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Across the Academy – Dec. 18, 2013

U.S. U-17 MNT Wins Nike Friendlies: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team won the 2013 Nike International Friendlies on Friday, Dec. 13, capping off the three-game event with a 4-1 victory against Brazil. It marked the USA’s second Nike Friendlies title in three years after also winning the tournament in 2011. got some reaction from head coach Richie Williams and players following Friday’s finale. This group included a trio of tournament award winners with Academy ties: Nike Golden Boot winner Haji Wright (LA Galaxy), Nike Golden Glove winner Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy) and tournament MVP Christian Pulisic (PA Classics).

Lepore Recaps Showcase, Looks Ahead to 2014: U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore took some time to review a successful 2013 Academy Winter Showcase and the events connecting the Academy and Youth National Teams to the senior Men’s National Team. Lepore also looks ahead to the Academy’s 2014 calendar year, which features futsal at the lower age group and a new postseason format.

Academy Players Relish Select Game Limelight: During the 2013 Academy Winter Showcase, the event featured the top-level Academy players in the Academy Select game on Thursday, Dec. 12. spoke with U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore and Academy Select players about the opportunity of showcasing their talent in front of U.S. Soccer technical advisors and Youth National Team coaches. We caught up with Alex Soto of NJSA 04, McKenzie Gaines of Lonestar SC, Ethan Lochner of the New York Red Bulls and Kendall Stork of Chicago Magic PSG.

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ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Academy Winter Showcase: Dec. 11-15):

  • Academy Select: On Thursday, Dec. 12, the second day of the Academy Winter Showcase featured the U-15/16 and U-17/18 Academy Select games to cap off the evening. The U-17/18 teams played to a scoreless draw, and that was preceded by a 2-0 victory by the U-15/16 Academy Select Blue Team over the Red. McKenzie Gaines of Lonestar SC and Ethan Zubak of Arsenal FC each scored first-half goals.
  • YNT vs. Academy: A unique element to the 2013 Academy Winter Showcase was the inclusion of a U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team competing among the U-17/18 Academy field and the U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team doing the same at the U-15/16 age group. It created a valuable experience for both sides as the Academy’s top-tier teams earned the right to face the YNT club while the national teams had the challenge of facing an older-age Academy squad. spoke with U-15 BNT head coach Hugo Perez following the tournament after the U-15s earned a win against Weston FC, tied De Anza Force and fell to the New York Red Bulls.
  • U-17/18 Showcase: The Carolina Rapids U-17/18 team, which is atop the Southeast Division at 12-2-1, had one of the more exciting runs at the Winter Showcase by winning all three of its matches by a 3-2 score. Carolina’s David Lozano scored twice in the opener, including a 77th-minute go-ahead goal to edge Revolution Empire on Dec. 11. Tanner Roberts’ hat trick held up in a Rapids showdown between Carolina and Colorado on Dec. 12. Two days later, Lozano thrilled the Carolina Rapids faithful with a 90th-minute winner to cap off a crazy finish against Sockers FC, which had tied the score at 2-2 just two minutes earlier on a Christopher Mueller goal.
  • U-15/16 Showcase: Though Weston FC dropped its opening match against a tough U.S. U-15 BNT, the Florida-based Academy club finished off the Showcase on a strong note with a 1-0 victory against Chicago Magic PSG on Dec. 13 and a 2-1 win against Baltimore Bays Chelsea on Dec. 15. Roberto Cedeno scored the lone goal against the Chicago Magic, and Weston rallied from a one-goal deficit on back-to-back goals from Andres Cependa and Ricardo Oliveros to top Baltimore Bays Chelsea.

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Notre Dame’s O’Malley Tallies Winner in National Title Match: Former FC DELCO player Andrew O’Malley scored the game-winning goal as Notre Dame’s soccer team captured the NCAA national title with a 2-1 victory against Maryland on Sunday at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. O’Malley’s winner came in the 57th minute, and it was the defender’s third goal of the season. The score came against Maryland freshman goalkeeper Zack Steffen, also formerly of FC DELCO and a member of the U.S. U-20 MNT squad at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Steffen was named the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Defender.

U-17 MNT Preparing for IMG Cup: Fresh off its title at the 2013 Nike International Friendlies, the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team will be competing at the IMG Cup from Dec. 18-22 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. All matches will be available online at


  • 2013-14 Academy Schedule
  • Development Academy Regular Season: The 2013-14 Academy season resumes over the Jan. 11-12 weekend in 2014, featuring 16 scheduled games at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups.