ERIN MILLS ADP TOUR MARCH 12-21 2010: Welcome

Thursday, January 21

Coach Bob Graham

Welcome to the Erin Mills Soccer Club Advanced Development Program (ADP) and the selected participants who have challenged themselves to seek post secondary scholarship opportunities.

The Erin Mills Soccer Club is dedicated to the development of every athlete within our program and ADP begins at the earliest stages of our 5000 player membership.

Each year the Club coordinates a "Tour of America", as well as other local showcase opportunities for Canadian and US scouts to consider our developed talent.

This site serves to record these activities and provides a reference point to all EMSC athletes who aspire to achieve the very best.

This program was founded by Coach Bob Graham and his passion for guiding our finest athletes toward a high quality education through soccer.

Tour of America is several things, but foremost it is the annual focal point of the Club's efforts to help our players who are interested in getting US college and university soccer scholarships.

It is an intense 10-day soccer training camp.

It is competition against very high level competition.

It is a survival camp, filled with visits to a diverse mix of US college and university campuses-

If you were living in the United States, playing for a top program, as a high-level youth player, dozens of college coaches, would each have seen you play literally dozens of times.

How many US college coaches have seen you play? Even once????

How many of the over 1000 US schools who offer soccer scholarships know you exist?

So the Tour will travel thousands of miles to several states, in 10 days.

You will play games against NCAA Division 1 and 2 , and NAIA varsity teams.

You will take one step in getting a college education while playing high-level soccer - while getting ready to play professionally in the US, Canada or Europe – or achieving whatever dream path you have chosen.

That is what the Tour, and ADP are all about.


2009 Tour photography at


2008 Tour photography at


Coach Fausto at Gannon
Friday, March 9

men at Cleveland State
Our intrepid group of 45 elite soccer athletes left Mississauga yesterday morning on their 7000 km adventure through the USA.

A late start and some immigration delays at Buffalo started our schedule behind somewhat, but clear roads and sunshine got us to our first destination wtihin good time.

Our scheduled scrimmage in Erie, PA with the Gannon University ladies was re-routed to an indoor public complex where we played 45 minutes of small sided scrimmage on two fields.

Prior to our play,Gannon University treated everyone to lunch at the campus cafeteria, followed by a meeting with the admissions staff.

Quickly off to Cleveland from Erie, PA for a men’s game under the Cleveland State campus dome where we arrived about 30 minutes off schedule.

The game was further delayed while our driver and local staff tried to get our locked luggage bays open – lost keys.

45 minutes later our luggage was accessed and the men played for 2 hours against Cleveland State.

The ladies watched the men for a while then headed off to dinner at the Golden Corral buffet.

Following dinner the ladies moved into their Ramada Suites hotel and waited on the guys to finish their game, have dinner and check in for the night.

The girls are up and out for an 8 am game at Cleveland State and the adventure continues.

Friday, March 9

6 am wake up calls greeted the ladies this morning with an 8 am game scheduled at the Cleveland State bubble down the street from the hotel.

Early risers enjoyed a full hot hotel breakfast before heading off on the short bus ride.

The guys enjoyed a sleep in until 8 am and eventually joined the cheering section for the ladies game.

Congrats to the girls for a wining result in front of other local college scouts who ventured out to watch the competition.

Staff from Cleveland State, Malone College, and Indiana-Purdue spnt some quality time with the ladies.

A quick return to the hotel for clean up, a clothing change and pack up got us on the road again by 10:30 am.

The men stopped at the University of Akron for a campus tour.

The team watched the college team training for 45 minutes and had lunch on campus..

The girls pressed on to their 2 pm game at Youngstown State where they had a quick lunch at the campus food court.

The local soccer staff had been busy all morning clearing snow from the turf field.

Emerging sunshine and temperatures just above freezing made for pleasant outdoor conditions.

Once again the ladies put on a grand show and came away with a 1-1 score in the friendly.

The Youngstown ladies coach gave us an hour of his time following the game to discuss the ins and outs of athletic scholarships and the life of an academic athlete on campus.

