For the third time in the last quarter century, Amherst College men's team toured France, managing to tie Paris St. Germain's U-19 team that was a
quarterfinalist in the new UEFA Youth Champions League and Lyon's U-18s during its two-week series. One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Prince Albert
of Monaco, who attended Amherst and played on the first team to tour France.
Amherst also dropped 3-1 decisions to teams from Auxerre (2014 U-19 French champion) and Monaco (2013 U-19
French champion), but the close contests demonstrated that even Division III college teams can hold their own with top European youth teams.
Prince Albert's teammate and roommate was
Frenchman Jerome de Bontin
, the former New York Red Bulls general manager who organized the trip. His son, Nick
Amherst, where he has played soccer.
The Jeffs went 18-1-2 in 2013, falling to archrival Williams in the NCAA Division III quarterfinals. The year before, Amherst went 17-0-3, finishing
with a 56-3 goal differential and never having ever trailed in a match. They also fell to Williams in the quarterfinals -- in a shootout.
"The big difference between the two sides was on
a technical level," Monaco academy director Frederic Barilaro
said. "But they compensated for that with great spirit, a lot of determination and commitment. In
the future, it will be great if we can visit them and see how they do things in America."