SLSG Illinois U14 Academy Player, Gabe Kash, made his debut with the US U15 National Team in a friendly on Wednesday night as part of the U15 National Team Camp currently being held in Carson, California. The match saw the group of players born in 1999 take on the U16 LA Galaxy Academy team at the Staples Center in Carson. Kash played 60 minutes as a left back against the older MLS Youth Academy who currently sit second place in the fiercely competitive Southern California division of the US Development Academy. The younger team was in the lead for much of the second half, but a flurry of late goals led to a 3-1 final in favor of the LA Galaxy.
Kash who was born in 1999 hails from Marshall, Illinois and was a member of the SLSG Illinois 2013 National Championship side that defeated two MLS Academies, New York Red Bull and FC Dallas, on their way to securing SLSG Illinois’ second national championship in 3 years.
Kash was identified by a National Team Scout who attended an SLSG Illinois 14 Academy training session in August. He was then further evaluated by scouts during Development Academy matches in September and received his first national team camp invitation in October of 2013. One week before he was set to depart for the camp, however, Kash suffered a broken leg after colliding with the opposing goalkeeper in SLSG Illinois’ 1-0 defeat of Internationals (OH) in Academy League Play. Kash was not released back to training until late December. After having been sidelined for nearly three months, Gabe started the very difficult work of getting back into match form and fitness.
“Gabe is a tremendous player and while I could talk about his skill, insight and athleticism which are all very important, I think Gabe’s most special quality is who he is a person. The last 6 months would have been an emotional roller-coaster for most, having received your first national team call up, then missing the camp as well as over 50% of the fall season due to injury, the process of physical therapy, the tentativeness often seen in players returning after an injury like the one he suffered and then getting another opportunity. There are a lot of potential highs and lows in there, however, Gabe carried himself with grace throughout showing a level of maturity well beyond his years which significantly contributed to his receiving another call-up so quickly. He is an extremely hardworking, committed, talented and grounded young man.”
After returning to play in December, Kash attended the US Development Academy Futsal Scouting Showcase with the SLSG Illinois 14 Academy in Chicago this past February. Solid performances in front of national scouting staff during matches versus Minnesota Thunder, FC Wisconsin and Michigan Wolves led to the invitation for Kash to attend the U15 National Team Camp in Carson, California from March 22nd-March 30th. The camp consists of the 32 players who were born in 1999 from across the United States, including several who currently live outside of the US as members of Professional Youth Academies in Europe and Mexico. Gabe is one of ten players attending their first national team camp. The nine-day camp consists mostly of training sessions under the direction of 15 National Team Coach, Hugo Perez and his staff, however, there are one more set of matches scheduled for the evening of Saturday, March 29th before the camp concludes on Sunday morning.