Development Academy U-15/16 Finals Week Team Profiles
Get to know all eight U-15/16 teams who will be competing at 2011 Development Academy Finals Week.
July 10, 2011
DALLAS TEXANS (DAL)
Regular Season Record: 11-6-6
Texas Division Record: 9-3-4
Playoff Seed: 29
Playoff Results: 2-1 W vs. Concorde Fire; 2-2 T vs. Albertson SC; 4-1 W vs. Vardar
Key Players: (D) Vernon Bailey, (M) James Hickey
Head Coach: David Hudgell
Coming out of a highly-competitive Texas Division that sent five teams to Academy Playoffs, the Dallas Texans finished the season in second place in the division with a solid 9-3-4 record. An athletic and organized team, the Texans’ defense posted 12 shutouts in their 26 regular season games while only being shutout five times themselves.
LA GALAXY (LAG)
Regular Season Record: 20-5-3
SoCal Division Record: 11-5-2
Playoff Seed: 4
Playoff Results: 2-1 W vs. Sporting Kansas City; 4-1 W vs. IMG Soccer Academy; 3-1 W vs. Houston Dynamo
Key Players: (F) Justin Dhillon, (F) Jack McBean, (M) William Raygoza, (M) Drew Murphy
Head Coach: Kenny Arena
A fluid, attacking-minded team, the Galaxy come to Milwaukee after winning a SoCal Division that sent three teams to Finals Week. Led by Justin Dhillon’s 19 scores, the Galaxy attack exploded for 65 goals in 28 regular-season games. U.S. Under-17 forward Jack McBean has returned from the FIFA U-17 World Cup to add even more fuel to the offensive fire. The No. 4 seed heading into Academy Playoffs, the Galaxy have already secured their best-ever finish in an Academy season and are brimming with confidence heading into their first Finals Week.
REAL SO CAL (RSC)
Regular Season Record: 15-7-6
SoCal Division Record: 9-6-3
Playoff Seed: 22
Playoff Results: 2-1 W vs. FC DELCO; 1-1 T vs. Solar Chelsea SC; 3-0 W vs. De Anza Force
Key Players: (M) Juan Samayoa, (D) Brandon Vincent
Head Coach: Terry Davila
Led by head coach Terry Davila, Real So Cal has come on strong at the end of the season, dropping just two of their last 10 games. The No. 22 overall seed in Academy Playoffs, Real So Cal fought through FC DELCO, Solar Chelsea FC and De Anza Force in Frisco, Texas, by playing what many have described as their best soccer of the year. Often eclipsed by the MLS Academy teams in their division, Real So Cal believe they have a surprise in store for those looking past them.
Seattle Sounders FC (SOU)
Regular Season Record: 18-3-4
Northwest Division Record: 8-2-2
Playoff Seed: 3
Playoff Results: 3-0 W vs. Crew Soccer Academy; 1-0 W vs. Empire United; 4-1 W vs. D.C. United
Key Players: (F) Jesse Klug, (F) Ike Crook, (D) Michael Gallagher
Head Coach: Richard McCormick
Seattle Sounders FC begin what they hope will become a new tradition within the club, having advanced to Finals Week in their inaugural year in the Academy. Richard McCormick’s team lost just three games all season and posted a 10-1-2 record in non-divisional play en route to earning the No. 3 seed for Academy Playoffs. The Sounders employ an efficient and direct style, and it will be interesting to see how they stack up under the bright lights of a national championship race against the top teams in the country.
CASL Chelsea FC Academy (CASL)
Regular Season Record: 15-6-4
Atlantic Division Record: 8-4-2
Playoff Seed: 15
Playoff Results: 2-1 W vs. FC Dallas; 2-1 vs. Sockers FC; 1-0 W vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri
Key Players: (F) Fernando Castellanos, (M) Alexander Olofson, (F) Eric O’Brien
Head Coach: Carlos Samoano
Led by South Conference Coach of the Year Carlos Samoano, CASL Chelsea FC Academy has earned a place at Finals Week in both age groups for the second-consecutive year. In 2010, CASL finished in seventh place in the U-15/16 age group at Finals Week and will hope to use that experience to help traverse the 2011 event. CASL netted 35 goals in 14 Atlantic Division games by implementing an effective passing game to break down opponents. The pieces have steadily come together for the Raleigh, N.C.-based club, and they will look to turn their consistent presence in the top eight into even more success here in Milwaukee .
NORTH CAROLINA FUSION (NCF)
Regular Season Record: 15-4-6
Atlantic Division Record: 8-1-5
Playoff Seed: 7
Playoff Results: 1-2 L vs. New England Revolution; 1-0 W vs. Pateadores; 2-1 W vs. Texas Rush AJ Auxerre
Key Players: (M) Marco Sunal, (W) Warren Marshall
Head Coach: Chris Little
Undefeated through much of the Atlantic Division season, North Carolina Fusion is looking to peak at the right time in Milwaukee. Chris Little’s team relies on a textbook counterattack and possession-style game that has improved as the season has worn on, helping the team to a No. 7 seed at Playoffs. The club’s only other appearance at Finals Week came during the 2009 event, when they were known as Greensboro Youth Soccer and finished in eighth place.
PA CLASSICS (PAC)
Regular Season Record: 17-1-3
Mid-Atlantic Division Record: 8-4-0
Playoff Seed: 11
Playoff Results: 1-0 W vs. Chicago Fire; 2-2 T vs. South Carolina United FC; 2-1 W vs. North Meck SC
Key Players: (F) Connor Maloney, (M) Christian Kaschak, (F) Joseph Julius, (M) Kyle Bitterman, (D) Jonathan Wenger
Head Coach: Steve Klein
PA Classics bring an attacking mindset to Milwaukee, relying on a three-forward system that averaged nearly three goals per game in divisional play. While Joseph Julius, Zachary Herstek and Kyle Bitterman lead the team in scoring, there are a total of 11 different players who have put their name on the scoresheet this season. Anchored by Jonathan Wenger and Bryce Cregan in defense – the lone player on the team born in 1996 – the PA Classics have proven to be a difficult team to break down, having allowed less than one goal per game in Mid-Atlantic play.
REAL SALT LAKE AZ (RSL)
Regular Season Record: 16-8-4
SoCal Division Record: 11-6-1
Playoff Seed: 18
Playoff Results: 4-1 W vs. Baltimore Bays Chelsea; 2-2 T vs. Charlotte Soccer Academy; 7-0 W vs. FC Westchester
Key Players: (M) Julio Alarcon, (M) Ben Spencer
Head Coach: Mike Muñoz
After battling to second place in the competitive SoCal Division, Real Salt Lake AZ clinched a place at Finals Week in their first season the Development Academy by powering through a Playoff group that concluded with an unprecedented 7-0 win against FC Westchester. Development Academy U-15/16 Coach of the Year Mike Muñoz is at the helm of the possession-oriented squad that likes to build out of the back and play the ball through the midfield. Real Salt Lake AZ lost just two games outside of divisional play this season, and their initial success has raised expectations on the club as they enter their inaugural race for a national championship.