Monday, August 17, 2009

Youth: Ayah named to U.S. under-17 Residency program

Atsouh Ayah of the Tampa Fusion Futbol Club has accepted an invitation to become a member of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton.

Ayah, seen here with Fusion FC coach Roland Moldovan (left)and Fusion FC Director of Soccer Operations Jim DiNobile, was a captain on the U.S. under-15 boys team, but wasn’t thinking about moving up into the residency program when he attended training camp in Zarephath, N.J. in June.

“I was going with a positive feeling that if it played good, my team would do good, and that was my approach to the whole camp,” Ayah said. “That every game I would play the same as I play every day.”

Ayah was named a captain on his team’s roster, adding a little pressure, but he said that staying positive throughout camp really helped him through.

“It wasn’t easy,” Ayah said. “But being positive kept me going.”

Ayah follows in the footsteps of other local players like current New York Red Bull Jeremy Hall, Blake Wagner and Anthony Wallace of FC Dallas, Eddie Ababio of the University of North Carolina and Zac MacMath of the University of Maryland. Wagner is the only other former Black Watch/Fusion FC player to be named to the residency program.

“I feel very honored and humbled to get this opportunity,” Ayah said. “I was fortunate to work with coaches like Jim DiNobile and Roland Moldovan, they helped me out a lot all the time, making sure I stayed on track. I’m very honored, and feel really good, excited.”

Ayah joined Black Watch Soccer Club five years ago, and quickly became a player to watch. He just turned 15 in April, and will take up residency in Bradenton on August 22. Moldovan, who has been Ayah’s coach since he joined Black Watch, said he was very proud.

“It’s a great feeling to see someone from your team, who you have worked with for five years every day, make it that high,” Moldovan said. “It’s a special feeling.”

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