A couple of weeks back, Bavarian Football Works met with Lennyn Carreon about his experience during his initial days in the Bayern Munich World Team program.
Now, the day of reckoning is upon us. The Bayern Munich World Team will take on the Bayern Munich U-19 squad at Säbener Straße on Friday, August 6th at 4PM CET (10AM EST).
BFW was granted exclusive access to Carreon to talk over how things are going, what he has learned, and how his game has evolved since we last spoke.
As Lennyn Carreon has progressed through Bayern Munich’s World Team program, he has had a lot of great experiences, but walking on the training grounds at Säbener Straße took things to a whole different level.
“It’s been crazy in a good way,” Carreon said. “Bayern Munich is my favorite team. I know it sounds like such a cliché, but it really has been for the past few years, ever since I started getting into European soccer. Being at their training grounds with the first team just a couple of fields away, it’s been unreal. I can’t wrap my head around it.”
Throughout the process, the youngster has learned a lot about his own game.
“We all come from different countries, and every country has a different playing style. My (team) back in the U.S. isn’t much of a possession-based team, so playing with these guys, and obviously with the Bayern Munich playing style, we’re more of a possession, passing-dominant team, so it’s a bit different team; but in the end, it’s a quite simple concept. When you are surrounded with talented players, it’s easy to adjust.”
When looking at what he expects when lining up against Bayern Munich’s U-19s, the Californian knows it will be an extremely tough match-up. Still, Carreon has learned so much about his own game, that this process has been extremely beneficial.
“It’s a good opportunity with the coaches being there and whoever else shows up to the game. It’s a good test overall for the players, for me as an individual, and for the team also,” said Carreon. “We played five games against fairly good competition and now we get to test ourselves against one of the top (U-19) teams in the world.”
The Bayern Munich World Team played several matches to prepare for the big showdown with the Bayern Munich U-19s, including against some top competition in Mexico and Germany.
Carreon also reflected on the internal tug of war that occurs in these situations: A player wants badly to stand out, but also knows that he must not force things on the pitch. For Carreon, it is all part of the process.
“I think it’s all about recognizing when it’s time to go forward and when to rotate the ball around,” Carreon said. “There’s always that hunger to get the next goal or the next assist, but in the end it’s about recognizing when it’s time to do certain plays.”
Carreon has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with the Bayern Munich coaches involved with the program as well.
“At the beginning of the trainings, I was a little bit nervous,” Carreon said. “Back in Mexico, I was nervous. It was nerve-racking being with Bayern Munich, but the coaches always told me to be confident in (my) ability. If you have a one v one, ‘Go for it!’ A lot of players — when they get these opportunities — they play it safe and they don’t want to make mistakes. I felt like that was kind of what was happening to me at the beginning. They inspired that confidence in me, so it definitely made me be able to play my game."
Carreon also benefitted from the coaches’ emphasis on defense. As an attacking player, Carreon has a much better idea of the commitment it takes to really play team defense.
“Obviously, as a forward, you always want to go forward and score goals, but there’s another side of the game, and that’s at the defensive end. They definitely helped me with the tactics on that,” said Carreon.
Overall, Carreon has had a blast with this chance to be a part of the Bayern Munich World Team program.
“This is a great opportunity, no matter what the end result is. Being here and being recognized for my talent...to make it to these last few stages; it serves as motivation,” said Carreon. “Not only that, but I think it gives you a certain level of status in terms of soccer. Being able to be recognized or linked with Bayern Munich can open up a lot of doors. Whether it’s here or other clubs in Europe or in the U.S, it’s great exposure.”
Finally, should Bayern Munich see enough from Carreon to offer him a contract, the high-energy attacker would not hesitate.
“I don’t think I’d think about it twice,” said Carreon with a laugh. “It’s been my dream...to be able to play with my team, that would be a dream come true.”
Editors Note: Big thanks to Bayern Munich for the access and good luck to Lennyn. He was an awesome kid to interview and has an outstanding outlook and mindset. Follow his career closely!
A total of 654 players from 64 nations showed off their skills in more than 1,200 short videos, thereby applying for one of the coveted squad places. The only requirement for participation was the year of birth, 2003 or 2004. The scouting and decision-making process was led by a professional coaching team with former Bayern captain and World Cup winner Klaus Augenthaler and international FC Bayern youth coach Christopher Loch.
The FC Bayern World Squad will conclude with a training camp in Munich for all selected talents. There, the young footballers have the chance to get to know FC Bayern even better and to compete in a match with the FC Bayern U-19s.
The six-part documentary about the FC Bayern World Squad will be shown on the FC Bayern YouTube channel from mid-August. There, fans can once again follow how the dream of becoming a professional footballer can turn into reality.