Ranked in the top 5 in the nation virtually since the first kick of the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season, the Crossfire Premier Boys’ U-18/19 DA squad is now headed across the Atlantic to take on some professional competition in Europe.
Designed to augment the players’ development with a series of competitive matches versus top-flight U-19 sides, as well as providing a positive social and cultural experience, the international trip will also offer players an opportunity to be scouted and evaluated by a number of professional clubs.
“It’s trips like this that help make Crossfire Premier a special club,” said Director Bernie James. “We want to provide our players with the very best experience possible, and offer a top developmental pathway. Part of that means playing the best competition in the world, and by traveling internationally, we’ll get to put our players on the field with current and future European professionals, giving them a taste of life at the next level.”
Departing Seattle on March 19, the team will travel to Amsterdam before moving on to their training base in Dordrecht, Netherlands, where they’ll take part in a week of training at S.B.V. Excelsior, a professional football club based in Rotterdam that competes in the Eredivisie, the highest division in the Netherlands. Along with several sightseeing excursions, the team will play two regulation-length exhibition games against Eredivisie U-19 clubs, Sparta Rotterdam and NAC Breda.
“The games against Sparta and Breda will give the guys a chance to get their legs under them after the long flight across the Atlantic,” James continued, “but all the time off the field is incredibly important as well. You can’t overstate the social and cultural benefits available on a trip like this, and we’re excited for the boys. It promises to be an incredible experience.”
The trip culminates with the Dordrecht Football Cup, with Crossfire Premier set to face a range of first-division sides, including ADO Den Haag of the Netherlands, K.V. Mechelen and Royal Excel Mouscron of Belgium and Júbilo Iwata of Japan’s J-League.
The team will return home at the conclusion of the tournament to resume their run-in towards a conference title and the DA Playoffs, which take place at the end of June. You can follow along with the team’s experience in the Netherlands on Twitter @crossfireprmr and Instagram @crossfire.premier.