International Program

The Green & Gold Soccer Academy’s International Program offers a unique opportunity for academy prospects, boys and girls, to travel to Europe or North America for high-level competition, exposure to the professional game, and training with professional coaches from some of the soccer's premier club academies.

The Green & Gold Soccer Academy has the distinction of having provided 11 international tours for both our male and female prospects since 2001.  The list of countries visited is impressive and includes England, Spain, Italy and the US! 

Competitive games have been played against some of Europe’s top professional club youth teams including Real Madrid, Arsenal, Fiorentina, Juventus, Newcastle United, Athletic Bilbao, Sampdoria, Everton, AC Milan, Athletico Madrid, Middlesbrough FC, SS Lazio, Sunderland AFC, Chievo Verona and Charlton Athletic.

Many players, who have been a part of our academy and international program, have gone on to play professionally and have featured on Canadian youth and senior national teams including Eddy Sidra (Eergie Cottbus, Germany), Shaun Saiko (Middlesbrough FC, England), Ethan Gage (Reading, England) and Matt Lam (Ajax, Holland). 

In recent years, a number of academy prospects have been recruited by the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency Program and have or are continuing to develop their skills within this program.  These players include Tim Hickson, Sebastian Cabrera, Sadi Jalali, Marcus Johnstone and Antonio Rago. Former academy players Shaun Saiko, Jas Gill, Antonio Rago, Marcus Johnstone, Sam Lam, Matt Lam and Eddy Sidra have played with FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League (NASL).  Bruno Zebie, Ajay Khabra, Thomas Shores, Carlos Patino, Norbert Janas, Shamit Shome, Ajeej Sarkharia and many ohter players have graduated from our academy program to the FC Edmonton Reserve team squad.     

The following 14 International Programs have been undertaken: 

2014 - London, England for U-14 Boys

2014 - Florence/Rome, Italy for U17 Girls prospects 

2012 – Barcelona/Bilbao, Spain for U-16 Boys prospects

The Green & Gold Soccer Academy U-16 boy’s prospects traveled to Barcelona and Bilbao in Spain, as part of the academy's International Program, from March 28 through April 9, 2012.

Whilst in Spain the prospects received high-level training at Barcelona, Espanyol and Bilbao provided by some of the best professional youth coaches in La Liga, Spain.  In addition, the prospects were afforded the opportunity to visit and observe competitive games at Barcelona's newly constructed academy facilities that are simply world class and fitting for perhaps the strongest club team in the world presently!

A stadium tour of the famous Nou Camp was a highlight of the tour and the boys were able to observe a La Liga game between Barcelona and Bilbao played on Saturday, March 31 in front of a capacity crowd of 90,0000 spectators.


The prospects travelled to Bilbao for the later part of the trip where they were guests of the Athletic Bilbao Club and were treated to practice, competitive games and the opportunity to observe Athletic Bilbao's Europa League game played against Schalke from Germany on April 5 and the domestic La Liga game against Seville on Sunday, April 8.  Bilbao tied Schalke 2-2 on a momentous evening in the club's history as a 4-2 win in the first leg played in Germany ensued their progress to the semi-finals of the Europa League 6-4 on aggregate!

The prospects played the following 5 highly competitive games against La Liga club or affiliate teams compiling 2 wins and 3 losses:  March 28, FC Damm (Barcelona affiliate) April 1, Cerdanyola FC - RCD Espanyol affiliated club April 2, Athletic Bilbao April 3, Deportivo Alaves April 5, Racing Santander      

2011 – Milan, Italy for U-16 boy’s prospects  

The Green & Gold Soccer Academy’s U-16 and U-14 prospects traveled to Florence and Milan, Italy respectively.  The tours took place from March 23 through April 4, 2011.   

Whilst in Milan the Green & Gold Academy U-16 boys were hosted by the famous AC Milan soccer club for training and a feature game played against the Serie A club’s academy youth team.  In addition, the boys played against other Serie A Club academy squads including Juventus,  Sampdoria and Chievo Verona.   

2011 – Florence, Italy for U-14 boy’s prospects

n Florence, the Green & Gold U-14 boys trained at the world class facilities of “FiesoleCaldine” where the ACF Fiorentina junior teams train and play.  In addition, the boys visited Coverciano, home of the Italian National Team and Museum. The highlights of this tour were games played against some of Italy’s premier academy squads including ACF Fiorentina, FCG Floria, AC Sestese and SS Lazio (Rome).   

2011 – Bradenton, Florida for U-17 Girls prospects

Academy – International Tour to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for a squad of female soccer players from Vimy Ridge Academy school program took place from March 27-April 6, 2011.  The Green & Gold Soccer Academy coaches MP Duxbury, Neil Sande and Alicia Kudryk provided leadership on this tour for our girl’s prospects.  

2010 – Florence, Italy for U-16 Boy’s prospects  

The Green & Gold Soccer Academy's U-16 Boys squad travelled to Florence, Italy in consort with the OSA Soccer Academy and AFC Fiorentina.

