Oct. 5, 2019
By Fred Liggett
For many of us we had childhood dreams and worked hard throughout our youth to achieve them. These dreams were of success as an adult in our chosen profession. For one area Lee’s Summit youth that success may come sooner than others his age.
Andrew Johnson, a seventh grader at Pembroke Hill Middle School, is a soccer player who was recently selected to train at the FC Bayern Munich Academy in Germany. Andrew is just one of five boys selected in the entire United States for this specialized training. Andrew’s mother, Traci Johnson, said the entire family learned of Andrew being chosen by an e-mail at the end of August. In early September the team, Bayern Munich, sent out a press release about the five boys selected to attend this academy in Germany Nov. 3 thru 9. Following the press release came an Instagram reveal of the nine players in all that were selected.
In 2015 Bayern Munich began what is called ID Residential camps where Global Premier Soccer an affiliate of Bayern seeks out soccer coaches asking them to send two of their players to these camps. Bayern’s coaches or alumni will attend and assess the youth talent. Andrew last year was chosen out of 15 to visit Bayern of youth born in the year 2007. While in Germany Traci Johnson states, “Andrew rose to the occasion.” Andrew’s family got to go with him and see the training facility and country. Upon returning to the States Andrew now has a personal trainer helping him. Traci adds, “Andrew came back dialed in to do well.”
In August of this year another residential ID Camp was held in Chicago. Global Premier Soccer was looking for one kid born in 2007 or 2008 for an all-expenses paid training with Bayern Munich. Andrew will represent the Midwest region this November. For soccer fans in Kansas City area they got to see the parent club Bayern Munich play a match in the International Champions Cup played July 23rd at Children’s Mercy Park, home of Sporting KC. Traci says the “Johnson family was on vacation when this match was played.” Later Global Premier Soccer sent a retired player and an assistant coach from Bayern to a practice at Andrew’s club team. SDB Academy has 12 teams and practices at Swope Soccer Village. Galacticos is the name of Andrew’s team.
Andrew’s goals includes wanting to play professionally overseas possibly with Bayern Munich. His favorite players currently are Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard both of who play for Manchester United. Andrew has hopes to play in a World Cup someday. Perhaps that opportunity will arrive for Andrew as soon as 2026 when the USA is a host of the popular event. For now this very talented junior high athlete will get to spend a whole week training under the watchful eye of successful soccer coaches in Germany.