Earlier this spring, the Minnesota United Development Academy’s U15 team headed to Germany for a 10-day trip that would give them a taste of the world’s game in an entirely new part of the world. After arriving in Frankfurt on March 1, the team would get an opportunity to train at German facilities, play other German youth teams and even get to see some Bundesliga games and meet the players. "The trip exposed our players to a culture and environment where football (soccer) is the number one sport,” said Academy Director Tim Carter. “We saw how important each club is to the fans and what it means to represent your club." A major part of the Development Academy’s mission is to build the pathway from the youth level to the pros in the Upper Midwest, and going to Germany gave the U15s the chance to better understand how the game works in a country where those kinds of pathways have been in place for generations. "Not only did the trip help our players develop their tactical understanding of the game, but they got a cultural lesson about football over the 10-day trip that we couldn't get here in Minnesota,” said Carter.