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11-year-old American signs with Real Madrid academy, documents journey on his blog

Aug 1, 2013, 4:45 PM EDT

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Joshua Pynadath, an under-11 player from De Anza Force SC in California’s Bay Area, signed on with Real Madrid’s Alevín A team for the 2013-14 season. He trained with Madrid’s U11s twice and FC Barcelona before being selected by the former.

“They told me that I was the first American that they have ever accepted into their academy,” Pynadath told the Los Altos Town Crier in his hometown. “I told them that I would set a good example.”

The young prodigy blogged his Spanish adventure, complete with scores of photos and videos from the field. If you have some time, reading through every post is illuminating to the high level of care top clubs take with their academies in Europe.

From this all-encompassing video of his trials in May, you can see his fast feet and one-on-one attacking abilities:

Here’s a short excerpt from one of Pynadath’s latest updates:

Here’s how serious games are.  We are supposed to arrive 1 hour before the game. We arrived 1.5 hours before just to be safe.  And almost the whole team was already there!  Everything is handled very professionally.  We have a “kitman” who brings the uniforms and lays them out for us.  We only need to bring our shinguards and cleats just like for practice.   Then we have a full warm-up and a lot of discussion with the coaches.

Then the actual game.  As U11, Real Madrid plays 7 v 7.  Wow, this is a STACKED team at every position!  I guess that’s why they are 25-1 in their league.  We played great and we played together.  Its a lot of fun playing with these guys.  For this game, everyone played equal time so we had to make the most of our minutes.

With Pynadath’s announcement, he becomes the second American to join a big Spanish academy in recent years. Ben Lederman, a 12-year-old from Los Angeles, plays for FC Barcelona’s La Masia and the U.S. U14 national team.

  1. randomhookup - Aug 1, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Let me be the first to say “CAP HIM NOW!”

    You are now returned to your regularly scheduled programming.

  2. btrocco - Aug 1, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    We will see him in Qatar in 9 years

  3. mvktr2 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    To quote Lee Corso, ‘not so fast my friend’.

    We’ve seen this before, not the exact same scenario. Similar situations play out all the time in soccer and other sports. Some kids develop early, some develop late. Not saying it’s not good news, it’s great news. However the list of Todd Marinovich’s and Freddy Adu’s is many times longer than the Messi’s of the world.

  4. hildezero - Aug 5, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Even if he developed late it still would be great for US Soccer and for him, because he’s now in one of the best academies in the world. Do you really think that if he developed late, it would mean that he sucked? No. The thing is, is that he has a future.

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