American Youth Soccer Player Performs Well In Trials With German Bundesliga Clubs
Silver Springs teenager scores well in Germany, on trials with Fortuna Düsseldorf and DSC Arminia Bielefeld. The trials were set up by Global Soccer Development’s Eddie Loewen.
Augustus Sam III is one of many American youth soccer players with big dreams. With versatile football skills combined with remarkable athleticism and ball control, this forward’s dream has been to score goals in Europe and to become a professional player.
Known to his coaches and teammates as AJ, he is a product of U.S. Soccer’s MLS Development Academy D.C. United and currently training in Spain with the U23 Sietamo Juvenil B.
While the development of youth soccer players in the USA is better than ever at high-level programs, and training with older players in Spain is highly beneficial, it is the trip AJ took last summer with Eddie Loewen that earned him the chance of a lifetime — to try out in Germany with Bundesliga clubs.
Lowen, the CEO of Global Soccer Development (GSD), is an expert in German youth and professional soccer and arranges elite programs in Europe. After reviewing video on AJ, Loewen rostered him one of his teams competing in his company’s tournament in Duisburg. The team competed against the youth team Fortuna Düsseldorf and AJ performed well, catching the eye of the Bundesliga coach.
“AJ stood out during our summer tour to Germany last year and qualified for a Trial in Germany.”Eddie Loewen, CEO Global Soccer Development
“We are excited for him and wish him that he achieves his goal and gets signed by a Bundesliga club in Germany,” said Eddie Loewen, CEO of Global Soccer Development.
“My experience with Eddie’s program benefited me massively. I was able to train with top coaches and learn skills I hadn’t been taught before in the game of futbol,” said Augustus ‘AJ’ Sam III. “In comparison to American clubs, the level of soccer in Germany is so much higher. There is more fight and hunger every time you touch the ball. That is a key part of your success in this sport.”
AJ’s father, Augustus Sam II, has watched his son’s development as a player and has always had a discerning approach. “After going to Germany and playing for Eddie, my son came back a different player and more determined to reach his dreams,” said Samm II. “Eddie does not sell dreams. He is upfront and honest and provides great feedback to parents and players.”
“AJ did a fantastic job in both Trials with DSC Arminia Bielefeld and also with Fortuna Duesseldorf,” said Loewen who is waiting to hear if an offer for an extended trial or a contract is forthcoming.
“Most of the time, a Bundesliga club will give feedback directly to the player and discuss his performance,” said Loewen who has arranged trials for American players with many Bundesliga clubs including Shalke 04, Borussia Dortmund (BVB) and Munich 1860. “German coaches will be very blunt and honest with the player.”
“If a club is really interested. they will determine if and how a transfer can be made possible and if it really makes sense for the club,” said Loewen. “The club will first evaluate if that player really brings value to the organization — the value they would expect from an international transfer, and especially a non-European transfer. If the club is convinced that the player will enhance their roster and has a realistic chance to play in the first team, then they will look into the details including the player’s social and pedagogical support system. Will the club be able to provide the necessary support for the prospect? What will be the living arrangements? And, of course, what would be the player’s FIFA-administered Solidarity Payments and or Training Compensation fees, if applicable.”
Gaining a roster spot at any international club is a comprehensive and very detailed, long process. “It can be very difficult for a player to be in waiting position because normally you want to know an answer right away,” said Loewen who acknowledges the ultimate decision to offer a contract to a player is not only based on what happens on the field but off the field as well. “Character plays a big role in the decision-making.”
AJ, who has attended UEFA A license training, is a passionate player with grit and determination. Does he have a preference between DSC Arminia Bielefeld which currently holds the top spot in the second tier of the Bundesliga or Fortuna Düsseldorf, which ranks #17 in the top tier Bundesliga?
Loewen, who played for DSC Arminia Bielefeld in 2004 has fond memories of his former club which has a long tradition in the Bundesliga, and their U17 and U19 Academy play in the highest level of the Bundesliga. Finn Holsing is the youth academy director and is a former teammate of Loewen’s. The club’s Technical Director, Rene Mueller, also played against Loewen. Based in North-Rhine Westphalia, DSC Arminia Bielefeld plays its home games in the Schueco Arena in front of 27,300 Fans.
Yes, nearly 30,000 fans attend DSC Arminia Bielefeld games.
Fortuna Düsseldorf is also in the North-Rhine Westphalia region of Germany and is currently playing its 25th Season in the Bundesliga. Founded in 1895, Fortuna Düsseldorf, known as F95 has two Americans on the roster with U.S. Men’s National Team — Goalkeeper Zach Steffen and midfielder Alfredo Morales.
Although F95 is battling relegation this season, it is known for developing its own players in their youth academy under the direction of highly respected Frank Schaefer.
Schaefer, who formerly was with FC Cologne, also knows Loewen from his pro playing days in Germany.
Based in the USA and with offices also in Germany, GSD offers tours, training and arranges highly selective trials with professional clubs.