Once again, Alex Shinsky will find himself among an elite group of young soccer talent this week.
The West York native will head to Houston to take part in the SUM U-17 Cup, a tournament conducted in conjunction with the Major League Soccer All-Star Game. Shinksy will play for the Philadelphia Union’s U-17 team — which he recently began training with — against a collection of other MLS-affiliated developmental teams.
The Union U-17 team begins pool play Friday at 8 p.m. against a squad representing the Columbus Crew (you can find a full schedule of games after the jump).
Shinsky had spent most of 2010 rehabbing from January surgery on a torn left meniscus. He figures to be the most accomplished member of the Union’s developmental side — he made 14 appearances for the U.S. U-17 national team in 2009, and is rated the No. 2 high school soccer prospect in the class of 2011 by topdrawersoccer.com. The shifty, 5-foot-8 midfielder has verbally committed to play at Maryland.
In an interview last month, Shinsky expressed his excitement to train with the Union’s development side, and said he harbored hopes to one day play for the newly-minted MLS franchise.
“That would be like my number one choice,” Shinsky said of playing for the Union.
Here’s a complete schedule of the Union U-17 team’s schedule this weekend. The team will compete in Group B of the 16-team tournament.
Friday, July 23rd: Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24th: Seattle Sounders vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:00 p.m.
Monday, July 26th: FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 27th: Possible semifinal match, 6:30 or 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 28th: Possible Championship Game, 4:00 p.m., Reliant Stadium in conjunction with the 2010 MLS All-Star Game