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New York Red Bulls and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri Ready to Compete for 2012 U-1/516 Academy Title


2012 Academy Finals Week Championship – U-15/16
New York Red Bulls vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri
July 23, 2012 – BBVA Compass Stadium

NEW YORK RED BULLS, SLSG MISSOURI U-15/16 TEAMS IN SEARCH OF FIRST CROWN: The New York Red Bulls and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-15/16 teams have enjoyed their most successful seasons within the Development Academy, and  one will walk away with its first Academy Finals Week championship when they meet at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET) on Monday, July 23, at BBVA Compass Stadium. The match is available on a live webcast at ussoccer.com, and fans can follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt .

U-15/16 ACADEMY FINALS WEEK CHAMPIONSHIP IN FOCUS:
New York Red Bulls vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri – 8 p.m. CT, Monday, July 23 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
Broadcast: ussoccer.com
Game rules: U-15/16 games consist of two 40-minute halves and a 10-minute halftime. Teams can make a maximum of seven substitutions and no re-entry is permitted. The game day roster is capped at 18 players.
Overtime and PKs:
Should the match be tied through regulation, the game moves to two 10-minute overtime periods. If the teams are still tied, it goes to penalty kicks.

Officials:
Referee: Kyle Phillips
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Mariscal
Assistant Referee 2: Danny Thornberry
Fourth Official: Ramy Touchan

ACADEMY FINALS WEEK TITLE MATCH ROSTERS:
NEW YORK RED BULLS ROSTER:                                 ST. LOUIS SCOTT GALLAGHER MISSOURI ROSTER:
1              GK          Evan Louro                                          1              GK          Jake Leeker
3              D             Matt Miazga                                       2              D             Justin Graham
4              D             Billy Stevens                                       4              M            Brett Hodges
5              D             Kaz Boschen                                       5              D             Jordan Klipsch
6              D             Mike Kapitula                                    6              M            Austin Ledbetter
7              M            Joe Swenson                                     8              D             Matt Steurer
8              M            Arun Basuljevic                                                 10           M            Keegan McHugh
9              F              Ismar Tandir                                       11           D             Jason Pesek
10           F              Alex Muyl                                            12           F              Tommy Barlow
11           M            Adam Najem                                     13           M            Austin Panchot
12           M            Steven Echevarria                            15           F              Nick Jones
13           F              Vinny Brunetti                                   16           M            Zachary Kavanaugh
14           M            Amando Moreno                             17           D             Curtis Shillingsford
17           F              Wesley Wade                                    19           D             Blake Gonzalez
18           GK          Joe Ohaus                                           20           F              Stephen McMillian
19           D             Kevin Politz                                         22           M            David Stoll
20           D             Brandon Tetro                                   26           F              Samuel Newman
24           M            Christopher Lema                            27           F              Mark Segbers 
                                                                                                30           GK          Edward Starr
Head coach: Rob Elliott                                                  Head coach: Tim Leonard

NEW YORK RED BULLS IN FOCUS
Overall Record (including Academy Playoffs and Finals Week) : 22-6-4
Head Coach: Rob Elliott
Atlantic Division: 4-3-3 (15 points). Finished in second-place tie with Albertson SC on points; earned second Playoff spot within group based on division goal differential
Finals Week Record : 3-0-0 (6 GF, 1 GA)

Development Academy Playoffs - Group 1*: 3-0-0, 9 points (7 GF, 1 GA)
*One of only two U-15/16 teams (the other being the Chicago Fire) to win its group with a perfect 3-0-0 record
Goal Scoring Leader
: Alex Muyl (16 goals in 27 appearances)
Haven’t lost since : A 1-0 loss against Albertson SC on May 20 in Atlantic Division play (currently on 11-game unbeaten streak with 9-0-2 record during that stretch)
2011-12 Record vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri : Teams have not faced each other this season

FINALS WEEK GOAL SCORERS
Adam Najem (3), Vinny Brunetti, Amando Moreno, Alex Muyl, Wesley Wade

RED BULLS NEWS & NOTES:

