MLS has recently shipped their Generation Adidas players, including our own Sean Johnson, Baggio Husidic and Corben Bone, off to Spain for a short tour. The group consists of 15 of the current Generation Adidas players, and is rounded out by an additional 4 recent graduates of the program meant to expand the talent pool available to MLS. The MLS coach of the year, Schellas Hyndman of FC Dallas, gets the honor of coaching the side as they play a set of three games against Spanish reserve teams. The schedule, and more on the trip, after the jump.
The trip kicked off Thursday December 2nd with a match against the Real Madrid reverse squad. We kicked off with the following starting lineup:
0-S. Frei, 15-A. Wiseman, 24-I. Opara, 22-B. Shea, 26-J. Hall, 33-A. Okugo, 21-B. Husidic, 13-D. Cruz, 11-D. Duka, 25-T. Bunbury, 20-J. Agudelo
The subs used were:
- Sean Johnson for Stefan Frei at 46'
- Jack McInerney for Ike Opara at 61'
- Luis Gil for Danny Cruz in the 72'
- Corben Bone for Dilly Duka in the 59'
Real Madrid trotted out with:
1-Isaac, 2-Capote, 3-Jorge Casado, 4-Pablo Gil, 5-Jaime, 6-Merchán, 7-Raúl Ruiz, 8-Jordi, 9-Cristian, 10-Fran Rico, 11-Javier Hernández
- Morata in for Raúl Ruiz at the 72'
- Josep in for Jordi in the 72'
- Salinas in for Cristian in the 46'
- Poley in for Fran Frico at the 46'
It's worth noting that we only took two true defenders overseas, that being Opara and Jeremy Hall. Considering we played Agudelo and Bunbury up top together, it seems safe to say we went out with a 4-4-2 with Shea and Wiseman filling the fullback roles out. Our Generation Adidas players did manage to fend off the Real Madrid reserve squad 2-1 with goals from Bunbury and Duka. MLS has a writeup detailing the events, as well as a highlight reel from the match. Unfortunately there's not much to see from our players in the highlights, but you are able to catch a bit of Sean Johnson and Baggio Husidic doing their thing. In what seems to be pure Husidic opportunistic fashion, you'll often see him in the highlights in opportune areas inside the box ready to pounce on a ricochet or bounce.
Their tour of Spain continues on with matches against Rayo Vallecano reserves on December 7th and Atlético Madrid reserves on December 8th. The back to back games might end up being a bit rough of the 19 man squad, but the trip is more for the experience rather than being ultra competitive. The trip culminates with the option of seeing a Real Madrid or Getafe La Liga match, as well as a chance to see Merengues and Auxerre battle it out at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in a UEFA Champion's League group stage final. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. Hang out with a bunch of people from your age group, play some soccer in Spain, and get to tour Bernabéu as well as catch a couple matches? Count me in!
Recently Jefe Crandall from Chicago-Fire.com had a Skype session with our own Sean Johnson to talk about the trip. Check it out below:
Sean Johnson is classy as always in this interview. They discuss the Spanish weather, which is apparently a bit chilly, but not quite as frigid as we're currently experiencing here in Chicago. They did however get some snow! Also it's interesting to note that the Fire players that are over there are not currently rooming together. Naturally they still go out for meals together and such, but Sean mentioned that it's nice to get to know some new people while they're over there. Kudos to the Chicago front office for producing this video. It's got great information and it is a bit more in-depth than what the MLS has put up in the form of video diaries thus far.
We'll continue to keep you posted on what develops in the next couple of Generation Adidas matches that are upcoming. Hopefully we'll get similar interviews from Corben Bone and Baggio Husidic while they're in Spain as well.