Three Wildcats will be heading to Orlando in the last week of July.
Kyle Folds, Matthew McLaughlin, and Peter Van Euwen will be playing in the 2019 Allstate All-America Cup in rosters released this week.
The Saint Ignatius soccer trio will be playing with other talented stars from across the country before the MLS All-Star Game on July 31 in Orlando. The Allstate All-America Cup, in its first year, will be an opportunity for Folds, McLaughlin, and Ven Euwen to play on a national stage in front of thousands of fans.
McLaughlin and Van Euwen will have a chance to play together, too. The two rising seniors will be on Team McBride, led by former star Brian McBride. Folds will be on the opposite sideline with Team Twellman, guided by Taylor Twellman, a former US national star and current television commentator.
The game will be a great opportunity for the trio leading into the 2019 season.
"I'm really excited. I've played against a couple of the kids, including a friend of mine from Texas, and a kid we're going to play against this season from Peoria Notre Dame," McLaughlin said. "I'll get to play with Peter, too. I'm excited to be coached by Brian McBride, who's one of the best goal scorers to ever play for the US. It's going to be great also because we'll be down there with the MLS All-Stars and we'll get to go to the game, and we'll be on the field at halftime. We'll get to see some of the best stars in the MLS."
McLaughlin, Folds, and Van Euwen – all team captains – will be essential pieces for the Wildcats this season. All will bring back knowledge to the team when they return.
McLaughlin will be a force to be reckoned with on the pitch this year, as in past seasons. A dynamic midfielder, McLaughlin can make a difference in all aspects of the game, particularly on offense. The Notre Dame commit led the team in scoring in 2018, tallying 16 goals and 17 assists for a total of 49 points, starting all 22 games and playing 1,447 minutes.
Folds is a Swiss Army knife of a player, a plug-and-play guy that a coaches dream of having on his team. The Indiana commit played every position on the field this year, save for goalkeeper. Teams struggled to slow down the firecracker junior, who tallied 9 goals and 2 assists for a total of 20 points. Starting all 22 contests, Folds tallied 1,476 minutes of playing time as a strong contributor.
Van Euwen is an Iron Man in net. Skilled at directing the defense, reacting to shots, and at clearing the ball far out of the zone, Van Euwen is an incredible goalie. The talented netminder committed to The Ohio State University in the offseason, joining a growing program in Columbus. Van Euwen is the type of player who can change a game with his play in net. Starting 18 games, he etched a 15-2-1 record, tallying 38 saves and 7 shutouts. Opponents scored on him just 12 times in 18 games.
"This is a special group of players, a special class of men," said Head Coach Mike McLaughlin '85. "To have three players participate in a national game is a big deal. To have one is amazing, but to have three is incredible. This is the first time for this event, so it's cool to be part of the first. It's an amazing opportunity. Brian McBride, a former pro, and Taylor Twellman, both former national players, will be coaching of the best high school players in the country. It's a wonderful presentation by Adidas, they're getting nice gear and being flown down to Florida. It's an amazing honor."
All three members of the trio are excited for the experience.
"The best thing will be the quality of play," Matthew said. "It's 40 of the best high school players in America. The guys I do know are incredible players. It will be very high level."
Beyond the game, Coach McLaughlin is ready to see this trio lead the way for an uber-talented squad this year. He's proud of these three young men.
"At the core of what we want to do with everyone in the program is about way more than just soccer. It's about how you live your life, how you treat others, and how hard you work. You look at those things, and that's why these three are doing what they're doing. The reason they were invited to this game is because it's more than just soccer."