Wyatt Omsberg and the Seacoast United boys’ U12 team reunited 1,504 miles away from home, while they play soccer against players from around the world. Omsberg, a Minnesota United FC player, will play against English-Premier league team Aston Villa Wednesday night while his former club team Seacoast United, from Portland, Maine, faces off against teams from Mexico and the Cayman Islands this week at Target USA CUP.
Omsberg and Minnesota United practice on the National Sports Center’s (NSC) campus right next to the 1,152 Target USA CUP teams, giving young players the sense they’re not far away from the pros—both literally and figuratively.
Omsberg, a Scarborough, Maine native, played youth club soccer for Seacoast United growing up. Omsberg prepped at Scarborough High School, winning two state championships and being named Maine Gatorade Player of the Year. Omsberg played collegiately at Dartmouth from 2014-17. As a senior, Omsberg was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year.
He was drafted No. 15 overall in the 2018 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft by Minnesota United, becoming the first player in Ivy League history to be selected in the first round. Omsberg also became Seacoast United’s first player to be selected in the draft and sign with an MLS team. Since Omsberg was drafted, there have been four other former Seacoast United players selected in the MLS draft.
“He’s a pioneer for Seacoast Academy,” said Martyn Keen, head coach of Seacoast United U12 boys’ team. “He shows our kids what’s possible if they dream. He’s a big name in Maine.”
Seacoast United’s U12 boys’ team journeyed to Target USA CUP to get a taste of international competition. The team’s tour to Minnesota also shows its players they can follow in Omsberg’s footsteps to the pros. While Omsberg and his teammates prepare for their game against Aston Villa at the NSC, youth players from around the world are only a few feet away.
“It’s exciting to play against one of the best leagues in the world,” said Omsberg. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow night. It’ll be a fun game for everybody.”
Keen said his team hopes to attend Minnesota United’s game Wednesday night to cheer on Omsberg. Omsberg’s story serves as an inspiration for Keen’s team. Despite being half way across the country, Omsberg and Seacoast United find themselves back together on the pitch at the NSC.
Seacoast United, Omsberg have different paths to Minnesota
Target USA CUP Recruiting Director Aaron Schmidt made it a mission to draw the only two states to have not played in USA CUP to the 2019 tournament. Schmidt recruited the Seacoast United U12 boys’ team to the 2019 tournament, along with the North Kingstown U10 girls’ team from Rhode Island, making all 50 U.S. states represented in the tournament’s 35-year history.
“Aaron reached out to our club to see if we had any interest in sending a team,” said Keen. “I’ve always been aware of the tournament because it’s so big. Our families were interested, so it made sense for us to come.”
One of Seacoast’s biggest reasons for playing in Target USA CUP was the opportunity to play against international competition. Seacoast played against a Mexico team Tuesday morning and faces a team from the Cayman Islands on Thursday.
“Most of our kids have never played soccer outside of New England,” said Keen. “They are so excited to play against teams they usually don’t see. They haven’t stopped talking about it in the last month.”
In addition to meeting Seacoast alum Wyatt Omsberg and playing against international teams, the Seacoast United U12 boys’ team will also get to carry the U.S. flag out during Opening Ceremonies.