Ajax Summer Camps has been in the United States for the past week. Ajax’s football knowledge is desired everywhere, and that’s the reason in part that players like Johan Cruijff and Wim Suurbier went to the U.S. at some point in their careers. Now, former Ajax player Sonny Silooy is head of youth development at DC United in Washington, DC.
“I like it here so much that I’d even like to stay in the United States”, says Ajax’s former wing defenseman in New York, where Ajax TV travelled with Ajax Summer Camps.
“My goal is to bring the youth academy to a higher level”, says Silooy, who joined DC United one year ago. “In terms of approach and effort things are on track, but we want to bring more football in. We’ve already seen improvements during the past year with U14 and U16.”
Silooy lives only a few kilometres from the White House. Right before his arrival, the DC United selection gave a clinic in president Obama’s garden – his daughters love football. The club had a good track record. There are four stars on Silooy’s shirt, one more than on Ajax’s. “These are four silver stars; Ajax’s are gold and represent 30 titles. DC United has won four.”
There’s no question of a return to the Netherlands for now. “There’s only one club that I’d want to work for in the Netherlands, anyway”, says Silooy to Ajax TV. “And that’s Ajax.” With the club, he won the Europa Cup II 25 years ago. Silooy made the pass to Marco van Basten, who then scored the only goal in the final match against Lokomotiv Leipzig. “I still have a pass in my legs, but I’m not sure if it would make it onto someone’s head like that anymore”, says the 25 time international modestly.