Across the Academy: Winter Showcase Wrap
Across the Academy is a weekly summary of news related to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program, highlighting Academy clubs, current and former players, youth national team activity and media coverage of the Academy.
Dec. 7, 2010
WINTER SHOWCASE RECAP: With 242 games played between Dec. 1 and Dec. 7, the 2010 Development Academy Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies have now concluded. Nearly 3,000 players passed through the 18 lighted fields at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix as all 156 Academy teams played three non-conference games. There were more than 350 coaches representing the national teams, professional clubs and colleges in attendance and all three U.S. Soccer full-time referees were on hand to work closely with up-and-coming Academy referees.
• The Respect initiative is one of the most important themes of the 2010-11 Development Academy season. U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna stressed the importance of respecting the game by meeting with captains and coaches of each Academy team. He also sat down with ussoccer.com to discuss the campaign.
• Though not directly tied to the Development Academy, U.S. Soccer Training Centers are another exciting new program in player identification. Training Centers, which are cost-free for participants, are open to boys and girls across the country by invitation. Run by Technical Advisors, the Training Centers offer a unique opportunity for some of the best players in an area to come together and participate in a training session. U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore explains the purpose of the new program.
• Along with player development, another integral part of the Development Academy is referee development. Academy matches, and Showcase matches in particular, give up- and-coming referees a chance to call high profile matches in front of large crowds and their peers. Three U.S. Soccer full-time referees were in Phoenix to mentor the referees in attendance and act as the fourth official at the Nike International Friendlies. Ricardo Salazar, Baldomero Toledo and Terry Vaughn put on a clinic highlighting referee fitness and gave tips on how to stay in shape and keep the body prepared for the rigors of officiating.
• U.S. Men's National Team forward Edson Buddle visited the Winter Showcase ahead of the U-17 MNT match against Turkey on Sunday evening. He and U-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen addressed the crowd gathered for the match and discussed Buddle’s rise to the Men's National Team and his experiences in South Africa.
NIKE FRIENDLIES SUMMARY: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team finished the 2010 Nike International Friendlies with a 2-0 loss to tournament champion Turkey. Goals on either side of halftime from Ahmet Yilmaz Calik and Enver Cenk Sahin were enough to give Turkey the win and seven points from three games. With the loss against Turkey, the U.S. finished in third place with a 1-1-1 record, which included a 2-1 opening win against Korea Republic and a hard-fought scoreless draw with Brazil in their second match. Brazil finished second with one win and two draws and Korea Republic finished in fourth place with three losses. The 2010 Nike International Friendlies marked the first time that the event, held annually since 2003, was played as a tournament and crowned a champion.
Brazil 0, Turkey 0
USA 2, Korea Republic
Turkey 2, Korea Republic 1
USA 0, Brazil 0
Brazil 3, Korea Republic 2
Turkey 2, USA 0
SELECT TEAMS SHONE ON SATURDAY: Aspiring national team players took to the Showcase field at the 2010 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase in a pair of featured matches. A pool of players from Academy teams in each age group were divided into two teams, Red and Blue, and played in front of an audience of U.S. National Team coaches and scouts as well as college coaches and their teammates. In the older age group (born in 1992 or 1993), Cal Odyssey’s Vilyan Bijev scored the game's three goals in a 3-0 victory for Red against Blue. In the younger age group (born in 1994 or 1995), Nick Tobias of St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro scored the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute as Red was victorious once again.
Match Reports: 1992/1993 | 1994/1995
Photos: YNT Blog
ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS:
U.S. U-18 MNT Set for Tel Aviv: The U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team is set to travel to Tel Aviv for a three-game tournament that will also feature host Israel, Germany and France from Dec. 10-18. The U.S. will play Germany on Dec. 13, France on Dec. 14 and Israel on Dec. 16. U.S. head coach Mike Matkovich will bring 20 players to Tel Aviv, including 17 Development Academy players, with two professionals in goalkeeper Jonathan Kempin from Sporting Kansas City and midfielder Victor Pineda from the Chicago Fire. Kempin recently returned from the Torneo de las Americas where he helped the U.S. U-20 MNT to a pair of draws against Colombia and Mexico. Villyan Bijev recently scored three goals in one of the Select games at the Showcase. He is one of 11 players invited in for this camp that participated in that game.
Four Former Academy Players Named Hermann Semifinalists: The Missouri Athletic Club has announced the semifinalists for the 2010 Hermann Award. The list includes four Academy alums in Will Bruin (Indiana - St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri), Matt Kassel (Maryland - New York Red Bulls), Ryan Kinne (Monmouth - Seacoast United) and Darlington Nagbe (Akron - Internationals). Former winners of the award, which is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer, include Alexi Lalas, Tony Meola and current U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna.
ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:
- Wisconsin Soccer Central recaps FC Milwaukee’s appearance at the showcase – wisconsinsoccercentral.com
- New England Soccer Today highlights the three-goals scored this weekend by Diego Fagundez and Fabio Machado, Jr. – nesoccertoday.com
- Crew U-17/18 tops Baltimore Bays Chelsea FC and more highlights from Day 4 – topdrawersoccer.com
- The Arizona Republic recaps the U.S. Under-17 MNT’s loss to Turkey in the last match of the Nike International Friendlies – azcentral.com
- Villyan Bijev shines as top Academy players play in front of scouts in Select Team matches – topdrawersoccer.com
- The Tuscon Citizen highlights some local participants in the Winter Showcase – tucsoncitizen.com
- Villyan Bijev of Cal Odyssey gets his name in the paper for scoring three goals in an Academy Select match – fresnobee.com
- Former U.S. international and four-time MLS all-star Chris Klein will be the Senior Director of the LA Galaxy Academy Program – lagalaxy.com
- Casa Grande’s Real Salt Lake AZ participates in first Development Academy Showcase – azcentral.com