MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - June 15, 2004 - US Club Soccer has reached an agreement with Nike, naming the company the Official Equipment Supplier of id2, US Club Soccer's revolutionary player identification and development program. Nike will supply the id2 National Training Camp July 25-29 in Cary, N.C. with apparel for both players and staff and will also supply balls, bags and a variety of other equipment.
"We are appreciative of Nike's support in our inaugural year of the id2 program," said US Club Soccer Executive Director Bill Sage. "Nike's backing speaks volumes about the importance of our venture to provide a fresh approach to player identification and development. We are proud to offer our players and staff access to the best soccer equipment in the world during the id2 national training camp."
Nike, headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., has been a longtime supporter of soccer in the United States. Since 1998, Nike has been a major sponsor and licensee of U.S. Soccer outfitting both the men and women's World Cup teams. Nike is also a major supporter of Major League Soccer and sponsors a host of top international teams including Brazil, Portugal and Holland as well as a number of internationally renowned clubs including Manchester United, Barcelona and Boca Juniors.
"While we are involved with a number of the world's top teams and clubs, we at Nike realize that the passion for the game of soccer is cultivated at the youth level," said Joe Elsmore, Nike's Director of US Soccer Sports Marketing. "We are committed to growing the sport from its grassroots. Contributing to US Club Soccer's id2 program is a perfect example of our dedication."
The id2 National Training Camp, which will be led by head staff coach Tim Carter, seeks to identify the qualified invited players for inclusion in US Soccer's U14 National Team Program. Unlike other national identification programs, players will be identified for the id2 program while they compete in their own training environment with their club teams. A nationwide scout team is in the process of watching players as they compete with their club teams throughout the spring and summer. Upon the conclusion of the National Cup III Regional Tournaments on July 6, up to 120 of the country's best U13 boys will receive invitations to attend the id2 National Training Camp. Invitations will be extended regardless of a player's affiliations (i.e. US Club Soccer, USYSA, AYSO, non-affiliated, etc.). Once players arrive at the id2 program, US Club Soccer covers all player expenses.