During the ladies presentation, the men played against Malone College at the Youngstown field.

The game ended in a well played 1-1 draw with a contested goal called back from our favour..

Back on the bus following the men’s game and off to Columbus, Ohio and our hotel for the night 3 hours away.

A stop at “The Cracker Barrel” en route got everyone well fed for day’s efforts.

Lady Keepers on Tour

Ladies with Wright State Coach
Saturday, March 10

The bus wheeled out at 8:30 am following a continental breakfast at our Hawthorn Suites hotel.

We enjoyed a campus tour and coaches’ meetings at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, followed by lunch in downtown Oxford, Ohio, home of the University of Miami (Ohio).

The Miami staff provided a lengthy walking tour of campus for the ladies while the men did some light training (including pushing a coach’s car out of the mud).

Unfortunately our past EM team mate, Krysta Pace was away this week.

The name Miami is derived from the Miami Indian tribe that were the first inhabitants of the area.

The crew travelled on to the University of Cincinnati, where the ladies played a quality game (1-4) and all enjoyed a tour of the athletic facilities on campus led by past EM team mate and now Bearcat Mellissa Bigg.

The scheduled men’s game at Dayton was cancelled unfortunately.

Dinner after the game on the road – semi-fast food en route to our hotel for the night in Louisville, Kentucky.

Midnite arrival and quick to bed for our 9am start in the morning.

men with Wright State coach

Sunday, March 11

Our bus pulled out at 8:45 am and brought us to our tour of the University of Louisville.
The men and ladies were split up and shown around the campus by the respective college team staff.
Light drizzle, but warm weather.

A long bus ride to Lambuth University where we did a drive through tour of this small, rural campus. We stopped along the way for lunch and water supplies.

Our games against Union University with the ladies at 5:30 and men at 7:30 pm kicked off on schedule.
The game field was wired with a quality sound system and we enjoyed upbeat music during our warm-ups.
The game opened on a fabulous natural grass field and was preceded by both national anthems.

Our Eagles were victorious in both games, ladies (3-1) and men (2-1).

Dinner was accomplished at Ryan's Family Buffet with the men eating early and the ladies eating while the men played.

We bid goodbye to our Union hosts and the 5 other colleges who had staff out to watch our games, and headed to our Bartlett, Tennessee hotel.

Time changes got in our rooms at about midnight.

Early to bed for another busy day on tour tomorrow. Men's game only. Day of (game) rest for the Ladies.

P.S. Head Coach Josef has been diligently video recording our games (and more) to add some new dynamics to our tour summary report.

Tuesday, March 13

Coach Meeting at Christian Brothers
Another early start, hoping to pull out at 8:30 am after breakfast.

The combination of time zone changes and setting our alarm clocks ahead for Daylight Savings, set a scenario where two player rooms were fast asleep at 8:30.

We made a short drive to Christian Brothers University and followed a campus tour hosted by the coaching staff and players.

An hour drive followed to Central Arkansas University where we lunched in the cafeteria ($5) and toured the campus briefly.

5 more hours on our bus route took us to Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana

The men played to a 2-3 result against the D1 rival.

We ordered pizza for everyone and picnicked dinner at the field.

In our hotel tonight at 11 pm and some attempt at laundry.

We welcomed one more player for the men’s side plus Joe Corapi, club coach, who flew onto the tour this evening.

Another 8:30 start off tomorrow morning.

Amanda and Coach Fausto

Tuesday, March 13

At Belhaven College
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ keep those doggies rollin’…….

Up with the birds yet again in Shreveport, Louisiana and a lengthy drive to Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Unfortunately our planned Tour was limited due to a local area power outage and lunch on campus was also cancelled.

We had lunch on the road during our long haul to Southeastern Louisiana University, in Hammond Louisiana.

Arrival at 4:15 pm for our 5 pm ladies game on a beautiful 21C evening and a fine grass field.

The game was watched by several other local coaches.

The final score was 0-1 and our ladies put on a fine demonstration.

Our hosts had originally planned dinner for us in the cafeteria, however the facility hadn’t stayed open.

