LaLiga North America, a joint venture between Spain’s top domestic soccer league and Relevent Sports Group, was developed to help grow the league’s presence in the United States, Canada and Mexico while promoting the world’s most popular sport.
The multifaceted strategic plan features everything from partnerships to original content as well as grassroots initiatives. As part of the latter, LaLiga North America teamed up with Alianza de Futbol, the largest and most prestigious Hispanic amateur soccer program in the country, to give underserved Hispanic players a platform to showcase their skills.
Following a 10-city tour from May through September that featured more than 5,000 players across three age groups (U-14, U-17 and U-20), a group of 17 players—mostly ages 17 and 18—will be able to display their talents in front of LaLiga club scouts in Spain in the hopes of signing a professional contract.
“It’s important to show (our clubs) how important it is to look into the U.S. market and see if there are talented players,” said Nicolas Garcia Hemme, vice-president of strategy and business development at LaLiga North America. “This is the first time we’ve done something like this at this scale.”
These select 17 players, who were chosen from the top 50 that participated in the annual Allstate Sueño Alianza National Showcase will play against Atlético Madrid U-18, Leganés U-17 and Alcorcón U-17 during their time in Spain from November 12-20.
Not only will the players get a feel for Spanish soccer on the field, but they’ll also get a tour of Madrid and visit Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Santiago Bernabeu and LaLiga headquarters. The trip will also include attending a match between Málaga and Alcorcón on November 17.
Scouts from Madrid-based clubs including Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Leganés, Getafe and Alcorcón will have their vigilant eyes on these teenagers over the course of the week.
“We’ve worked with other federations in other countries who send us their best players, but we’ve been part of this selection process, so we believe in the potential these players have,” Hemme said. “It’s important for us because it’s a way of showing our commitment to growing the league and sport beyond partnerships, content and broadcasting.”