2011-12 Development Academy Winter Showcase Set for Sarasota: U.S. Soccer has announced that the 2011 Development Academy Winter Showcase and Nike International FriendliesÂ will be held at Premier Sports Campus in Sarasota, Fla. in early December. All 78 Academy clubs will travel to Florida for three games of non-Conference play during the Winter Showcase, which will take place from Dec. 2-6. The U.S. Under-17 Menâ€™s National Team, whose current roster features 24 players representing Academy clubs, will face off against Brazil, France and Turkey during the Nike International Friendlies from Nov. 30-Dec. 4. U.S. U-17 Residency Program Features 24 Players from Academy Clubs: The roster for the fall semester of U.S. Soccerâ€™s Under-17 Menâ€™s National Team Residency Program has been finalized with 32 players training in Bradenton, Fla., under head coach Wilmer Cabrera. There are 24 players representing Development Academy clubs, including Vernon Bailey, who was one of the youngest players at 2011 Finals Week, where he helped the Dallas Texans to a seventh place finish in the U-15/16 age group before joining FC Dallas this year. There are an astounding seven players on the roster representing the New York Red Bulls Academy and two each from Academy clubs Chivas USA, Concorde Fire, New England Revolution and San Jose Earthquakes.
Two Academy Players Named to U.S. Futsal National Team: Pateadoresâ€™ Casey Macias and Lucas Stauffer of Shattuck-St. Maryâ€™s will join the U.S. Futsal National Team for a week-long camp Sept. 24-Oct. 1. The Futsal National Team is in the beginning stages of preparations for the tournament that will qualify teams to the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup, which will be held Nov. 2-18 in Thailand.
Texas Tussle: The Texas Division will feature 10 matches during the upcoming weekend, with Texas Rush making their season debut. Within the division, rivals Solar Chelsea SC will face off against the Dallas Texans after the teams finished second and third last season.
Vancouver Visits California: After playing host to Real Salt Lake-AZ in their Development Academy debut, the Vancouver Whitecaps travel to the Sacramento, Calif., area to face California Development Academy. Vancouver split the results last weekend, with the U-17/18 squad winning 5-1 while the U-15/16 team fell 2-1, and now look forward to their first fixture on the road.
Tale of Unbeatens: Itâ€™s early in the season, but two undefeated teams will face off against each other on Saturday, Sept. 24, in California for a non-divisional match. Arsenal FC U-15/16, which boasts a 2-0-0 record, will host De Anza Force, who has a 1-0-1 record after the first two weeks.
LAST WEEKâ€™S HIGHLIGHTS:
- The 2011-12 Development Academy season kicked off in earnest with 50 games last weekend.Â
- Only South Carolina United Battery went undefeated on the weekend, posting two wins in each age group.Â
- During the first weekend of games, a total of 33 players played with an older team from their Academy club.
- Arsenal U-17/18 and Crossfire Premier U-17/18 played to a 1-1 tie on Saturday, Sept. 17, adding another draw to a tight series. Arsenal barely holds the edge with a 2-1-2 record that dates back to 2008.Â
- As West Conference teams ease into the 2011-12 Academy schedule, California Development Academy and Vancouver Whitecaps will face off in the first divisional games of the season after teams played 24 conference matches last week.
- Eight of the nine Texas teams kicked off their Development Academy season last weekend. Texas Rush was the odd man out and will kick off their season this coming weekend.Â
- The Dallas Texans and Lonestar SC Academy met this past weekend, adding to one of the closest rivalries as the two teams had previously played to four ties in each age group in a series dating back to 2008. The Dallas Texans U-15/16 earned a 2-0 win while the U-17/18 teams added another tie to their record.
- Georgia United made its Development Academy debut, going undefeated with four victories and outscoring its opponents 16-0.Â
- South Carolina United Battery outscored its opponents 22-2 on the weekend, collecting four victories in two matches for each age group.
Week 2 Player of the Week: Jose Villarreal â€“ Midfielder, LA Galaxy
After scoring twice and leading the U-17/18 Pateadores to the 2011 Development Academy title, Villarreal made the jump to the LA Galaxy where he started the season much the same way he finished the last one. Villarreal scored the second goal in the Galaxyâ€™s 5-1 win against Santa Cruz Breakers and also started and played 83 minutes in the teamâ€™s 1-0 win against De Anza Force.
Referee of the Week: Ricardo Mercado, Jr.
Mercado, a Grade 5 referee from San Antonio, was recognized for his performance in the U-17/18 match between Classics Elite and FC Dallas. A skilled official in the Texas Division, he has refereed more than 20 games since he first started working in the Academy in the winter of 2010. He has officiated in the 2010 Winter Showcase and the 2011 Playoffs and Showcase events. This year he has also worked games in the PDL and MLS Reserve leagues.
ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES:
Zach Pfeffer Debuts for Philadelphia Union: Philadelphia Unionâ€™s only Home Grown Player, Zach Pfeffer, was surprised with a start against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, Sept. 17, at PPL Park. The FC DELCO product and former U.S. U-17 MNT player put in a solid 61-minute performance to help his team end a two-month winless streak.
Andy Najar Named to MLSsoccer.comâ€™s 24 Under 24: D.C. United Academy alumn Andy Najar is in his sophomore season with the D.C. United first team and was recently named No. 3 on MLSsoccer.comâ€™s 24 Under 24 list. The young Honduran was named to the 2009 Development Academy Starting XI and has been a steady performer for D.C. United.
ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:
- U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna talks about style of play â€“ SoccerAmericaÂ
- The Philadelphia Union features Zach Pfeffer after making his Major League Soccer debut â€“ PhiladelphiaUnion.comÂ
- Seattle Sounders Academy goalkeeper called into the U.S. U-17 Residency Program â€“ Sounder at HeartÂ
- FC Dallas Academy goalkeeper Richard Sanchez talks about playing for FC Dallas and winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup with Mexico â€“ ESPN RISEÂ
- New England Revolution Academyâ€™s Diego Fagundez was featured in MLSâ€™s 24 Under 24 â€“ MLSsoccer.comÂ
- New England Soccer News talks about Guyllain Kabala and Declan McCabe being invited to U.S. Soccerâ€™s U-17 Residency Program for the fall 2011 Semester â€“ New England Soccer NewsÂ
- Potomac Soccer Wire previews the D.C. United Academyâ€™s 2011-12 campaign â€“ Potomac Soccer WireÂ
- The News-Press in Ft. Myers, Fla. features Chicago Fire Academyâ€™s Jourdan Gooden, who moved to Chicago to play with the team â€“ News-Press.comÂ
- Big D Soccer reviews the performance of FC Dallas Academy players and alumni â€“ Big D Soccer