US SoccerUS Soccer
News

Academy Players Gain High Marks for SPARQ Scores at Winter Showcase


CHICAGO (Jan. 28, 2009) – The recently released SPARQ results from last month’s Winter Showcase provided initial benchmarks for Academy players and teams to track their progress over the course of the Academy season. All Academy clubs finished their first round of SPARQ testing in the 2008-09 season with a second round of tests due at the next Showcase in May.

Overall, Academy clubs tested well against national benchmarks, but FC Milwaukee (Butler, Wisc.) demonstrated excellence and consistency in their soccer-specific athleticism. FC Milwaukee ranked among the top 10 Academy clubs each of the last two seasons while two of their players: Gavin Robertson (103.88) and Collin Monahan (99.20) posted the highest and third highest overall SPARQ ratings at the Winter Showcase. Their scores place them in the 99th percentile of SPARQ tests conducted around the world at this age group.

SPARQ, which stands for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness, provides physical testing and training for each Academy club as well as the National Teams. The overall SPARQ rating is derived from the four key soccer-specific athletic tests: Yo-yo intermittent recovery test, 20 meter sprint, Arrowhead Agility and Vertical Jump.

FC Milwaukee U-15/16 head coach and U-17/18 assistant Christian Lavers says that having a standardized program helps his club immensely when it comes to fitness and agility training.

“We look at the tests and focus on the features that will help players improve,” he said. “Specifically, we focus on the running Yo-yo and arrowhead agility tests because we know that they can be significantly improved in training.”

Though Lavers acknowledges that athleticism is only one attribute linked to performance on the soccer field, he was encouraged by the Winter Showcase results.

“I think there are several components of soccer and athleticism is one of them,” said Lavers. “The challenge for us is translating that into consistent performance on the field. That requires a lot of other things. It’s a good measurement of athletic potential and lets us know that we can compete with anyone from an athletic standpoint.”

In addition to conducting the tests, SPARQ’s fitness expert, Paul Winsper designed themed training programs for Academy coaches to improve their team’s dynamic warm ups and strength conditioning. Winsper acted as the former fitness coach for Newcastle FC and is now the strength and conditioning coach for Toronto FC. He has conducted coaching seminars at the last three Academy Showcases as well as overseen the execution of the on-site SPARQ testing.

“SPARQ Training is the cornerstone of physical preparation for soccer players and an integral part of a team’s overall training plan,” said Winsper. “The tools and programs provided by SPARQ help coaches and players monitor progress and prepare for the physical demands of competition. Stronger players will suffer fewer injuries; more explosive players will be first to the ball; and fitter players will be more effective throughout the course of a game.”

Winsper is working on additional training modules focusing on Speed and Agility to be rolled out later this Academy season. All teams are scheduled to be tested again during the Academy Spring Showcase, which will be held in Sarasota, Fla. from May 22-25.


Top 10 SPARQ Rated Clubs at 2008/09 Winter Showcase (2007/08 Spring Showcase Ranking):
1. Real Colorado (NR)
2. FC Milwaukee (6)
3. Sockers FC (NR)
4. Birmingham United (13)
5. Carmel (NR)
6. Greensboro (NR)
7. Atlanta Fire (NR)
8. Vardar (NR)
9. CASA (NR)
10. Solar SC (NR)

*Only clubs that completed the full battery of SPARQ tests at both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups were included in the rankings.


Top 10 SPARQ Scores U-17/18 SPARQ Rating
1. Gavin Robertson (FC Milwaukee) 103.88
2. Brad Jacobson (FC Westchester) 101.83
3. Collin Monahan (FC Milwaukee) 99.20
4. Levi Rossi (Real Colorado) 99.18
5. Mark Linnville (Greensboro) 98.50
6. Mike Mangotic (Internationals) 98.40
7. Jared Isenthal (Carmel) 97.65
8. Jeremy Shelley (CASL) 96.63
9. Charlie Rugg (FC Greater Boston) 95.58
10. Nick MacKain (Atlanta Fire) 94.55

*All of the above Academy players scored in the 98th percentile based on SPARQ’s Performance Guide. The performance guides bases these scores and percentile rankings from test data on a sample of 14-18 year old club and professional soccer players from the USA, Europe and South America.


Top 10 SPARQ Scores U-15/16 SPARQ Rating
1. George Fradenburg (Birmingham United) 97.25
2. Stefen Picton (North Meck) 94.73
3. Vlad Lekarev (CASA) 94.43
4. Zachary DeVille (San Diego Surf) 93.63
5. Kwesi Alleyne (Schulz Academy) 87.75
6. Yamil Roman (Oakwood) 86.93
7. Chris Somerville (FC Delco) 86.90
8. Tim Kreutz (Sockers FC) 86.33
9. Tyler Evans (San Diego Surf) 84.93
10. Momudu Sluwar (FC Delco) 84.55

*All of the above Academy players scored in the 95th percentile based on SPARQ’s Performance Guide. The performance guides bases these scores and percentile rankings from test data on a sample of 14-18 year old club and professional soccer players from the USA, Europe and South America.