  • The Red Bulls have become one of the most prolific Academy programs in sending players to the Youth National Team level. Wesley Wade, Christopher Lema and Kevin Politz (all 15 years old) and goalkeeper Evan Louro, 16, have been a part of numerous international tournaments this year with the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team. That group also opened BBVA Compass Stadium - the site of the U-15/16 Development Academy championship - with the U-17s in May during a 3-0 win against the Houston Dynamo Academy U-17/18 team.
  • Former Red Bulls Academy player Juan Agudelo is notably the first Development Academy product to earn a cap for the senior National Team, scoring in his debut match in November of 2010 against South Africa.
  • The 2011-12 season started ominously for the Red Bulls. New York began the campaign with a 1-3-0 record, but has peaked at the right time in the Playoffs and Finals Week, winning all six postseason games by a combined 13-2 margin.
  • Red Bulls U-17/18 assistant coach John Wolyniec is a New York native and former Red Bulls first team member. Wolyniec retired in 2010 after playing nearly a decade for the Red Bulls spread out over several stints.

HOW THEY REACHED THE FINAL - GROUP 1 REVIEW

  • Tuesday, July 17: New York Red Bulls 3, Pateadores 1: The Red Bulls defeated a Pateadores team that was shorthanded for most of the second half, and New York capitalized with two goals following Cristian Carillo’s ejection. Alex Muyl scored the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute and Vinny Brunetti capped off the scoring in the 77th minute. Adam Najem got the Red Bulls on the board right out of the blocks, scoring just 28 seconds into the match.
  • Thursday, July 19: New York Red Bulls 1, Chicago Fire 0: In what was expected to be the Group 1 decider, New York took sole possession of  first place as Adam Najem tallied the game’s lone goal in the 48th minute, his second of the tournament. The Red Bulls shut down a Fire offense that has not been shut out in any other game in the postseason and scored two or more goals in every other match throughout the Academy Playoffs and Academy Finals Week.
  • Saturday, July 21: New York Red Bulls 3, Charlotte Soccer Academy 0: The Red Bulls closed out the group stage in strong fashion as Adam Najem’s 26th-minute goal provided another game-winner. He scored in all three group matches and leads the team in goals through Finals Week. Wesley Wade contributed a goal in the 30th minute and Amando Moreno had a tally in the game’s final minute. New York’s bulb was slightly dimmed with  red card ejection of Billy Stevens in the 72nd minute, which means he will miss Monday’s championship final.

ACADEMY FINALS WEEK HISTORY:

The MLS-affiliated squad’s U-15/16 team is in the midst of its second Academy Finals Week. The team advanced to the 2008-09 Academy Finals Week and earned a seventh-place finish with a 3-1 victory against Greensboro Youth Soccer (now affiliated with the North Carolina Fusion) on July 17, 2009, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. New York scored the game’s first three goals, with Victor Manosalvas (12th minute), David Najem (32nd minute) and Brandon Adler (47th minute) all finding the net, with Clifford Lyle assisting the first two goals. Greensboro’s Matthew Mills did get one goal back in the 51st minute, but New York comfortably held onto its lead the rest of the way.

ST. LOUIS SCOTT GALLAGHER MISSOURI IN FOCUS
Overall Record (including Academy Playoffs and Finals Week): 18-5-4
Head Coach: Tim Leonard
Frontier Division: 9-5-0 (27 points). Finished in first-place tie with Shattuck-Saint Mary’s; earned top Playoff spot within group based on division goal differential)
Finals Week Record : 3-0-0 (8 GF, 1 GA)

Development Academy Playoffs, Group 8*: 2-0-1, 7 points (5 GF, 3 GA)
* Opened Playoffs with a 2-2 draw against Solar Chelsea SC and has won five straight since
Goal Scoring Leader: Tommy Barlow (13 goals in 27 appearances)
Haven’t lost since: 1-0 against Real Colorado on June 5 in Frontier Division play. Currently on seven-game unbeaten streak with 6-0-2 record
2011-12 Record vs. New York Red Bulls: Teams have not faced each other this season

FINALS WEEK GOAL SCORERS
Tommy Barlow (3), Brett Hodges, Nick Jones, Jordan Klipsch, Mark Segbers

SLSG NEWS & NOTES:

