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Day Two of 2009 Development Academy Spring Showcase Highlighted by Educational Opportunities

SARASOTA, Fla. (May 23, 2009) – The second day of the 2009 Development Academy Spring Showcase is in the books after 37 games were played at the Sarasota Polo Grounds in Sarasota, Fla. Along with the matches, day two of the Showcase featured coaching education opportunities with U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team staff and referee education that included mentorship opportunities with some of U.S. Soccer’s full-time referees.

Only half of the Academy teams had games scheduled on the day, with the other half slated for Sunday. Teams that did not play games went through SPARQ testing and took in some of the day’s off-the-field activities.

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera and national team staff coach Juan Carlos Michia addressed coaches before the match, at halftime and after the U-17s took on a Development Academy Select Team. The pair discussed lineups and strategies with more than 100 Academy and college coaches and scouts in attendance for the seminar.

In the match, the Development Academy Select Team held their own in an entertaining back-and-forth affair, but the U-17s pulled away in the end with two late goals for a 5-3 victory. The two squads exchanged goals into the second half as Dustin Corea, Emilio Orozco and Dominick Sarle scored for the U.S. while Christian Velez, Zack Foxhoven and Joseph Schmid tallied for the Select Team.

With the game tied at 3-3, Sebastian Lletget, who entered the game as a second-half substitute, knocked a free kick off a defender to create an 88th minute own goal. Two minutes, later the California native scored a goal from 25 yards away to finish out the scoring.

Meanwhile, more than 125 of the best up-and-coming referees in the country representing 20 states have been officiating and benefitting from the high-level games and learning from some of the country’s top officials, including U.S. Soccer full-time referees Ricardo Salazar, Jair Marufo, Baldomero Toledo and Terry Vaughan.

With 15 national-level referees and 17 national candidates among those officiating games, every U-17/18 match is formally assessed and the U-15/16 games are being observed, allowing immediate face-to-face feedback for each official. Additionally, a training session was conducted with the officials on the eve of the event, with one more scheduled for Sunday evening. Training sessions incorporate game events and different ways to handle game situations.

Coaches also have the opportunity to work directly with an Academy Scout to observe the methods used to evaluate players and teams. The coaches have the chance to work one-on-one with regional scouts, any time and any day, to learn how they evaluate teams during the season.

The 2009 Development Academy Spring Showcase continues through Tuesday, May 26, with 218 games being played at the Sarasota Polo Grounds during the course of five days. The event is the second of the 2008-09 Development Academy season following the Winter Showcase, which was held from Dec. 5-8 in Lancaster, Calif. Academy Playoffs will be held at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C. from June 26-29 and Academy Finals Week will be held from July 10-17 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Under-15/16 Results and Upcoming Schedule

Under-17/18 Results and Upcoming Schedule