Across the Academy - March 15
Five Academy Alumni, U.S. U-23s Begin Olympic Qualifying: U.S. Under-23 Menâ€™s National Team head coach Caleb Porter named his 20-player roster (Tony Taylor was added the following day) for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, with Group A play beginning March 22 against Cuba at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Five players on the roster have Development Academy ties: forward Juan Agudelo, midfielder Joe Corona, goalkeeper Bill Hamid, forward Joshua Gatt and defender Zarek Valentin. The USAâ€™s group schedule includes matches against Cuba, Canada (March 24) and El Salvador (March 26).
Sounders, Crossfire Premier Jostling for Position: In one of the more important West Conference matches in the 2011-12 season, Seattle Sounders FC hosts Crossfire Premier in Northwest Division play on Sunday at the Starfire Sports Complex. The Seattle Sounders U-17/18 team currently sits in second place in the standings with a 5-4-1 division mark (16 points) and Crossfire Premier is tied for third with the Vancouver Whitecaps with 14 points and a 4-4-2 Northwest Division record. The Seattle Sounders have one of the best defenses in the division, allowing only 11 goals in 10 matches.
LAST WEEKâ€™S HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Indiana United Fire Academy U-15/16 team improved to 2-0-0 in the Great Lakes Division with a 2-0 win against the Crew Soccer Academy, and then staged a dramatic 2-1 rally past division foe Vardar SC Freiburg. Against Vardar, Indiana United Fire Academy entered the final two minutes down a goal, but Thomas Sanner found the equalizer in the 89th minute and Jason Pitts had the game-winner in the 90th minute.
- Sporting Kansas City and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri opened Frontier Division play, and Sportingâ€™s U-17/18 team garnered the early divisional lead with a 2-1 victory. SLSG Missouri grabbed the early lead on a Jonathan Huelsman goal, but Sporting Kansas Cityâ€™s Isai Gutierrez and Eduardo Moreno netted back-to-back tallies in the 19th and 32nd minutes and Sporting (1-0-0 Frontier, 5-3-0 overall) held on to lead the rest of the way. The U-15/16 teams played to a 2-2 draw.
- Both Albertson SC teams posted a perfect 2-0-0 weekend, highlighted by Santiago Mooreâ€™s two-goal performance to help the undefeated U-15/16 squad come from behind to defeat Match Fit Chelsea 2-1. The Albertson SC U-15/16 team (4-0-2) also garnered a 3-1 win against NJSA on Sunday. Albertson SC U-17/18 (4-1-1) notched a 1-0 victory against Match Fit Chelsea on the strength of a Jake Freeman goal and a 3-1 win against NJSA.
- The New York Red Bulls U-17/18 team and Oakwood Soccer Club combined for a weekend-high eight goals in a chaotic 4-4 draw. Oakwood amassed a two-goal lead on two separate occasions, including a 3-1 advantage late in the first half. The Red Bulls responded with three unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead in the 84th minute. But Oakwoodâ€™s Matthew Barry scored the equalizer in the 90th minute to salvage a draw. New Yorkâ€™s Scott Thomsen and Brandon Allen each had two goals, and Oakwoodâ€™s Stanley Sandoval also netted a pair of goals.
- The Richmond Strikers U-17/18 team earned its second Atlantic Division victory of the season, topping the Virginia Rush 3-1. Richmondâ€™s Todd Wharton, Luc Fatton and Gawa Sunang-Sihle each contributed a goal.
- Both Pateadores teams made a move in the SoCal Division standings. The Pateadores U-17/18 team topped Real So Cal 2-1, with Roberto Escuderoâ€™s 82nd-minute goal serving as the game-winner. The victory pushes Pateadores into third place in the division with a 4-5-1 record and 13 points. For the U-15/16s, Brian Pacheco netted an early goal and Pateadores managed a 1-1 draw against Real So Cal. With the draw, Pateadores moved into a fourth-place tie with Chivas USA at 3-4-3 and 12 points.
Week 25 Player of the Week: Colin Martin, Midfielder, D.C. United
Colin Martin made two starts over the weekend as he helped D.C. Unitedâ€™s U-17/18 team earn a 4-2 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday and a 3-3 draw against FC Greater Boston on Sunday. Martin scored a 69th-minute goal during D.C.â€™s win against the Revolution, logging 76 minutes. Martin started and played the full 90 minutes during Sundayâ€™s draw. He has started in five games and appeared in six for D.C. United (3-2-2). Martin was a member of a recent U.S. U-20 Menâ€™s National Team camp.
Referee of the Week: Jon Freemon
Jon Freemon earns Referee of the Week honors for his recent performances, including Saturdayâ€™s tile between the host Sporting Kansas City U-15/16 team and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro. Freemon, a 23-year-old grade 5 referee from Kansas, has worked 21 Academy games over the past three years and participated in the 2011 Winter Showcase. He also works MLS preseason matches and scrimmages, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the USL Premier Development League, and he was the fourth official for a U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team game against Canada last year at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES:
MLS First Kick: Development Academy alumni had a significant presence during the first week of Major League Soccer play. D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid had a career-high seven saves and three Academy alumni made their MLS regular-season debuts last weekend . Then on Monday, a record four Academy alumni took the same pitch during the Portland Timbersâ€™ 3-1 victory against the Philadelphia Union.
ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:
- Tommy Meyerâ€™s Debut a Plus for Galaxy â€“ ESPNLA.com
- Portlandâ€™s Andrew Jean-Baptiste Debuts â€“ MLSSoccer.com
- Juan Agudelo Among Young Stars Transforming MLS â€“ USA Today
- Four Things to Know About Real Salt Lake AZâ€™s Maikon Orellana â€“ Soccer America
- Rapids Teams Unbeaten Heading into Spring Play â€“ Soccer America
- Mental Preparation Just as Important as Physical Skills â€“ STLToday.com
- Standout GK Kyle Dal Santo Looks to Develop Post Commitment â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com
- U-14, U-15 BNTs Introduce Players to New System â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com
- Development Academy Recap â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com
- U-18 Southeast Division Foes Wait, Watch â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com