Global Soccer Development Unique European Tours Give Insider Access & Great Coaching
For aspiring and talented youth soccer players, reaching that next benchmark of potential can be a single experience away. Travel restricted have now been lifted and life is a new normal filled with excitement and opportunities. Summer 2022 offers many European competitions, but traveling with Global Soccer Development offers youth players a real pathway to their potential.
SoccerToday provides a recap of the best at Global Soccer Development (GSD) this summer.
Youth Soccer News: Global Soccer Development (GSD) specializes in offering amazing youth soccer matches against well known big name with founder and CEO Eddie Loewen generating the chemistry among his players to actually beat the competition. While victory on the field is not always possible, especially when you are playing against the academy teams from Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund (BVB), Fortuna Dusseldorf, Rot Weiß Essen, AS Roma, AC Turin, or AC Milan, what consistently happens is players improve their skills and passion for the game of soccer — dramatically.
For this upcoming summer, the GSD international youth development program travels to Italy in June and to Germany in July and August.
A former professional soccer player who played for the Bundesliga’s Arminia Bielefeld, Loewen began organizing international trips to train and play against German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A teams in 2012. Wanting to share his passion with young players, Loewen has colleagues in the world of football who are always eager to help arrange special adventures. One of these former teammates is two-time World Cup star defender, Arne Friedrich, who has not only helped coach GSD players but has arranged games with Bundesliga academies for the visiting teams.
Over the years, Loewen has enabled for more than 2,000 players to immerse themselves into European soccer culture. He also arranges trials with Bundesliga clubs for standout players and hosts DFB Coaching Education sessions for American coaches wishing to earn UEFA B and C licenses.
Loewen’s Personal Philosophy
Global Soccer Development’s tours are more than casual soccer trips to Europe. The youth soccer players who travel across the pond to experience the next level of the game are dialed in for an experience that Loewen hopes will impact their lives.
“Soccer is more than the X’s and O’s. It’s more than tactics and techniques.Eddie Loewen
“The youth soccer players on our trips develop personally, and often return with a new perspective and increased motivation,” said Loewen.
Loewen’s holistic approach brings together the personalized benefits of the trip. Besides providing access to Bundesliga and Serie A training facilities with competition against renowned academies, players on GSD tours also learn to appreciate the cultural differences to player development in Europe.
“Happy players perform better, that is why we focus on the needs of the whole player. The goal is always to increase a player’s self-confidence as well as their abilities. Physical, mental, technical, tactical as well as the emotional well being, which is mostly undervalued in player development,” said Lowen.
Loewen introduces players and parents to his network of scouts and academy directors in an easy and comfortable setting with informal Q&A seminars led by experts throughout the trip.
Highly regarded sports psychologist to the pro players, Dan Abrahams will speak to the players on developing mental power on both tours to Italy and Germany. Chaplain at five Olympics games, Dr. John Ashley Null will also speak with the players. Null has pioneered a emotional wellness program with Arne Friedrich for Hertha Berlin is an expert mentor. Players also receive full-time access to a physical therapists.
“Many players never experience the type of atmosphere that GSD provides,” said Loewen. “We put players in challenging experiences on and off the filed but we give all the support tools needed for their success.”
For example, there are no cell phones at dinner and good table manners are required. Each team has their own locker room for the entire trip which builds team unity, hierachy and enables leadership opportunities.
“We aim to improve, impact and inspire the players who travel with us because we want expierence they gain continue long past the flight home.”Eddie Loewen
So What is Offered This Summer?
The Italian soccer experience in Rome kicks off in June. GSD will travel to Italy with four team U12, U14, U16 and U18 squads. Parents are welcome to come but many players travel solo.
The groups compete in a tournament as well as play three friendly matches. In addition to top-tier matchups against the academies of AS Roma, Juventus and AC Milan, teams will play friendlies against local competition.
Team bonding will take a cultural historic twist with a tour of the famed Colosseum in the centre of the city of Rome. This is the largest ancient amphitheater ever and players enjoy the connection between Roman gladiators and today’s professional athletes — both sportsmen and entertainers.
If it is July or August, then it must be Germany. GSD will have two tours traveling to Germany this summer with a total of five team U12, U14, U16, U17 and U19. Parents are welcome to come but many players travel solo.
Players and their families fly in to Amsterdam and hop on a luxury bus to Sportschule Wedau, outside of Duisburg. The professional sports complex hosts German Football Association (DFB) camps ad consists of 10 grass fields, a stadium, futsal court, beach soccer field and a 5v5 turf field. The 24/7 soccer hub is secluded and surrounded by forest, providing the ultimate athletic experience.
Games against top Bundesliga academies will be played at the players’ “home” fields of Sportschule Wedau. Last year, the players on this trip shared the facility with the U16 Boy’s German National Team.
Bundesliga academy teams also had training camps at this world-class facility.
During the 2021 trip, Loewen ran into Max-Luca Schmidt, the goalkeeper of the U16 German National Team who was a guest player at Global Soccer Development in 2017. At that time, Schmidt was playing only on a local youth soccer club and his career ignited after the trip with Loewen. Today, the player also suits up for the Bundesliga club, VfL Bochum, on the U17 squad.
“My career started with the trip in 2017. That is when I came out of my shell and started to believe in myself.”Max-Luca Schmidt
During the Summer of 2022, a total of 40 youth soccer matches in Europe have been arranged for these trips. All games will be taped for analytics and a professional photographer will photograph the youth soccer matches in both Italy and Germany.
Selected games will be streamed on ElevenSports so parents, friends, teammates and coaches in the USA can cheer for players.
Currently, Loewen is assisting eight players to secure trials or contracts with German clubs.