Before heading down to the International Champions Cup Futures tournament in Bradenton, Fla., New England Revolution U-14 head coach T.J. Love had a simple message for his players.
Sure, they were drawn into a group with European powerhouses like Paris-Saint Germain (France) and Benfica (Portugal), as well as the ICC West all-star team. But it was important, Love noted, not to be starstruck by the crests or name recognition.
“A big message was you're all 13-year-olds, we're not playing Arsenal's first team,” Love said. “Even though they're wearing those jerseys, you still need to have that self-belief and self-confidence.