Burgers and fries were provided by the school before our departure for Pensacola, Florida and a 3 hour trek to our Microtel Suites Hotel.

A welcome sleep-in in the morning with a 10:45 am departure.

at Southeast Louisiana University

Wednesday, March 14

Mobile Game
A welcome sleep in and a 10:45 am departure.

Those of us who miss Tim Horton’s are grateful for Waffle House for better coffee on the trail. (right next door to our last two hotels)

Off to Western Florida University in Pensacola for a campus tour and lunch. (one of this reporter’s recurring favourites.

A long bus ride followed for our men’s and ladies’ games scheduled to begin at 5 pm at the University of Mobile (Alabama)

The ladies registered a 1-4 score against the Mobile squad including Terri McCready (Erin Mills last summer and this one forthcoming).

A few bangs and bruises have shortened the bench for a day or so and the crew is ready for their second wind.

In spite of the score the gals played well to a number of visiting coaches on the sidelines.

The men secured a 1-0 victory in a very good quality match.

The university hosted everyone for dinner in the cafeteria in advance of our 4 hour ride to Macon, Georgia and a welcome bed.

Mobile Game

Thursday, March 15

A tough schedule day for the ladies who were out for a 9 am walking tour of Florida State. (we arrived last night at 1 am).

The guys enjoyed some additional sleep.

Florida State is a very substantial campus with 40,000 students and impressed all.

We were on the road by 11:30 am for a tour of Thomas University – a very different style of campus for their only 600 students.

We had a large lunch locally at Ryan’s Buffet in advance of our long drive for games at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

The bus pulled in a 5 pm for our 6 pm ladies’ game and 8 pm men’s game.

Continuing with a tired and short ladies bench our gals yielded a tough game to their hosts.

The men’s team suffered some dubious unofficial (team staff) officiating and delivered a well fought 2-3 result.

The ladies grabbed a light dinner and tour on campus while the guys played. The men had dinner near our local hotel on arrival.

Bring on the beach ….. but a long day ahead of us tomorrow still (on our way to the beach).


Mercer Ladies Game

Sunday, March 18

Francis Marion Game
We hoped to be out and on the road by 8 am but ended up a bit behind with one room (names withheld) still sleeping at departure time.

A long driving day with a road stop lunch to Florence, South Carolina arriving at 2 pm for our ladies’ and men’s games at Francis Marion University.

An expansive campus in a country setting and great facilities.

The ladies played very well with a 1-3 result in front of several local college coaches.

The men delivered a quality 3-2 result on this 24C sunny afternoon.

Pizza on campus followed the game and a two hour ride to our beach spot for the night.

Hotel arrival at 11 pm and a midnight walk on the beach.

Not the best of beach weather expected for our two night layover at Wrightsville Beach – but a welcome slow down.

Perhaps a local shopping mall tomorrow.

With Francis Marion Coach

Sunday, March 18

With UNCW Coaches
At Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina today and tomorrow.

Unfortunately the weather is cool and overcast and the beach is only good for local “crazy” surfers.

Everyone had a good sleep in today with a lunch time trip to a local mall for those who wanted to go.

Off to UNC Wilmington for a brief tour and visit with the coaches prior to our games.

The weather held until the men’s second half when rain started and continued until the later ladies’ game finished.

Both teams played some good soccer against two tough D1 teams with the men recording 2-5 and the ladies 0-4.

We got everyone back to the hotel to warm up and dry out as soon as we could.

The men’s team grabbed dinner while the girls were playing, and the ladies did pizza and wings back at the hotel.

Laundry was an essential (late) exercise today as we look forward to another lazy morning rise and leisurely day.

We were joined on tour tonight by ladies parents Guy Streeter, Tim Lariviere and Alex Lemeza (they brought in the wet weather).

Also, Katie Lee, (injured 3 days before departure and could not travel), watched the games with Mom and Dad on their North Carolina vacation.

Everyone is safe and sound and looking forward to their final games and the journey home.

