Minnesota United U15 Academy goalkeeper Fred Emmings spent two weeks in Luxembourg, Germany, with the U16 Luxembourg national team earlier this month.
Emmings was first scouted by the Luxembourg national team when Academy Director Tim Carter took the Loons to Germany last spring. Following the game, Emmings received a formal invitation to fly overseas and train with the team this summer.
Emmings has a dual Luxembourg/United States of America citizenship, so the opportunity to play both European and American soccer places him in a unique pool of players who are called up for international duty by their home countries throughout the season.
“It was definitely a memory that I’ll remember forever,” said Emmings. “It was cool to go. It was an honor to play for the country my family is from. It is definitely something that everyone should try if you get the opportunity, it’s life-changing.”
While living in Luxembourg, Emmings stayed with head coach Reinhold Breu and his family, an hour away from the training facility. He was fully immersed in German culture and had the opportunity to sample plenty of homemade, traditional German meals. His favorite dish featured breaded pork and turkey with a side of potato cucumber salad.
Over the course of his two weeks in Germany, Emmings trained with both the U17 and U19 goalkeepers during the week in addition to his sessions with the U16 squad. He played two friendlies with the U16 Luxembourg national team against the U16 Kosovo national team.
Emmings started the first friendly, where the team fell to Kosovo 2-1 at Stade Jean Donnersbach a Lintgen. The second friendly was played at Stade Jos Becker a Rameldange, where Luxembourg and Kosovo ended in a 3-3 draw.
Emmings was able to bring what he has learned in his sessions with the Academy – and the occasional time with the MNUFC First Team goalkeepers – to the fields in Germany, combining that knowledge new skills. In doing so, he has worked to create a style that works best for him in net.
“Everything we work on here – habits and how we train – the type of stuff we do, it kind of relates,” said Emmings. “You go there, and you’re expecting it to be completely different. But it’s really just soccer at the end of the day.”