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Across the Academy - May 5, 2011


WHAT’S AHEAD:
Division Action Continues to Heat Up: All 78 games this weekend will be divisional matches, with teams battling for a coveted place in the playoffs. Only the top two teams in each division (based on the divisional points per game) earn an automatic berth to the playoffs, which are set for June 24-28 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.

More Rivalries, Derbies Ahead: This weekend’s fixtures include a number of rivalry matches and local derbies, including a battle between perennial powerhouses Vardar and Derby County Wolves on Sunday. The two Michigan teams currently occupy the second and third spots in both age groups of the notoriously difficult Great Lakes Division. Other rivalries coming up this weekend include PA Classics against FC DELCO, Kendall SC playing host to Weston FC in Miami and Real Colorado traveling to face the Colorado Rush.

U-15 BNT Off to Zagreb, Croatia: Twelve Academy players have been included on the 20-player roster for the U-15 Boys’ National Team that has just arrived in Zagreb, Croatia, for a 10-day training camp. The international trip will include two matches against Croatia to compliment the daily training under head coach Jim Barlow and his staff. The group of player, all born in 1996, are together for the first time since a March training camp.

U-14 BNT Camp Underway at The HDC:  Manny Schellscheidt and the U-14 Boys’ National Team are in the midst of a week-long training camp at The Home Depot Center. The 38 players will go through two training sessions per day and scrimmages with local Development Academy clubs scattered throughout the week. The team will also take in the Major League Soccer game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening.

LAST WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS:
National Notes:

  • With 65 clubs in action last weekend, none earned four wins or four losses.
  • D.C. United and Empire United were the only clubs to play two games in each age group and come away with 3-0-1 records.
  • DeAnza Force and PA Classics swept Santa Cruz County Breakers and Potomac, respectively, to pick up perfect 2-0-0 records on the weekend.

Central Conference:

  • Indiana United Academy U-17/18 picked up two huge wins against Derby County Wolves and Vardar to jump into the top place in the Great Lakes Division.
  • Chicago Magic U-17/18 got the best of the Chicago Fire this weekend with a 2-0 win in the rivalry match.
  • In the U-15/16 age group, the Chicago Magic and Chicago Fire drew 0-0.
  • A week after their respective runs in the Dallas Cup Super Group, FC Dallas U-17/18 topped local rival Dallas Texans 2-0.

East Conference:

  • D.C. United U-15/16 picked up a pair of impressive results against Match Fit Chelsea and NJSA 04, with 3-0 and 2-0 wins, respectively.
  • In the Southeast Division, IMG Academy U-15/16 earned two victories at home against the Miami teams, defeating Weston FC 1-0 and Kendall SC 3-1.

West Conference:

  • Irvine Strikers U-15/16 Christian Thierjung scored four of his team’s goals in a 5-1 win against San Diego Surf.
  • Two Arsenal U-17/18 players scored braces on Sunday, helping their team to a 4-0 win against Real So Cal.
  • Chivas USA U-17/18 scored in the waning seconds to preserve a 2-2 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

PEAK PERFORMERS:
U-15/16 Performer of the Week: Andrew Epstein – Goalkeeper, Colorado Rapids
Epstein played in both of the Colorado Rapids two games last weekend, giving up just one goal and helping the team to a 1-0-1 record. Epstein, born in 1996 and one of the youngest Rapids players, was in goal for his team’s 0-0 draw with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro on Sunday.

U-17/18 Performer of the Week: Justin Dhillon – Forward, Los Angeles Galaxy
Days after debuting for the Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves, Dhillon, born in 1995, played up with the U-17/18 Academy team and made his presence felt. His two goals against rival Chivas USA helped the Galaxy to a 2-2 draw.  

Referee of the Week: Sam Trigui
Trigui, a Grade 4 referee from Minnesota, has earned Referee of the Week honors after working the U-17/18 match between Real Colorado and Minnesota Thunder Academy. Trigui has worked 27 Academy matches during the past two seasons, including the 2009 and 2010 Playoffs and the 2010 Winter Showcase. He also officiates matches in USL-PRO and PDL.

ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES:
Bruin Named Player of the Week
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri product Will Bruin became the first rookie to earn Major League Soccer’s Player of the Week honors this season following his April 29 hat trick against D.C. United. The three goals, which helped the Houston Dynamo to a 4-1 win, brought his 2011 total to four. He is just the fourth rookie in MLS history to score a hat trick.

Cunningham Makes Pro Debut in Norway: Former Derby County Wolves defender Sean Cunningham started and went 75 minutes for Molde FK in his professional debut in Norway. In a cup game against Eidsvag, both Cunningham and fellow Wolves product Josh Gatt got the start in an 11-0 win. 

Chavez, Beach Soccer Team, Finish Miami Cup: Real So Cal product Victor Chavez, currently a freshman at UCLA, was the youngest member of the U.S. Beach Soccer National Team that topped Mexico and drew with Spain at the 2011 Miami Cup that recently wrapped up in Florida. Despite a loss to Brazil, the U.S. finished second at the four-team event.


ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:

  • ESPN Insider provides an update on former IMG Academy and U.S. U-20 defender Gale Agbossoumonde – ESPN Insider
  • D.C. United Academy gained valuable experience during its trip to Amsterdam – MLSsoccer.com
  • The Boston Globe on New England Revolution Academy product Diego Fagundez, who made his professional debut last week – The Boston Globe
  • Clearwater Chargers alumnus Korey Veeder finally adjusting to life with the Columbus Crew – MLSsoccer.com
  • Hamid, White and Najar help D.C. United to key victory against Seattle – MLSsoccer.com
  • A recap of the weekend’s U-17/18 action reveals tight races for the playoffs – TopDrawerSoccer.com
  • A similar summary of the U-15/16 action from last weekend – TopDrawerSoccer.com
  • Chicago Fire Academy captain Peter Beasley had a high-paced weekend – Chicago-Fire.com
  • More on Conor Doyle’s rise to Derby County from the Dallas Texans – Soccer Banter
  • Getting into the heart of the season, Academy teams have their sights set on a place in the playoffs – MLSsoccer.com
  • Texans, FC Dallas draw in battle for Texas Division lead – Top Drawer Soccer
  • Goal.com recaps the Academy “Super Clasico” at The Home Depot Center – Goal.com

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