The boys won 4 of 5 games against quality opposition that included wins against FC Floria'95s (5-1), Fuceccio (2-0), Lazio (2-1) and Floria'94's (3-1) with the only loss against AFC Fiorentina by the narrowest of margins 0-1.

During this eventful tour the boys were treated to sight-seeing trips to Fiesole, Bracciano, Rome and Siena along with Florence. A major highlight of the tour included a tour of Coverciano that is home to the Italian National Team training camps prior to major international World Cup or European Championship qualification games or campaigns. Coverciano is also home to the Italian Soccer Hall of Fame. 

A further highlight was the opportunity to train at Fiesole-Caldine where all the youth teams of AFC Fiorentina call home for training and competition.

The Green & Gold U-16 boys (featuring players born in 1994 and 1995) trained at these outstanding facilities throughout their stay and received coaching sessions delivered by Fiorentina's professional coaches.

Former Green and Gold academy members Eddy Sidra and Shaun Saiko have gone on to play professionally in Germany and England, respectively, while a handful of others have been part of the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program.

2008 – England for U-16 Boy’s prospects

The Green and Gold U-16 boy’s squad traveled to England from March 24 – April 5 and played games against the English Premier League (EPL) academy teams of Everton, Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough FC.  The boy’s squad was hosted by Middlesbrough for training and observation of the professional squad and had the opportunity to observe 2 English Premier League games. 
Football academies are at the centre of the Football Association’s Charter for Quality program.  Thirty-nine are currently in operation.  It is mandatory for all clubs in the top flight to have an Academy.  Nineteen Football League clubs also run academies, which bring together the very best young players to give them top quality coaching, development, education and medical care.  

A number of Alberta prospects have benefited from this program in the past, including Shaun Saiko (Middlesbrough FC, England), Matt Lam (Ajax, Holland), Eddy Sidra (Energie Cottbus, Germany), Antonio Rago, Ethan Gage and Marcus Johnston (all with the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency Program).  A great number of other players have represented provincial select and national youth squads in recent years.
2008 – Bilbao, Spain for U-13 Boy’s prospects

The Green and Gold Soccer Academy U-13 boy’s squad played Real Madrid in the prestigious “Trofeo Dani Guenes” tournament in Spain and came away with the historic 1-0 win.

The squad had travelled to the North of Spain (Bilbao-Bizkaia) for the tournament and other games to be played against Spanish “Primera Division” professional club squads from March 18 – April 6, 2008.
Trofeo Dani Guenes is one of the top youth competitions in the world and it attracts teams from such giants as Barcelona, Athletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Ajax, Manchester United, Inter Milan and A.C. Milan.
2007 – England for U-16 Boy’s prospects

The U-16 boy’s prospects travelled to England from March 22 – April 2, 2007 for games against English Premier League (EPL) academy squads of Newcastle United, Middlesbrough FC, Reading and Charlton Athletic.
In addition to the competitive games, Middlesbrough F.C Academy Director Dave Parnaby conducted practices with the boys and they were also able to observe the professional team practices and academy U-18 & U-16 squad’s games.
The U-18 Middlesbrough squad featured Shaun Saiko from Edmonton who was signed to a 2-year scholarship opportunity following one of our previous International Programs to England.
The boy’s squad was hosted by Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic clubs for training and observation of the professional teams in action playing in the English Premier League.
2005 – England for U-14 Boy’s prospects

The academy’s 2005 international program included taking a U-14 boys (players born in 1989 & 90) squad to England for training and games played against English Premier League (EPL) professional club academy and schools of excellence squads between March 23 through April 4, 2005.
The Green and Gold boys’ squad played against the academy youth teams of the English Premier League club teams of Fulham, Charlton Athletic, Middlesbrough F.C and Newcastle United

The boy’s squad was hosted by Charlton Athletic and Middlesbrough clubs for training and observation of the professional teams in action playing in the English Premier League.
The squad also attended a 2006 World Cup Qualifying Match involving England at the historic St. James’ Park. 
2004 – England for U-14 Boy’s prospects

The International Program that included the academy U-14 boy’s squad traveling to England from March 25 – April 5, 2004 is a major contributor to ensuring that the Green and Gold Soccer Academy is at the leading edge of this type of program in Edmonton with a strong community profile.
2002 – England, for U-12 Boy’s prospects

International Program conducted 26 March to 4 April 2002 – England Tour arranged and conducted for U-12 boy’s academy squad with games played against FA Premier League Middlesbrough, Leeds United, Sunderland and Charlton Athletic academy squads. 
2002 – Austin, Texas for U-16 Girls prospects

Green and Gold Soccer Academy International Program - high performance opportunity for U-16 girls (players born in 1986, 1987 or 1988) squad to travel to Austin, Texas to participate in the sixth annual “Adidas Soccer IV Showcase” to be held 4 – 10 December 2002.