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West Jordan Journal

Freshman headed to Spain for soccer experience

Dec 11, 2018 11:42AM ● By Greg James

Ridley Shaw and his coach Marcello poses with the training coaches from Real Madrid after he learned he was going to Spain to learn from the best soccer club in the world. (photo courtesy of Christy Shaw)

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com 

Ridley Shaw, a ninth-grader at Joel P. Jensen Middle School, is set to be exposed to the soccer experience of a lifetime. He was chosen with 18 other players from around the United States to participate in the Real Madrid Foundation Training program.

“Real Madrid came and did a camp here in South Jordan,” Ridley’s mother, Christy Shaw said. “He was one of 18 kids chosen across the entire country. He will go for a week and train with the teams coaches in Madrid, Spain.”

His competition soccer club, Utah Soccer Alliance, sponsored the camp in South Jordan. Real Madrid F.C. coaches supervised the training and selected only one player from Utah to participate in the Spain trip, Ridley. The trip and training are sponsored by Adidas International.

The weeklong camp will have laundry facilities so as Christy Shaw said, “He can wash his lucky and stinky socks.”

He will need to pack his lucky socks for eight days of training. 

“It is pretty cool,” she said. “I am pretty proud. He is a great kid, and he really works his butt off playing. He has earned it. He does double practices and is in pickup games all of the time. He practices extra sometimes three days a week, four hours a day.” 

Ridley began playing soccer when he was 7 years old. He started as a recreational player through West Jordan Youth Soccer and has played club soccer for six years.

“I like to be a versatile player,” he said. “I like dribbling the ball and taking on players. I played a lot of sports when I was younger.”

The 15-year-old midfielder is the leading scorer on his competition level USA team. As a midfielder, he has learned to play offense and defense well.

“I think his success in the sport has been a total package,” Christy Shaw said. “He has made lifelong friends. His confidence has improved. It has made him a positive kid. Him having a passion for something is exciting as a mom. He is an honor roll student. He volunteers with a nonprofit helping serve kids meals on the weekends.”

Ridley has an older brother, Rylan. He credits him for his interest in the game.

“It makes me feel good to get picked,” Ridley Shaw said. “I think what I am doing is paying off. It gives me confidence for the future. I would like to play high school soccer at West Jordan and go on to a college team.” 

His family is going to travel with him and participate in the tour also. As part of the experience, he will tour Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (Real Madrid’s home field), its state-of-the-art training facility and the Adidas Megastore in Madrid. He will play friendlies against Spanish soccer club teams and have an inside look of the daily life of and academy player.

He is excited to participate in the training camp. 

Real Madrid F.C. was founded in 1902 and is one of the most successful clubs in soccer history. They have won 33 La Liga titles and 12 UEFA Champions League titles.