Philadelphia Union Academy defenders Brandan Craig and Ryan Lau are both representing the United States for the first time at a U15 training camp in Sunrise, Florida.
The Union duo were among 36 players selected by head coach Dave Van den Bergh for the eight-day camp, a first for all of the players, who were born in 2004 and will be eligible to compete in the 2019 CONCACAF U15 Championship.
Craig, a right back from Philadelphia, has split his time this season between the Union U14 and U15 teams. He’s played five games with his age group and 10 games up an age in league play and also played with the U15s in Generation adidas Cup friendlies back in October. Lau, a left back from Ambler, has made 11 appearances for the U14s.
Both players are known for their soccer IQ and ability to get forward down the flanks.
“They are two kids that soccerwise are definitely ahead of the curve,” U14 head coach Kevin Coleman said. “Ryan is a natural lefty and athletic and can get up and down the wing. Brandan’s service and his ability to strike the ball for his age is unbelieveabe.”
Craig and Lau’s call-ups come on the heels of the recent U.S. Youth National Team Summit, where a dozen players with ties to the Union - four alums and eight current - went to Florida for a joint camp for players in the U16 through U20 age groups.
“It’s great to see all of our guys representing the club at different age groups,” Coleman said. “It’s always exciting for any player to represent your country - from Alejandro and Haris with the first team on down. I got to see Brandan and Ryan before they left and they were both really really excited to be going to their first camp.”
The full roster is available on the U.S. Soccer website.