PS – for those hungry for photos – we are taking a large volume of photos on the tour and we only post a tiny sampling of the day’s activities.

All tour photography will be distributed on CD following the tour.


Sunday, March 18

Duke Men's Locker Room
With the weather continuing to stop our beach play, and laundry all done, we headed out a bit early at 12:30 toward Raleigh, NC.

We had lunch on the road in the middle of our 2 ½ hour drive and checked into our hotel for the night at 4 pm.

Right back out again for our tour of Duke University led by a grad player at 5 pm.

Photos attached to illustrate the grandeur of this venerable institution.

(No one dared mention basketball while we were there…..Duke was eliminated early in March Madness)

Back to our hotel for a bit of R&R and swimming for some with an Italian restaurant dinner at 9 pm.

Hopefully a good night’s sleep for all as we prepare for what will likely be our toughest game this tour tomorrow.

Shopping in Chapel Hill for all tomorrow.

Duke Soccer Field

Monday, March 19

The troops pulled out of their hotel around 11:30 am following formal official group photos and headed of to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Our games with UNC were set up on the Bermuda grass training fields. The day was sunny but cool and the fields were in good shape.

The men set up for their 1 pm game while the ladies spent the rest of their travel (university clothing) budget in downtown Chapel Hill, plus ate a light lunch.

The ladies returned at half time and prepared for their 3 pm start.

Both teams played spirited games against two very tough teams recording 0-6 and 0-7 scores respectively.

The UNC ladies posed with our Eagles for a group photo and came onto the bus to personally meet with one of our unwell players who had sat out the game.

Both teams are very grateful to UNC for the opportunity to meet and play with some of the finest soccer athletes in the USA.

Following the many photo opportunities offered our group headed off to Dublin, Virginia for our night’s stay.

We grabbed dinner at Shoney’s buffet before retiring to the hotel.

The men reviewed game video tape in preparation for their final game of the Tour tomorrow.

The ladies took it easy for the evening in anticipation of the journey home.

Off to Radford University in Virginia for a campus tour in the morning then on to Pittsburgh for the men’s game then home.


Tuesday, March 20

Robert Morris Men's Game
For the last time (on this trip) we roused to our alarm clocks, wake-up calls, bangs on doors – and just “knowing” that Coach Bob G was downstairs waiting to roll.

For the last time we hoped we weren’t the last on the bus.

For the last time we packed our bags, grateful (an in some cases not) that our bags and suitcases held up through the trip.

For the last time we shared beds, showers, snores and bus space with our team mates.

Our bus pulled out at 9:15 am headed to Pittsburgh, PA and the final men’s game at Robert Morris University.

Scheduling challenges removed our planned quick look at Radford University from our itinerary.

For the last time, a long ride provided some brief opportunity to catch up on sleep lost from the late night before – but not much.

As is traditional in our homeward leg, all players began documenting their Tour review and essay outlines.

Players laid out their plans going forward and a Tour critique with a “30 Questions” outline provided by Bob G

A brief fast food lunch stop…..again (almost) the last time we hoped we weren’t the last on the bus with a very tight schedule.

We arrived at Robert Morris at 3:30 pm with light rain and 1C temps.

The game ended in a 1-2 score on the school’s new turf football field. The snow had been cleared off for us.

The ladies and “Tour Press” enjoyed the game from the university’s corporate booth. Modest game photography only.

A meeting with the RM coaches followed and the guys enjoyed a warm shower before heading out.

Dinner was abbreviated tonight with fast food in our effort to stay on schedule.

Tour coaches met one on one with each player to review their performance, psychological self-assessment, and overall plan ahead for them.

We arrived in Fort Erie at Tim Hortons (YES!!!) at 11:00 pm about 1.5 hours behind schedule.

Back at the clubhouse at 12:45 am and everyone parted company for the “last time” – until they are back knocking each other down in training later this week.

As tired as we are after this 13 day adventure, there is lots to be done to reap the maximum benefit.

Stay tuned as participant “essays” are published (due in one week).

A few more travel stats will also be added.

For the last time…….


Corp Booth at Robert Morris U.