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WIESBADEN, Germany — For some soccer players in Europe’s military communities, there’s no letting up, even though school is out.

Nearly 40 boys from military communities across Europe gathered for a soccer camp designed to identify players to represent the U.S. on a regional and national level.

At the U.S. Youth Soccer Boys Region 1 Identification Camp in Bitburg, Sigonella’s Ben Jacks, Ramstein’s Christian Turain and Brienno Illari, and Heidelberg’s Andrew Guelle and Vincent Harrington were selected to attend the Region 1 Call Back Camp at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts from July 24-29.

There, the five players hope to qualify for age-based Region 1 teams, where 40 players from states along the East Coast comprise teams divided by the year each athlete was born.

Jacks and Harrington will be with the 1994 group, Guelle and Turain will be the ’95 group and Illari will represent Ramstein in the ’96 grouping.

The team will later be trimmed down to identify the best of the best, and those players will go on to represent the national team for their age group.

Jacks, the Stars and Stripes boys soccer player of the year, will also join up with Turain, Guelle and Harrington to play on the All Europe team in a college showcase in San Diego. The showcase, dubbed The Surf Cup, gives players the chance to impress the many stateside college coaches who will be on hand.

Meanwhile, a Girls Soccer Extravaganza camp, run by the Olympic Development Program, wrapped up at the FC Kaiserslautern Bundesliga training facility this week. More than 40 girls, ages 9-18, attended.

Some of the camp participants fly stateside next month, where they will be trained by some of the best college soccer coaches in America, according to Heather Ierardi, girls state program coordinator for USYS-Europe. They’ll also be competing for slots on the U.S. regional teams, a major steppingstone.

“All these girls that make the regional team can play in college if they choose to,” Ierardi said. “They’re that good.”

Ramstein’s Josie Seebeck, Stars and Stripes girls soccer player of the year, will join Patch’s Caroline Rivera and Tori Gilster in trying out for the regional age-based teams. Middle-schoolers Rachel Braun from Heidelberg and Noel Gilster from Stuttgart will also attend an I.D. camp at the University of Rhode Island.


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