FRISCO, Texas – Five players from the FC Dallas Girls’ Academy traveled to Munich, Germany and trained alongside FC Bayern Munich Frauen (the club’s women’s team) and its second team for six days.
Aubrey Brown, Bella James, Ava McDonald, Juliette Rayo and Jaden Thomas were selected for the training stint at the FC Bayern Campus after impressing Bayern coaches in a player identification camp held in Frisco over the summer.
"We basically went through a week in the life (of Bayern Munich Frauen players) and went through their trainings every day," said FCD defender Bella James. "We also did a lot of their weight and strength training in their weight room twice over the week. It was just great getting to see how they live, how they perform and how practice. It was just so cool to be a part of that.
"Training was very possession based, they built out from the back and from the goalkeeper all the way to the forwards. There wasn't much transition, it was very much possession based, which I really enjoyed. I like that style of play a lot."
It was the second year in a row that players from the FCD Girls Academy were able to train with FC Bayern Munich Frauen. In August of 2021, six FCD players traveled to Kentucky to join Bayern’s preseason training while the club was competing in an international tournament hosted by Racing Louisville FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Collaboration between FC Dallas and FC Bayern Munich has been ongoing since the clubs created a player development partnership in 2018. The FC Dallas Boys’ Academy has sent a handful of players to Munich annually since the partnership was struck but this was the first year the Girls Academy made the trip to Germany.
"I think (the trip) just really changed my mentality and just gave me a different view on soccer," said James, who will be playing for Texas A&M's Women's Soccer program next year. "How hard you work, what the next level will look like and what it can look like if you just continue to work hard and dedicate your time and effort towards your practice, your game and yourself."