Erik Palmer-Brown, one of the players on Sporting's U16 developmental academy team is going to be spending some time away it appears.
Going to Florida for a semester! #U17USMNT
— Erik Palmer-Brown (@ErikBrown14) December 24, 2012
That Tweet from the high schooler is fairly straight forward, Palmer-Brown is set to make his way to Florida, and most likely Bradenton to spend time in camp there with the players in residency there. There's been plenty of talk in youth soccer circles about Palmer-Brown and he looks set to become the next Sporting Junior to spend time with the US youth national teams.
Now some quick hits on some former Juniors players.
First, Jacole Turner, who was originally supposed to attend Barton County Community College this year, but instead remained with the Juniors. Turner left the Juniors and headed abroad. There he spent time in Croatia with Dynamo Zagreb before moving to Spain where he trialed with Real Madrid. He ended up being signed by Athletico Madird. Turner will start his career with the Spanish club this January.
Good luck to him in his journey. There will be some people wondering why Sporting didn't sign the goalkeeper. With Jon Kempin already under contract, and Kempin is only a year older than Turner. With 3 keepers already on Sporting's roster with Jimmy Nielsen and Eric Kronberg joining Kempin there was no need to add another, especially one that would be only a year younger than Kempin. I think signing Turner would have been detrimental to both Kempin and Turner. You would have been trying to develop two young goalkeepers at the same time. Both would need time in reserve games, early US Open Cup games and there likely wouldn't have been enough games to go around. It sucks to lose a keeper with the talent of Turner, but from some comments thrown around, they will both be good professionals.
The other former Junior news is that for Nate Opperman. The freshman at Evansville has been named one of the top 100 freshman this past year in college soccer. Opperman scored 3 goals as a freshman for the Purple Aces, all 3 of which were game winners.