St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club

SLSG Illinois’ AJ Sullivan Travels to Ajax


  1. Illinois player, AJ Sullivan (’00), will spend the next week in Holland playing against some of the top professional youth Academies the country has to offer. Sullivan, who hails from Highland, Illinois was selected by SPD, an elite player development organization based in the Northeast United States, to join a group of largely New York Red Bull Academy players as they travel to Amsterdam to train at De Toekomst, the legendary grounds of Dutch Professional club Ajax. While in Holland, Sullivan will have the opportunity to take in a 1st team match when Ajax faces off against Ado Den Hag in Eredivisie play. Sullivan, who plays on the SLSG Illinois 14 Academy team, is quite familiar with Den Hag having played the U15 Den Hag Academy team to a 1-1 draw at their facility in the Hague, Netherlands in March when SLSG Illinois traveled to Holland.

On the field players will have the opportunity to train under the direction of Ajax Youth Academy staff. Additionally, the team of players born in 2000 and 2001 will play the youth Academies of professional clubs Ajax, FC Utrecht (where American Juan Agudelo currently plays) and Almere.

According to Pre-Academy Director, Blake Decker, “This is a tremendous opportunity for AJ and one which he is certainly deserving. The term “lives with a soccer ball at his feet” is one that is over-used and nearly always over-stated; however, this is not the case with AJ. In fact, it is as accurate a description you could come up with to describe his passion for the game and commitment to his own development. He is intensely competitive and focused on achieving his maximum potential as a player. For him to be the only player selected from the Midwest to join this group of extremely talented players is a testament to the value of hard work, sacrifice and the results that come when players are relentlessly committed to putting in the work required to achieve their goals.”

Over the course of the week, the players in this group will be evaluated by Ajax staff for a potential state side trial for which will take place during the summer months. The trip will last 8 days in total and conclude with the opportunity for the boys to attend the Dutch U17 Futures tournament which will feature the top talent of Dutch professional Academies from across Holland.