Under-15/16 Results:

Saturday, Jan. 24
Arsenal FC 5, Irvine Strikers 1
Bridge FA 1, South Charlotte SA 3
Concorde Fire 1, IMG Soccer Academy 1
LAFC Chelsea 1, Real So Cal 0
Greensboro Youth Soccer 0, Richmond Kickers 2
AFC Lightning 1, Birmingham United 1
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 0, Richmond Strikers 1
Vardar 1, Carmel United SC 1

Sunday, Jan. 25
Greensboro Youth Soccer 2, Richmond Strikers 0
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 0, Richmond Kickers 1
AFC Lightning 1, IMG Soccer Academy 2
Atlanta Fire United 2, Birmingham United 3

Under-17/18 Results:

Saturday, Jan. 24
Arsenal FC 7, Irvine Strikers 1
Bridge FA 1, South Charlotte SA 2
Concorde Fire 3, IMG Soccer Academy 4
LAFC Chelsea 2, Real So Cal 1
Greensboro Youth Soccer 1, Richmond Kickers 3
AFC Lightning 2, Birmingham United 1
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 5, Richmond Strikers 0
Vardar 2, Carmel United SC 1

Sunday, Jan. 25
Greensboro Youth Soccer 0, Richmond Strikers 1
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 0, Richmond Kickers 2
AFC Lightning 0, IMG Soccer Academy 1
Atlanta Fire United 1, Birmingham United 1

U-15/16 Upcoming Matches:

Saturday, Jan. 31
Time        Match                                                                                 Venue

11 a.m.   Irvine Strikers vs. Crossfire Premier                            Concordia University - Upper Field
12 p.m.   Pateadores vs. Washington Premier FC                    Cal State University Fullerton - Titan Stadium
1 p.m.     Concorde Fire vs. CASL Chelsea FC Academy         Georgia Soccer Park - Field 1
1 p.m.     LAFC Chelsea vs. Nomads SC                                    La Canada High School
1 p.m.     Real So Cal vs. Arsenal FC                                            Pierce College - The Pit
2 p.m.     AFC Lightning vs. Greensboro Youth Soccer              McCurry Park South - Field 21
2 p.m.     North Meck SC vs. Bridge FA                                         UNC Charlotte - TransAmerica Field
4 p.m.     South Charlotte SA vs. Virginia Rush AS Monaco     Charlotte Christian - Stadium Field

Sunday, Feb. 1
Time         Match                                                                              Venue
9 a.m.       Concorde Fire vs. Greensboro Youth Soccer         Georgia Soccer Park - Field 1
9 a.m.       AFC Lightning vs. CASL Chelsea FC Academy      McCurry Park South - Field 21
10 a.m.     North Meck SC vs. Virginia Rush AS Monaco         UNC Charlotte - TransAmerica Field
11 a.m.    Irvine Strikers vs. Washington Premier FC              Concordia University - Upper Field
11 a.m.    South Charlotte SA vs. Bridge FA                               Davie Park
1 p.m.      Pateadores vs. Crossfire Premier                             Cal State University Fullerton - Titan Stadium

U-17/18 Upcoming Matches:

Saturday, Jan. 31
Time          Match                                                                               Venue

1:15 p.m.  Irvine Strikers vs. Crossfire Premier                          Concordia University - Upper Field
2:30 p.m.  Pateadores vs. Washington Premier FC                  Cal State University Fullerton - Titan Stadium
3 p.m.        Concorde Fire vs. CASL Chelsea FC Academy      Georgia Soccer Park - Field 1
3 p.m.        LAFC Chelsea vs. Nomads SC                                  La Canada High School
3 p.m.        Real So Cal vs. Arsenal FC                                         Pierce College - The Pit
4 p.m.        AFC Lightning vs. Greensboro Youth Soccer         McCurry Park South - Field 21
4 p.m         North Meck SC vs. Bridge FA                                     UNC Charlotte - TransAmerica Field
6 p.m.        South Charlotte SA vs. Virginia Rush AS Monaco   Charlotte Christian - Stadium Field

Sunday, Feb. 1
Time         Match                                                                                 Venue
11 a.m.    Concorde Fire vs. Greensboro Youth Soccer             Georgia Soccer Park - Field 1
11 a.m.    AFC Lightning vs. CASL Chelsea FC Academy         McCurry Park South - Field 21
12 p.m.     North Meck SC vs. Virginia Rush AS Monaco            UNC Charlotte - TransAmerica Field
1: p.m.      South Charlotte SA vs. Bridge FA                                 Davie Park
1:15 p.m.  Irvine Strikers vs. Washington Premier FC               Concordia University - Upper Field
3 p.m.       Pateadores vs. Crossfire Premier                              Cal State University Fullerton - Titan Stadium



×