MLS: Project-40 players travel overseas for training
For the second consecutive year, several Project-40 players will travel overseas during Major League Soccer's offseason to train with top European soccer clubs during a four-to-six-week stint. This invaluable experience will be followed by a U.S. Pro-40 Select tour of England to culminate the international experience.
Defenders Scott Vermillion (Kansas City) and Tim Sahaydak (unassigned) will train with English First Division club Sunderland, while forward Eric Quill (Tampa Bay) and midfielder Esmundo Rodriguez (San Jose) will join Glasgow Rangers of the Scottish Premier Division and keeper Matt Napoleon (Miami) and defenders Brian Dunseth (New England) and Chad McCarty (Tampa Bay) will train with German Bundesliga power Bayer Leverkusen.
The players will arrive in Europe between Oct. 24-Nov. 1, and will train with reserve reserve teams and immerse themselves in the international soccer arena until December 2. Following their training with their respective European clubs, the Project-40 members playing abroad will meet with U.S. Pro-40 Select coach Lothar Osiander in Manchester, England to play matches against other reserve teams in England. The young band of Americans will return home on December 20.
"Training with quality players outside the United States improved my game last year when I went to Rangers and while I played with the U.S. Under-23 national team in England a few months ago," two-year Project-40 player Dunseth said. "You can't simulate that type of competition and I hope that it will bring my skills to a new level."
With several Project-40 players eyeing a spot on the U.S. national team in the future, the international training is an invaluable experience.
"This is an amazing opportunity for me and the rest of the guys," said Vermillion. "I'm hoping that the training is intense and that it will bring my level of play up another notch so I will be able to give even more to the Wizards and prove that I am ready to represent the U.S. with the national team if Bruce (Arena) calls me into camp."
International powerhouse AC Milan of Italy's First Division Serie A, along with other foreign clubs are slated to be the training sites for the remaining Project-40 members. The following players will be assigned to the international Division I clubs in the near future: keepers Andy Kirk (San Jose) and Tim Howard (MetroStars), defender Ubusuku Abukusumo (Columbus), midfielders Jose Botello (Los Angeles), Joey DiGiamarino (Colorado), Carlos Parra (Miami), and forwards Josh Wolff (Chicago) and Jamar Beasley (New England).
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