There are 320 million people in the U.S. Yet, the country is yet to produce a world class male footballer. For all our dreams, we yearn to develop -- never mind a Messi or Ronaldo -- a few more Landon Donovans or Christian Pulisics. And so the efficacy of our youth development system is the subject of much agonizing debate. Yet, amidst all the different stakeholders offering their opinions, be they coaches, bureaucrats, and parents, the one voice we rarely hear: players in the system. The teenagers who grind away day in, day out, on fields across the nation, propelled by their love of the game. In a moment of rare optimality, the Men in Blazers team went out to speak with the next generation of 14 and 15 year olds and hear, directly from them, their challenges, hopes, fears, and biggest dreams. The end result: two short films highlighting players with a burning desire to represent the U.S. at the highest level.
U-15 New York Red Bulls defensive midfielder Amadeo Chapru-Tate has come from hard beginnings in Haiti to becoming the "Golden Beast" of NYRB’s academy.
U-14 NYCFC and USYNT defender Prince Amponsah chases his dreams via a three subway, one bus, two-and-a-half hour journey from his home in the Bronx to NYCFC's training facility in Queens.