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U.S. U-20 MNT Caps Off Successful Day Three at the Development Academy Spring Showcase

SARASOTA, Fla. (May 24, 2009) – Day three of the Development Academy Spring Showcase wrapped up with a U-20 Men’s National Team training that was open to the public and provided a unique learning opportunity for the coaches and fans in attendance. U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen led an in-depth discussion surrounding the intrasquad scrimmage at the Sarasota Polo Grounds in Sarasota, Fla.

Rongen addressed scores of coaches, scouts, fans and Academy players leading up to the training session, disclosing some of his tactics and objectives for the scrimmage. As the game kicked off, Rongen analyzed his team’s performance and continued to talk through his coaching methods.

After the game the coach, who is preparing his team for the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, talked about the strengths and weaknesses of his players individually and as a team, and talked about ways to build toward the world championship.

Over a dozen national team scouts was on hand Sunday to watch nearly 40 games played on 18 fields throughout the morning and early afternoon as half of the teams were in action. All five U.S. Under-17 coaches were also on hand to watch players in their natural environment.

The 73 teams who were off from game action went through SPARQ testing but all 146 U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams will be back in action on Monday for a full slate of games. The teams will compare SPARQ test scores from the weekend with scores from the Winter Showcase that took place in December.

Six clubs who will join the Development Academy for the 2009-10 season were also participating in the day’s festivities, going through orientation and taking in the Showcase events. Administrators and coaches from California Development Academy (Sacramento, Calif.), Houston Dynamo (Houston, Texas), Kansas City Wizards Juniors (Kansas City, Mo.), McLean Youth Soccer (McLean, Va.) and NJSA 04 (Holmdel, N.J.) and Weston (Weston, Fla.) met with Academy technical advisors and coaches throughout the day on the grounds of the Showcase.

Also on hand this afternoon were members of the U.S. U-17 MNT, who participated in the making of an instructional referee video. The players demonstrated free kick techniques under the instruction of U.S. Soccer’s referee department.

The final day of matches will take place Monday, with almost all of the 146 teams playing their final match at the Sarasota Polo Grounds.