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Across the Academy – Jan. 28, 2015

ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT:
U-14 Futsal Regionals in Full Swing: The first two regional futsal showcases for the Development Academy’s U-13/14 age group took place in the SoCal and Texas regions over the Jan. 24-25 weekend. The upcoming Jan. 31-Feb. 1 weekend includes regionals in Florida, Mid-America and NorCal, followed by regionals in New England, North Carolina and Pennsylvania-New Jersey over the Feb. 7-8 stretch. The showcases, which are part of the Academy’s futsal period that started in December and runs through February, feature a minimum of four futsal matches over the two-day stretch.

Futsal Top Performers:

  • Kevin Negrete (LA Galaxy): Negrete, a U-14 BNT pool player, scored 13 goals in four games for an average of 3.25 goals per game. Negrete found the back of the net seven times in a dominant role in the LA Galaxy attack, demonstrating a strong finishing ability while working well in tight spaces.
  • Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea): Ferri, a U-14 BNT pool player, showed technical superiority in high pressure situations. He was heavily involved in the attack, creating a smooth transition from defense to attack. His 1-vs.-1 abilities and vision allowed him to be the most effective player on the court, while also showing comfort on the ball, high speed of play and overall awareness.

Planning Your Soccer Pathway: Development Academy clubs attended an informational session hosted by Nelson Rodriguez, Managing Director of National Team Advisory Services, and other U.S. Soccer staff on Saturday, Jan. 24. Nelson spoke to players and their families about planning their future soccer career. Topics of discussion included education on FIFA regulations and eligibility, discuss college soccer and NCAA eligibility/rules and requirements to become a professional.

U-20 MNT Advances to World Cup in New Zealand: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated El Salvador 2-0 on Saturday in its playoff at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The USA earned third place in the tournament and qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Ben Spencer, formerly of Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake AZ, scored the opening goal and former Arsenal FC and LA Galaxy Academy midfielder Paul Arriola tallied in the second half for the USA. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, previously of FC DELCO, came up with a clutch penalty kick save early in the second half. Romain Gall, who previously played for Real Salt Lake AZ, shared tournament golden boot honors with five goals and was also named to the all-tournament team.

Window Closing for Full-Time Player Adds: A reminder to all Academy clubs: This Saturday, Jan. 31, is the last day to add any full-time players before this second window ends. Please send all requests to Nery Amaya at namaya@ussoccer.org.

For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com and ussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook.

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Jan. 24-25):

  • West Conference: In a matchup of the top two Northwest Division teams at the U-18 age group, second-place Seattle Sounders FC tightened the gap in the standings with a 2-1 victory against first-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Sean Bowman scored the game-winner in the 84th minute and MacArthur Clarke contributed the game’s opening goal for Seattle in the 10th minute. Bowman leads the Sounders with 14 goals in 16 games this season.
  • Central Conference: The Colorado Rapids U-18s garnered one of its strongest victories of the season, going on the road to defeat the Frontier Division-leading Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Saturday. Nathan Braaten and JT Grover each tallied a first-half goal and the Rapids defense shut out a Houston offense that had scored a combined 16 goals in its previous four matches. The win was the Colorado’s third of the season, and Houston continues to hold onto first place in the division at 10-2-1 (2.38 points per game).
  • East Conference: Weston FC enjoyed an unbeaten weekend for both age groups. The U-16s posted a scoreless draw against Charlotte Soccer Academy and a 1-1 draw against the Carolina Rapids. At the U-18s, Weston’s Andres Cepeda scored an 80th-minute game-winner to lead his side to a 2-1 victory against Charlotte Soccer Academy. Weston followed that up with a 4-1 win against the Carolina Rapids as Tomas Garcia-Morillo and Maximiliano Stiegwardt each scored two goals.

Academy Honors:

  • Academy Player of the Week: Christian Lucatero of the Houston Dynamo U-18s received high scout ratings for his performance during the team’s match against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Lucatero leads the Frontier Division-leading Dynamo with seven goals in 12 games.
  • Academy Referee of the Week: Kevin Broadley, a 27-year-old Grade 7 referee from North Carolina, was named the Academy Referee of the Week for his work during the U-16 and U-18 games between Weston FC and Charlotte Soccer Academy on Saturday. Broadley has been working Academy matches since 2012 and was part of the 2014 Academy Winter Showcase and the U-14 regional showcase in Winston-Salem. He also has worked matches in USL PRO, the NPSL and W-League.

For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

ON USSOCCER.COM:

MNT Faces Chile to Kick off 2015 Campaign: The U.S. Men’s National Team begins its 2015 campaign against Chile at 6 p.m. ET today (FOX Sports 1, UniMas) at Estadio El Teniente. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster features nine players with Academy ties.

Roster Named for U-17 Residency’s Spring Semester: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named a 28-player roster for the U-17 Residency Program this spring semester, with 25 of the players currently registered with Academy clubs. The U-17s are gearing up for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in late February and early March.

U-18s Open Year at Copa Mexico: A group of 20 players – 18 with current Academy ties – will represent the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team at the 2015 Copa Chivas Tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico. The USA opens its Group A stage against Monarcas Morelia on Friday. The U.S. then faces Cruzeiro Esporte Clube (Jan. 31), Club Tijuana (Feb. 2) and Club Deportivo Universidad Catolica (Feb. 3). The FC Dallas U-18 Academy team also will be in the competition in Group C against Atlas, Atlético Paranaense, Chivas Guadalajara and Urawa Red Diamonds.

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Across the Academy – Jan. 21, 2015

ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT:
U-20 MNT Nearing Playoff Spot at World Cup Qualifying: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team prepares for an important match against Trinidad & Tobago to cap off Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Wednesday. The USA needs a win or a draw to advance to the tournament’s playoff stage, where then the U.S. would be one step away from a spot at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Four teams from the CONCACAF U-20 Championship will directly qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Mexico, the Group B winner, has clinched a spot in the World Cup. U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos, midfielder Romain Gall and defender John Requejo speak about the team’s growth during the tournament. Gall, formerly of Real Salt Lake AZ, scored two goals during the USA’s most recent 2-0 win against Jamaica and is tied for the tournament lead with five goals in all games.

Touchline Tommy: Academy alum and U-20 MNT forward Tommy Thompson is traveling down a familiar family path in soccer, starting with his father, Gregg, who played for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 1980s. ussoccer.com spoke with Thompson and U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos on the young forward’s rise.

U-14 Futsal Regionals Return in January and February: As part of the Development Academy’s futsal period from December through February, the Academy U-14 age group will look forward to a series of regional showcases from Jan. 24-Feb. 8, 2015. Eight regional showcases will include a minimum of four futsal matches over a two-day stretch in eight regions: SoCal and Texas (Jan. 24-25); Florida, Mid-America and NorCal (Jan. 31-Feb. 1); and New England, North Carolina and Pennsylvania/New Jersey (Feb. 7-8).

For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com and ussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook.

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Jan. 17-18):

  • West Conference: In a crossover matchup, the Southwest Division’s LA Galaxy defeated the Northwest Division’s Seattle Sounders FC at both the U-18 and U-16 age groups on Sunday. The Southwest-leading Galaxy U-16s built a three-goal lead en route to a 3-1 win. Brandon Torres, Colin Apel and Enrique Bustamante each scored a goal for the Galaxy. At the U-18s, Elijah Martin and Juan Orozco each tallied in the first half for a 2-0 victory against Seattle.
  • Central Conference: In Frontier Division play, the San Antonio Scorpions Youth Academy’s U-18 scored two goals in the closing minutes to rally for a 3-2 victory against Texans SC Houston on Saturday. Trailing 2-1, San Antonio’s Patrick Noriega scored an 87th-minute equalizer and Luis Espinar tallied the 88th-minute game-winner for the team’s second victory of the season.
  • East Conference: The East returns to action during the Jan. 24-25 weekend.

Academy Player of the Week: San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Amir Bashti was named Academy Player of the Week following his five-goal performance during San Jose’s U-18 victory against FC Golden State on Saturday. Bashti, who leads the Earthquakes with 11 goals in 12 games, has recently featured for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team. Bashti most recently was part of the U-18 squad that traveled to Marbella, Spain, to play against Germany’s U-18s on Dec. 17 and 19.

For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

ON USSOCCER.COM:

Alumni Selected in 2015 MLS SuperDraft: A large contingent of former Development Academy players were selected by the 20 clubs at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft over the past week. The highest pick was No. 2 overall selection Khiry Shelton, formerly of Lonestar SC, who went to expansion side New York City FC. On Tuesday, the third and fourth rounds took place, with another 20 Academy alumni selected in the draft.

U-16 BNT Splits First Two at Aegean Cup: The U.S. Under-16 Boys’ National Team kicked off the 2015 Aegean Cup International Youth Tournament this week in Manisa, Turkey. The USA opened with a 2-0 win against Romania on Monday, with Justin Rennicks of the New England Revolution Academy and Adrian Villegas of the Portland Timbers Academy system scoring the respective goals. The U.S. then fell 2-0 to Norway on Tuesday to move to 1-1-0 in Group A. The U-16s concludes the group stage against Turkey on Thursday, followed by a placement match on Saturday.

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20 Academy Alumni Selected in Remaining Rounds of MLS SuperDraft

The third and fourth rounds of the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft took place Tuesday, with another 20 former Development Academy players taken off the board.

The first pick of the third round and 43rd pick overall was Nomads product Earl Edwards. The former UCLA goalkeeper went to MLS expansion side Orlando City.

Also in the third round, a pair of St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri alumni were chosen by Columbus Crew SC – forward Robert Kristo (55th overall) and goalkeeper Tomas Gomez (60th overall). Other alumni in the third round included the following: Keasel Broome (FC DELCO; No. 46 to San Jose Earthquakes), Taylor Hunter (Real Colorado; No. 49 to Houston Dynamo), Aaron Simmons (Dallas Texans; No. 51 to Philadelphia Union), James Rogers (Colorado Rapids; No. 53 to Sporting Kansas City), Spencer Richey (Crossfire Premier; No. 61 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and Daniel Keller (Indiana Fire; No. 62 to LA Galaxy).

In the fourth round, 11 of the 22 selections were Academy alumni, leading off the round with Orlando City’s selection of former Match Fit forward Sidney Rivera with the 63rd overall pick. The fourth round included the following alumni: Raymond Lee (Sporting Kansas City; No. 71 to Philadelphia Union), Craig Nitti (Real So Cal; No. 72 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Tony Rocha (Texans SC Houston; No. 73 to Sporting Kansas City), Charlie Lyon (Chicago Fire; No. 75 to Seattle Sounders FC), Matt Jeffrey (Players Development Academy; No. 78 to Colorado Rapids), Tyler Engel (Chicago Magic PSG and Chicago Fire; No. 81 to Toronto FC), Andrew Wolverton (Concorde Fire; No. 82 to LA Galaxy), Brandon Fricke (Sporting Kansas City; No. 83 to Colorado Rapids) and Seth Casiple (California Development Academy; No. 84 to Portland Timbers.

The first two rounds of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft took place last Thursday, with Lonestar SC product Khiry Shelton earning the No. 2 overall pick by New York City FC. The MLS preseason begins this upcoming weekend.

Academy Alum Shelton Selected Second Overall at 2015 MLS SuperDraft

Khiry Shelton, a former Development Academy player at Lonestar SC, was selected second overall by New York City FC at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, which was held Thursday at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia.

The 21-year-old forward from Leander, Texas, capped off his senior season at Oregon State and tallied a career-high 10 goals and 12 assists in 2014. He formerly represented the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team at the 2011 Lisbon International Tournament.

Vardar SC product Fatai Alashe was the No. 4 overall selection by the San Jose Earthquakes. Rounding out the top 10 were No. 6 pick and goalkeeper Alex Bono (Revolution Empire; selected by Toronto FC), No. 8 pick Zach Steinberger (IMG Academy; selected by the Houston Dynamo) and No. 10 pick Connor Hallisey (California Development Academy; selected by Sporting Kansas City). Bono is currently training with the U.S. Men’s National Team at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California. Additionally, Albertson SC product Tim Parker was selected No. 13 by Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Conor Donovan

In the second round, 12 of the 21 picks have Development Academy ties. The top pick of the round (22nd overall) was defender Conor Donovan out of Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL. Donovan, who is currently representing the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica, went to Orlando City.

The other 11 players with Academy ties in the second round include the following: No. 5 (26 overall) – Joseph Greenspan (Match Fit Academy) to Colorado Rapids; No. 6 (27) – Boyd Okwuonu (FC Dallas Academy) Real Salt Lake; No. 7 (28) – Kingsley Bryce (Dallas Texans) Chicago Fire; No. 8 (29) – Wesley Charpie (Chargers Soccer Club) Toronto FC; No. 9 (30) – Oumar Ballo (Baltimore Bays Chelsea) Houston Dynamo; No. 10 (31) – Dzenan Catic (Crew Soccer Academy Wolves) Philadelphia Union; No. 13 (34) – Kharlton Belmar (Virginia Rush) Portland Timbers; No. 16 (37) – Edwin Rivas (Real So Cal) Toronto FC; No. 18 (39) – Stefano Bonomo (De Anza Force) New York Red Bulls; and No. 21 (42) – Dan Metzger (New York Red Bulls Academy and Players Development Academy) D.C. United.

The 2015 MLS SuperDraft consists of four rounds and 82 selections.

Across the Academy – Jan. 14, 2015

ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT:
U-20 MNT in Search of Win, Faces Aruba Today in World Cup Qualifying: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team continues Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship when it faces Aruba for the first time on Wednesday at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica. The USA is 0-1-1 to open the tournament. This marks the U-20 MNT’s final game in Kingston before shifting to Montego Bay for the remaining two Group A games. Four teams from the CONCACAF U-20 Championship will directly qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Inspired by World Cup Success: Academy alumni Emerson Hyndman and Paul Arriola, representing the USA at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, caught up with ussoccer.com to discuss the rich history of the U-20 program and how they have been inspired by the previous world-class players who have stepped on the field at this stage of their careers.

U-14 Futsal Regionals Return in January and February: As part of the Development Academy’s mandatory futsal period from December through February, the Academy U-14 age group will look forward to a series of regional showcases from Jan. 24-Feb. 8, 2015. Eight regional showcases will include a minimum of four futsal matches over a two-day stretch in eight regions: SoCal and Texas (Jan. 24-25); Florida, Mid-America and NorCal (Jan. 31-Feb. 1); and New England, North Carolina and Pennsylvania/New Jersey (Feb. 7-8).

For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com and ussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook.

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Jan. 10-11):

  • West Conference: Strikers FC’s Shinya Kadono scored two goals to lead his U-18 team to a 2-1 victory against the LA Galaxy on Saturday. His 74th-minute tally proved to be the winner as the Galaxy’s Elijah Martin kept his side in the match with a goal three minutes later. Strikers FC is fifth in the Southwest Division at 7-8-1 and the LA Galaxy is third at 8-4-3. The Galaxy U-16s earned a 3-2 win against Strikers as Sam Hefter recorded a brace to lead the way for the defending national champion (10-2-3, first place in the division). Elsewhere in the West Conference this past weekend, Pateadores swept its set against Real So Cal, with the U-18s earning a 3-2 victory and the U-16s posting a 2-1 win. Efren Verdugo scored both Pats goals at the younger age group, including a goal in the opening minute. Pateadores’ Blayne Martinez scored an 88th-minute game-winner for the U-18 team.
  • Central Conference: The Central opens its 2015 slate this upcoming Jan. 17-18 weekend.
  • East Conference: The East returns to action during the Jan. 24-25 weekend.

Academy Referee of the Week: Samantha Moos, a 27-year-old Grade 5 referee from northern California, was named Academy Referee of the Week for her work during the U-18 match between the San Juan Soccer Club and San Diego Surf on Saturday. Moos has been working Academy matches since 2008 and has also worked the likes of MLS Reserve games, NWSL, W-League, PDL, NPSL and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

ON USSOCCER.COM:
Twelve Academy Alumni Called in for MNT January Camp: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called in 28 players for the MNT’s first training camp of 2015. Among this group, 12 players have ties to the Development Academy. The Jan. 12-Feb. 8 camp includes stays in California and Santiago, Chile, as the USA prepares for its first international friendly of the year against Chile on Jan. 28 at Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua.

U-16 BNT Bound for Aegean Cup: An 18-player roster will represent the U.S. Under-16 Boys’ National Team at the 2015 Aegean Cup International Youth Tournament from Jan. 19-24. There are 14 current Academy players and 17 overall who have had ties to the Academy on this roster. Luchi Gonzalez, the head coach of the FC Dallas U-16s and Shaun Tsakiris, De Anza Force’s U-14 and U-16 head coach, are overseeing the squad. The U.S. U-16 BNT opens group play against Romania on Monday, Jan. 19.

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