D.C. United U-18 Academy product Suliaman Dainkeh is returning home after being selected for an 11-day European Training Camp with the U-18 Men’s National Team. Throughout the 11-day camp, the squad faced off against some of the best competition in Europe, including top academy teams and the Netherland’s National Team.
Dainkeh was named to a 20-player roster that traveled to the Netherlands and competed in four international friendlies under head coach Javier Perez. The U.S. U-18 squad compiled a 3-1-0 record during the trip and Dainkeh was a major contributor in each of the matches. The first two contests were against the Feyenoord Academy and the Netherlands National Team. Dainkeh entered as a substitute at half time and played the remaining 45 minutes of each match.
Following a 4-2 victory over the Netherlands, Dainkeh started and played all 90 minutes in the final two matches against Borussia Dortmund and Club Brugge.
“Suli was excellent during the camp,” said U-18 U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Javier Perez. “One of the main reasons we like Suli is because of his versatility. He can play centerback or outside back and we wanted to test him against some of the best wingers in the world at outside back. He did very well. His physical strength and capacity to deal with fast wingers is a very strong point for Suli,” continued Perez.
"Suli exemplifies many of the characteristics we hope to see and develop in a player - he has a great work rate, he is coachable, and he demonstrates great leadership qualities. Suli is a natural ball winner and enjoys the hard work that sound defending requires. He has worked hard to improve his attacking skill set and is now one of the most complete players in the Development Academy," said Nolan Sheldon, head coach of D.C. United’s U-18 Academy team.
Dainkeh has been a member of the D.C. United Academy system for two years, having started with the U-15/16 team in 2010. During the 2011-2012 season, Dainkeh made 27 starts for the U-15/16 team and was named to the East Conference’s U-15/U16 Academy Best XI team while competing with the U-18 squad throughout the year. After showcasing numerous impressive performances with the Academy team and now with the National Team, Dainkeh is establishing himself as one of the premier players in the country for his age group.