  • St. Louis Scott Gallagher has a long line of significant alumni to come through its doors. Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin, one of the top scorers in MLS in just his second season, is a former SLSG player. Defender Tim Ream became the first SLSG alum to play for the Premier League when he signed with Bolton earlier this year. Other alumni include longtime New England Revolution forward Taylor Twellman, former Revs midfielder Steve Ralston and Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
  • SLSG Missouri head coach Tim Leonard calls the June 26 draw against Solar Chelsea SC to open the Academy Playoffs the “turning point of the season.” In that game in Frisco, Texas, SLSG Missouri had a 2-0 lead in the first nine minutes, then surrendered two first-half goals en route to a 2-2 draw. Since then, SLSG Missouri is 5-0-0 and has outscored its opponents by a 10-2 margin.
  • SLSG Missouri has only one come-from-behind victory this season – the team’s 2-1 win on June 27 against the San Diego Surf in the second match of the Academy Playoffs.
  • Nick Jones, who scored the lone goal during SLSG Missouri’s Finals Week-clinching victory against Players Development Academy, has committed to play for Wisconsin in 2013.
  • Assistant coach Tim Kelly was named Saint Louis University’s first full-time goalkeeper coach in August of 2009.

HOW THEY REACHED THE FINAL - GROUP 2 REVIEW

  • Tuesday, July 17: SLSG Missouri 3, PA Classics 0: SLSG scored three second-half goals and broke away from PA Classics. Tommy Barlow’s 55th-minute penalty kick started things off, followed by goals from Mark Segbers (59th minute) and Brett Hodges (76th minute).
  • Thursday, July 19: SLSG Missouri 4, Crew Soccer Academy Wolves 1: SLSG Missouri fell behind a goal, then rattled off three unanswered tallies and benefited from an own goal in the closing minutes to take firm hold of Group 2. CSA Wolves forward Ahinga Selemani had given his side the 1-0 lead, but St. Louis tied things up before halftime with a Nick Jones goal in the 40th minute. Tommy Barlow had back-to-back goals in the 44th and 53rd minutes, and SLSG Missouri’s Mark Segbers delivered a ball into the area that bounced off a CSA Wolves defender and into the net.
  • Saturday, July 21: SLSG Missouri 1, D.C. United 0: Jordan Klipsch scored a 19th-minute header off of a deep Nick Jones throw-in and St. Louis capped off the group stage of Academy Finals Week with its third victory. St. Louis head coach Tim Leonard went to his bench early after taking the lead, using six of his seven substitutions before the start of the second half. SLSG finished the group phase with eight goals scored and only one surrendered.

ACADEMY FINALS WEEK HISTORY:
This is the team’s first appearance in Academy Finals Week.

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ABOUT THE U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY:
Overview: Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy’s programming philosophy of increased training, less total games and more competitive games is based on U.S. Soccer’s Best Practices utilized by the U-17 U.S. National Team Residency program.

The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy team is evaluated by a National Team coach at least 10 times each year and each Academy club receives two formal evaluations in over 100 categories each year from National Team staff. The Development Academy is also focused on identifying and developing the next generation of elite referees. U.S. Soccer assigns up-and-coming officials to participate in Academy games at the local level and at national events.

2011-12 Development Academy Season: The 2011-12 Academy season consisted of 78 teams, competing in four conferences and 10 divisions. Each Academy club plays approximately 30 league games, including six games played at Showcases. The season begins in September and commences with Finals Week in July.

10-Month Season Format Starts in 2012-13: In February, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy announced it is moving to a 10-month season starting with the 2012-13 season. After receiving overwhelming support from the Development Academy membership, the Academy is moving to a schedule beginning in the fall of 2012 that runs from September through June (or July based on postseason play). This creates a format that is similar to those followed by the elite soccer playing nations around the world as the Development Academy and U.S. Soccer continue their goal of closing the performance gap with the top soccer nations.

Training, Playing Up Advantages: Moving to a 10-month season means players can focus on training together three or four times per week and play meaningful games on the weekend nearly year-round. Fewer games and an extended season will allow for the addition of a substantial number of extra training sessions, which are the primary vehicle for player development. The 10-month season allows for a greater opportunity to institute a style of play and implement a system according to U.S. Soccer’s Curriculum as well as build team chemistry. It also gives teams increased opportunities for younger kids in their club to “play up” against older players in both training and matches, thereby accelerating their development.

Academy Postseason Qualification Process: Following a 10-month Academy season, the top two teams (based on divisional points per game) from each of the Academy’s 10 geographically-based divisions, plus 12 wild card squads (based on overall points per game), are seeded from 1-32 and placed into eight groups of four. The teams that qualify for the event compete for four days and group winners earn the right for one of eight spots to the Academy’s Finals Week.

