FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The inclusion of two New England Revolution academy players in the recently announced 32-man roster for the US U-17 Residency Program shows the progress of the program over the past few years, according to Revs director of youth development Bryan Scales.
Guy Kabala (Manchester, N.H.) and Declan McCabe (Weston, Mass.) will join 30 talented prospects chosen from across the country in Bradenton, Fla., to kick off the U-17's two-year cycle ahead of the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and, potentially, the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
New England are one of four MLS clubs (Chivas USA, New York and San Jose are the others) and one of seven Development Academy sides to contribute two or more players to the pool for the upcoming fall semester on the campus of the IMG Academies.
“I think that it's a good benchmark to indicate that we're making progress,” Scales told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday morning. “Declan [pictured above] has been involved with the national team programs for a while. Guy was invited this year to a number of U-15s camps and did well. It's a good sign for the club and it's a good sign for the youth program.”
It's also a good sign for the players as they continue along their developmental path. Their move to Florida will place them in an incubator of sorts with other talented players in their age group as each player jockeys for a spot in US U-17 coach Wilmer Cabrera's plans.
Despite the competitive nature of the program, Kabala and McCabe possess all of the necessary tools to excel against their peers and secure a spot in Cabrera's squad moving forward, according to Scales.
“They're playing every day and they're going to school in the afternoon,” Scales said. “It's an environment where they are playing against the top kids. You have to survive or you go home. Those guys will hopefully adapt. If we're fortunate enough to have them come back, then we're getting two very good players back into the fold. I think they'll do well.”