Across the Academy - March 29
Sporting, Rapids Meet in Frontier Bout: Sporting Kansas City and the Colorado Rapids face one another in a U-17/18 Frontier Division match this Saturday at Dickâ€™s Sporting Goods Park. Sporting holds the early division lead with four points and a 1-0-1 record, and the Rapids are off to a strong start with a 1-0-0 division record and 5-0-3 overall mark.
Elsewhere in the Development Academy, two traditional powers in the Mid-Atlantic open divisional play this weekend when D.C. United hosts Baltimore Bays Chelsea on Saturday, March 31. D.C. United swept the Mid-Atlantic Division at both age groups last season. However, the current Baltimore Bays U-15/16 team has a 7-2-1 record and has outscored its opponents 25-7 this season.
Breakers, Revolution Playing Abroad: As the Academy action picks up locally, some players are taking their game outside of the country. The Santa Cruz Breakers U-15/16 team gets set for the Mondial Minimes Montaigu tournament starting next week in France, while the New England Revolution U-15/16 pool formed a U-17 team to play in the 2012 Future Champions Gauteng tournament in South Africa. Santa Cruz opens its tournament on April 6 against Toulouse FC. The Revolution is coming off a 3-3 draw against School of Excellence SAFA on Tuesday in Soweto, South Africa.
LAST WEEKâ€™S HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Chicago Fire U-17/18 team earned a two-game sweep in the Great Lakes Division with a 6-0 victory against Vardar SC Freiburg on Saturday and a 2-1 win against the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves on Sunday. In the latter match, Kellen Gulley scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute. The Chicago Fireâ€™s Joseph Calistri provided the offensive power with four second-half goals. The Fire is averaging more than three goals per game (28 goals in nine matches) and holds a 7-2-0 overall record (2-0-0 in the Great Lakes).
- St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri netted a 1-0 victory in U-15/16 play, shutting out Sporting Kansas City in its first Frontier Division match of the season. SLSG Missouri is 5-0-3 overall and has performed admirably on both sides of the pitch, scoring three goals per game (24 in eight matches) and allowing only three total goals on the defensive side (.38 goals per game, which ranks first in the Academy).
- Oakwood SCâ€™s Luke Nguyen scored all three goals for the U-15/16 team in a 3-0 victory against South Central Premier in both teamsâ€™ Northeast Division opener. Oakwood erased a two-game losing streak after playing against Baltimore Bays Chelsea and Players Development Academy in previous weeks. Tyler Bonini, Mark Richards and Matthew Barry scored the three goals that helped the Oakwood U-17/18 team earn a 3-2 victory against South Central Premier.
- The New York Red Bulls posted an impressive 4-0-0 record last weekend. Brandon Allen fueled the U-17/18 team by scoring the lone goal during a 1-0 victory against Match Fit Chelsea, and then tallying what proved to be the game-winning goal during a 2-0 win against NJSA 04. The U-15/16 team enjoyed similar success, earning wins against Match Fit Chelsea and NJSA 04. Amando Moreno was a standout in each game, scoring three goals for the Red Bulls (7-3-1) on the weekend, including two against NJSA 04.
- Weston FCâ€™s U-15/16 team continued its unbeaten divisional season with a scoreless draw against IMG Soccer Academy on Saturday and a strong 5-1 victory against the Clearwater Chargers on Sunday. Nicholas Pappacena scored the gameâ€™s first two goals in the 36th and 40th minutes as Weston improved to 10-2-5 overall and 4-0-4 in the Southeast Division. Weston is tied for third in the division with Georgia United at 16 points apiece. Fortunately for Weston, the team has played in four fewer games than Georgia United, the first-place South Carolina United Battery (29 points) and second-place Concorde Fire (18 points) and can potentially work its way into the postseason picture with a strong run.
- The Kendall SC U-17/18 team moved into a fourth-place tie in the Southeast Division, corralling a 3-1 victory against the Clearwater Chargers and a 2-2 draw against IMG Soccer Academy. Nahuel Medina contributed a goal in each match as Kendall improved to 3-1-4 (13 points) in the division, currently tied with Birmingham United in points.
- Mason Klerks scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to lead the Arsenal FC U-15/16 team to a dramatic 4-3 victory against Real So Cal. Klerksâ€™ tallies in the 57th and 65th minutes provided enough offense to overcome Real So Calâ€™s strong start that featured three goals in the opening 40 minutes â€“ two by Christian Chavez.
Week 27 Player of the Week: Brian Pacheco, Forward, Pateadores
Brian Pacheco scored three goals and the Pateadores U-15/16 team posted two victories last weekend. Pacheco started and played 80 minutes during Pateadoresâ€™ 2-0 win against Crossfire Premier on Saturday, and then he tallied a hat trick in 76 minutes of play during a 4-2 victory against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday. Pacheco has scored 17 goals this season, which leads Pateadores and is tied for fourth overall in the Academy. The forward has 19 starts this season to lead Pateadores to a 10-4-7 overall record and 4-3-3 in the SoCal Division.
Referee of the Week: Spencer Adamson
Spencer Adamson earns Referee of the Week honors for his performance during this past weekendâ€™s U-15/16 game between Baltimore Bays Chelsea and FC Greater Boston. The grade 6 referee from Maryland has worked 50 Academy matches since 2008, and he has attended the past four Winter Showcases. Adamson also received high scouting marks for his officiating during a D.C. United vs. New England Revolution U-15/16 match two weeks ago.
ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES:
U-23 MNT Bows Out of Olympic Qualifying: The U.S. U-23 Menâ€™s National Team saw its bid for the 2012 London Olympics fall short, taking third place in Group A of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in Nashville, Tenn. The USA opened strong with a 6-0 victory against Cuba as former San Diego Surf player Joe Corona notched a hat trick and was named ussoccer.com Man of the Match. But the U.S. dropped a 2-0 decision to Canada and suffered a deflating 3-3 draw against El Salvador. Corona gave the U.S. a 3-2 lead against El Salvador for his team-high fourth goal of the tournament, but a last-second Jaime Alas tally bounced the USA out of qualifying. New York Red Bulls Academy product Juan Agudelo had a goal in the opener, but a meniscus tear in his left knee forced him to miss the remainder of the qualifying and a portion of the MLS season with the New York Red Bulls.
ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:
Audio: The Future of U.S. Soccer â€“ NPRâ€™s On Point
Chicago Fire U-17/18s Lighting Up Opponents â€“ ESPN RISE
Four Things to Know About Chivas USAâ€™s Ben Spencer â€“ Soccer America
Sockers FC Remains Unbeaten â€“ Soccer America
Colorado Rapidsâ€™ Dillon Serna Stars in U-18 MNT Game â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com
Strikers FC Edges Seattle Sounders â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com
U.S. Soccer Needs to Stay the Course â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com
U-17 MNT Coaches Discuss Player Development â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com