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ACADEMY FINALS WEEK REWIND – LOOKING BACK AT TITLE GAMES FOR U-15/16 AND U-17/18 DIVISIONS:
Approximately five years ago, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy kicked off its inaugural Finals Week at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with 32 games and more than 350 players, coaches and referees taking part in the excitement and emergence of the Development Academy. This week’s fifth installment of Academy Finals Week kicks off in Houston as eight teams from each age group square off for the right to be named a Development Academy champion.

Here is a look at the previous champions from the last four seasons:

2007-2008:THE BEGINNING: Carmel United took home the inaugural U-15/16 championship on a goal from A.J. Corrado, who is now entering his junior season at Indiana University. The Indiana-based club was unbeaten for 16 games entering 2007-08 Finals Week and continued the hot streak all the way through to the championship match … A day before the U-15/16 final, 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year Chris Agorsor, who now plays professionally for the Richmond Kickers of USL PRO, came off the bench to lead Baltimore Bays (now called Baltimore Bays Chelsea) to a thrilling 4-2 overtime victory against LAFC in the U-17/18 final.

2008-09: CARMEL UNITED DOES IT AGAIN: The boys from Indiana continued their success the following season at 2008-09 Finals Week with the U-17/18 team beating a D.C. United side that featured Homegrown players Bill Hamid, Andy Najar and Ethan White 1-0 on a goal from Nikita Kotlov. Like Corrado, Kotlov is also entering his junior season at IU. Carmel United’s team carried over 10 players from its U-15/16 championship team to the U-17/18 title-winning side, including Corrado and Kotlov … In the U-15/16 final, an early strike by Dzenan Catic guided the Derby County Wolves (now called Crew Soccer Academy Wolves) to the title with a 1-0 win against Cal Odyssey at The Home Depot Center. The Wolves, whose U-15/16 team qualified for the 2011-12 Finals Week, were headlined by Sean Cunningham, now a defender for Molde FK in Norway.

2009-10: CHICAGO FIRE GETS MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER ON THE BOARD: Two years ago, an MLS-affiliated club finally claimed the first Development Academy trophy for the country’s top professional league as the Chicago Fire U-15/16 side defeated Cal Odyssey 5-3 on penalty kicks to decide the 2009-10 championship. It was the Fire’s second trip to Finals Week after appearing in the inaugural edition in 2007-08. The Chicago Fire U-15/16 team also qualified for the 2011-12 Finals Week. In 2009-10, Cornell commitment Gregory Antognoli knotted the score at 1-1 with an equalizer for Cal Odyssey in the 56th minute, but Sam Euler (North Carolina) came up with a big save during penalty kicks to help lead the Fire to its first title … Vardar SC Freiburg took home its first U-17/18 Academy title after a 3-1 win against Crossfire Premier of Kirkland, Wash. Vardar, a Michigan-based club, benefited from two second-half goals by Derek Schrauben (Western Michigan) to help offset an early Crossfire goal.

2010-11: PATEADORES, LA GALAXY BRING SILVERWARE HOME TO CALIFORNIA: Jose Villarreal, a 2011 Homegrown player signing for the LA Galaxy, came up big for Pateadores in the U-17/18 championship match last year at Valley Fields in Milwaukee. Villarreal scored both goals, including the 81st-minute game-winner in a 2-1 victory over a loaded FC Dallas squad. Pateadores became the first team from Southern California to win an Academy championship … A second Southern California team quickly followed suit as the LA Galaxy scored three unanswered goals in a 4-1 championship win against PA Classics in the U-15/16 age division last year. With the score tied at 1-1 in the 49th minute, the Galaxy then bagged three straight goals between the 60th and 75th minutes for the club’s first Academy championship. William Raygoza, Justin Dhillon and Drew Murphy scored the consecutive goals for LA in the win.

2011-12: FC DALLAS U-17/18 TEAM CROWNED CHAMPIONS:  After reaching Finals Week in the U-17/18 Division for three straight years and settling for a runner-up finish last season, FC Dallas finally earned the right to be called Development Academy champions. Halftime substitution Jose de la Tejera scored back-to-back goals, including the game-winner in the 84th minute, as FC Dallas put on a superior passing display to triumph with a 3-2 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC to win the 2011-12 U-17/18 championship on Sunday, July 22, at BBVA Compass Stadium. De la Tejera scored an equalizer in the 68th minute and in the 84th tallied the game-winner off of a Danny Garcia assist from the right side. FC Dallas became the first MLS-affiliated champion at the U-17/18 level in the Development Academy’s five seasons.

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