Flores at Wembley to watch future club

Courtesy of Flores family
Courtesy of Flores family

Virginia teenager Junior Flores is in London to witness the UEFA Champions League final Saturday between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

He is not, by any means, an impartial observer.

The U.S. under-17 national team midfielder signed a pre-contract with Dortmund last fall, and after Flores made two appearances for the German club’s under-19 squad at a recent tournament, agent Steve Kelly arranged for him to attend the European spectacle at Wembley Stadium.

(The English-based Kelly also represents Dortmund defender Neven Subotic, who played for the U.S. U-17s and U-20s before committing to his native Serbia on the senior level.)

Flores will return home to Manassas on Monday but plans to report back to Germany for temporary workouts in July. Dortmund, though, is appealing to FIFA to allow him to join the club full-time. Players typically are not allowed to make a permanent move to a foreign team until they turn 18, which, in Flores’s case, is next March.

In anticipation of a possible early move, his family is looking to arrange for him to pursue online studies from Germany in order to earn a diploma from Manassas Park High School, which he attended before entering the U.S. Soccer Federation’s U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla., two years ago.

Flores fell out of favor with U.S. Coach Richie Williams and started just one of three matches during last month’s failed attempt to qualifying for the Under-17 World Cup. With a berth at stake, the Americans lost to Honduras, 3-1, in the CONCACAF tournament quarterfinals in Panama. Flores did not play.

A few days later, Flores reported to Dortmund for a training spell. At the Spax Cup in Ennepetal, Germany, last week, he played 50 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Botafogo of Brazil, 90 in a 1-0 victory over Besiktas of Turkey and did not feature in a 0-0 draw with Dutch club Twente.

For previous Post stories about Flores, click here.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff | May 22, 2013