“We have heard of the popularity of the game of football in the area,” said Gomez.
Gomez, along with others from the club, recently toured the area looking at the pitches and facilities that will host the club. Included in the trip was a visit to New York City, and also Puerto Rico to watch a charity match in which some Major League Baseball players turned out to play.

For the players who will be involved in the sessions, it is a chance to learn the same training methods that the club’s academy graduates have. Players like Jese, Alvaro Morata, and Nacho, who all play for the first team. Or the countless others that came up through the system and now fill out squads all over Europe. Kids will get a chance to see what it takes to be a truly elite player.



NSCAA Convention an Experience for the Mind and Eyes

Princeton Sports Management attends the NSCAA Philadelphia convention to bring Fundacion Real Madrid to New Jersey and meets with Carlos Lalin Real Madrid physical trainer

By Sean Miller
Times of Trenton
January 19, 2014

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America, or NSCAA, convention has been going on in Philadelphia since Wednesday.

It is, for some people, a big party, where they get to see all their various friends in the game from all around the country. For others, it is a time to learn from some of the game’s brightest minds, if only for an hour or two.

I found it very interesting and informative, as I attended some fantastic lectures, as well as a few field sessions. I got a chance to attend the lecture of Marcelo Teixeira, who works for Brazilian club Flumenense FC. He spoke about the way to build an academy and youth system. He was the head scout for Manchester United in South America as his previous job, and has sent players all over the world to play, so to hear him speak about finding talent was very interesting.

My favorite lecture came from Erwin van Elst, the director of Sportparners USA, and who also works for the Rene Meulensteen Academy. His lecture was on “The Pathway to Developing Creative and Confident Players — Introducing the United States Technical Championship.” He spoke about various subjects, including the Premier League.

“The Technical Championship that we are running now is a one-day event where we highlight creativity in a player,” said van Elst. “We just have one day where we let them acquire skill, and then give them positive feedback, which hopefully leads to success long term. We hope that we can affect the player and the coach, so that they become aware of the power of technique. The kids like it, so why not work more into those kinds of areas.

“At the end, the team is not going to go to the next level. It is the individual player that will move on, and our responsibility, to some degree, is to make sure that player becomes more successful. Creativity is one of the biggest pieces of that. If you look at the modern game, you have to have players with confidence, ball control and a good understanding of the game. But you can never reach that without having that fluency on the ball.”

The organization that is running the Technical Championship, the Rene Meulensteen Academy, should be familiar to all of the Premier League fans. Meulensteen, who is the current manager of Fulham, has been a mainstay on the touchline for years. Prior to his present job, he was the head coach for Manchester United from 2008-2013. In his time at United the team won three Premier League titles in five years, and lost the other two by a point and on goal difference. The Red Devils also won two Carling Cups and went to two Champions League finals, finishing runner-up to Barcelona both times.

His coaching style has been particularly effective with the younger players that have come into the squad over his time, and also the players that will soon be making the jump. Danny Welbeck, Nick Powell, Jesse Lingard, and especially Adnan Januzaj, have all benefited from the skills that coach Meulensteen instilled in them.

“I think Manchester United, and the institute of Manchester United, and the history, have helped those guys, but there is no doubt that Rene has put his stamp on more of the creativity,” said van Elst. “The ability of players to play with confidence, and take on their players in certain areas, is something that he coaches. And you do see that from those guys. There are a whole bunch of players coming through the team soon, and we will see some of the results of the training filtering through.”

So cheer up United fans, there is hope on the horizon.

The other part of the convention is, of course, the display booths. Ewing Sports, a local company that is expanding into a new warehouse that is triple the size of the old, had a large display booth. So too did, the company bringing the Fundacion Real Madrid Academy over this spring and summer to run clinics.

My favorite booth of the whole show was the Sports Scarf booth. They had hundreds of scarves on display from all kinds of football sides. They make many of the scarves that you see every weekend when you are watching Premier League, La Liga, or many of the other teams in action.

Carlos A. Coelho, the president and CEO, was there in the booth, along with his great support staff. Carlos is a huge Sporting Clube de Portugal fan, which means the Sporting scarf was right up front, and also that the Benfica scarves were hidden away. It is always great talking to a man as passionate about the sport as I am.

Anyone who has ever been to a match at Wembley, Old Trafford, or the Parc des Princes will know the walk up to the stadium after exiting the tram/tube/metro is filled with vendors selling the vibrant scarves. I own around 30. Some commemorate the various matches, such as the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow, while others have the name of a player with his picture, such as big, bad Phil Jones.

Sports Scarf is making the world a more picturesque place. Some of the best photos taken inside stadiums show supporters with their scarves raised to the sky, in unison. Scarves and supporters go together. So if one can’t get to a match at the Santiago Bernabeu to get a Cristiano Ronaldo scarf, or one supports the University of Maryland while living in London, go online to

I know Scotty Rob will be on the phone today ordering his Newcastle scarf.

Congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo for winning his second Ballon D’Or Monday. He was the best player on the planet this year by miles, with Messi injured and missing many games.

I still do not understand why Franck Ribery was being touted to win in some circles. He won the European Player of the Year award, but just because Bayern Munich won five trophies does not mean Ribery is the best player in the world.

The right man won.