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Flores' ups and downs considered normal
January 29th, 2013 4:22PM
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[U.S. UNDER-17 MEN] Junior Flores is considered one of the top young talents to come along in many years. The midfielder, born to Salvadoran immigrants, is only 16 but has already been signed to a pre-contract by German champion Borussia Dortmund and to an endorsement contract by Nike. But in his second year of residency with the U.S. under-17 national team, Flores has seen his playing time reduced as qualifying for the 2013 Under-17 World Cup approaches.

 
Richie Williams, who took over for Wilmer Cabrera as U-17 coach last year, told Jeff Carlisle of ESPN.com it is normal for a player to have his ups and downs at Flores' age:

"The mentality of players in terms of being away from home, away from the parents, living on their own and the pretty demanding environment that we have here of training and going to school, it's not always easy for these guys. They're developing as soccer players but they're also developing as people too. Obviously, at the age of 15 or 16, that can affect their soccer."


Williams remained high on Flores, citing his work ethic -- and skill:

"Flores is very quick, very technically good, good on the dribble and can get by players. And he's tough and feisty also. He's tough to defend. He's strong, he's aggressive and he's not easy to push off the ball."


Williams added that Flores looked good this month as he returned to his attacking midfield position after spending a good part of last year on the wings.



1 comment
  1. Dennis Parces
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 8:41 a.m.
    Agree. My son is 14 and currently at Union de Santa Fe in Argentina for a second 5-month stint. Trains all day and goes to school at night...it's his first time away from home for a prolonged time and we have seen the emotional toll and the ups and downs. My wife and I talk to him through Facetime and support and encourage him to have fun and live his dream. We live in Puerto Rico and there is no comparable training platform here to develop soccer talent. We wish we could find him a residential acad or a boarding high school in the US as he is a US citizen.

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