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2008-09 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 Conference Starting XI Teams Unveiled

CHICAGO (July 8, 2009) – The 2008-09 U-15/16 Development Academy Conference Starting XI and Coaches of the Year have been unveiled as Development Academy Finals Week is set to kick off on Saturday, July 10, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U-17/18 Conference honors will be announced on Thursday, July 9, while Development Academy Starting XI and Academy Players and Coaches of the Year will be announced next week. All awards were voted upon by Development Academy clubs and national staff coaches.

A total of 44 players were selected to the four Conference teams, including 16 who participated with Development Academy Select Teams that competed against the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team at the Spring Showcase on Memorial Day weekend. With 29 different clubs represented, 16 will be participating in Finals Week.

Of the teams heading to The Home Depot Center, the New York Red Bulls Academy leads the charge with three players, goalkeeper Keith Cardona, Brian Gallego and Victor Manosalvas, named to the East Conference Starting XI while head coach Rob Elliot also earned Coach of the Year honors. The New Jersey-based squad will be traveling to Finals Week after a successful playoff run that saw the team earn three wins while allowing just a single goal at Academy Playoffs in Greensboro, N.C.

Arsenal FC is the only team with four representatives on the conference teams as goalkeeper Adam Zepeda, defenders Ricardo Hernandez and Alex Arbollo and midfielder Ricardo Gonzalez were all named to the West Conference squad. CASL Chelsea FC Academy is the only other club with three players represented on the conference Starting XI teams in Spencer LaCivita, Eric Steber and Alex Givens.

Central Conference Coach of the Year Lars Richter from the Derby County Wolves led his team to a surprise run to the No. 1 overall seed heading into Academy Playoffs and with two wins and a draw at Bryan Park, the team successfully advanced to Finals Week. Reed Losee, who scored 21 goals in 24 appearances over the course of the season, will look to continue his impressive scoring rate in the Wolves campaign at The Home Depot Center.

Chicago Magic AS Monaco is represented by the duo of Billy McGuiness and Jacob Bushue. FC Dallas Juniors also send a pair to the Central Conference Starting XI in Bryan Levya and Ruben Luna. Both teams will be taking on Derby County in Group 1 of Finals Week.

Now wrapping up its second season, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy has improved the training environment, provided relevant, high-level matches on a consistent basis, increased the level and efficiency of scouting for the national teams and provided players, coaches and referees with structured programming.

Eight teams from each age group will face off at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., during Development Academy Finals Week from July 10-17. Two groups of four teams will play on the fields used by the U.S. National Team Programs, including the Men's National Team. Finals week will conclude with placement matches on Thursday, July 16, for the U-17/18 age group and Friday, July 17, for the U-15/16 age group. To advance to finals week, the 16 teams below finished atop a four-team group at the Academy Playoffs.

2008-09 East Conference U-15/16 Starting XI:
GOALKEEPER (1): Keith Cardona (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (4): Dane Kenny (Albertson SC), Marquez Fernandez (Baltimore Bays Chelsea), Taylor Washington (FC Westchester), Brian Gallego (New York Red Bulls Academy)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Scott Thomsen (PDA), Victor Manosalvas (New York Red Bulls Academy), Andy Najar (D.C. United Academy), Aaron Denis (BW Gottschee)
FORWARDS (2): Brian Span (FC Westchester), Juan Pablo Correa (Match Fit Chelsea)

East Conference Coach of the Year: Rob Elliot – New York Red Bulls Academy

2008-09 Central Conference U-15/16 Starting XI:
GOALKEEPER (1): Charles Lyon (Chicago Fire Academy)
DEFENDERS (3): Alex Sauciuc (Sockers FC), Jarret Kersten (Vardar), Billy McGuinnes (Chicago Magic AS Monaco)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Will Trapp (Columbus Crew Juniors), Brian Levya (FC Dallas Juniors), Jacob Bushue (Chicago Magic AS Monaco), AJ Corrado (Carmel United SC)
FORWARDS (3): Reed Lossee (Derby County Wolves), Manny Guzman (Chicago Fire Academy), Ruben Luna (FC Dallas Juniors)

Central Conference Coach of the Year: Lars Richter – Derby County Wolves

2008-09 South Conference U-15/16 Starting XI:
GOALKEEPER (1): Spencer LaCivita (CASL Chelsea FC Academy)
DEFENDERS (4): Eric Steber (CASL Chelsea FC Academy), Jeffrey Stezovsky (Miami FC Kendall), Javon Bostic (Clearwater Chargers), Alex Givens (CASL Chelsea FC Academy)
MIDFIELDERS (3): Frank Saunders (Virginia Rush AS Monaco), Christian Velez (Miami FC Kendall), Devin L’Amoreaux (Bridge FA)
FORWARDS (3): Andres Acevedo (IMG Soccer Academy), Vaughn Bandy (North Meck SC), Mamadee Nyepon (Greensboro Youth SocceR)

South Conference Coach of the Year: Jeremy Gunn – South Charlotte SA

2008-09 West Conference U-15/16 Starting XI:
GOALKEEPER (1): Adam Zepeda (Arsenal FC)
DEFENDERS (4): Ricardo Hernandez (Arsenal FC), Torey McGaw (Mustang SC), Alex Arbollo (Arsenal FC), Alberto Rosas (Real So Cal)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Nico de la Cruz (Washington Premier), Eric Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy Academy), Riley Wolfe (Los Angeles Galaxy Academy), Ricardo Gonzalez (Arsenal FC)
FORWARDS (2): Victor Chavez (Real So Cal), Reed McKenna (Nomads SC)

West Conference Coach of the Year: PJ Brown – Arsenal FC