Five San Francisco Glens boy’s youth teams represented the USL Academy system well this past July as they competed at the Donosti Cup in the Basque Country of northern Spain. The USL League Two club's U14, U15, U16-A, U16-B and U18 squads all made the trip to Spain and earned good results against international competition.
On the pitch, four of the five teams advanced past the group stages to the upper bracket. The U16-B and U18 sides got to the quarterfinals, while the U16-A’s made it all the way to the final at Real Sociedad’s Zubieta grounds. The U16-A’s run came on the back of their resiliency, as the side rallied from one-goal deficits on three separate occasions during the tournament, while defender Devin Pittler-McNamara earned individual honors as he was named to the Tournament's Best XI.
That Glens U16-A team will also compete in the first USL Academy event in San Antonio next month. Four of the players on the side - Xander Sagatelyan, Diego Grande, Kevin Estrada and Adrian Guzman - joined training with the Glens' USL League Two team this summer, with Guzman having made five appearances for the side.
In preparation for the tournament, the roughly 70 Glens youth players trained at the Spanish Federation’s grounds at Las Rozas, Atlético Madrid’s grounds in Majadahonda. The coaching staff had the incredible opportunity to meet with officials from Athletic Club de Bilbao at the club’s Lezama facilities to gain insight about their unique academy philosophy, which is famous for only recruiting local Basque players.