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Across the Academy - April 14, 2011


WHAT’S AHEAD:
Matkovich Finalizes Academy-Heavy U-18 MNT Roster: U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Mike Matkovich has named 24 players who will train in Beaverton, Ore., from April 16-24, at Nike International Headquarters. Jon Kempin and Victor Pineda are the lone professional players on the roster, with both signing Home Grown player contracts last year after spending time in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Twenty other players currently participate in the Academy, representing 17 different clubs.

Division Games Fill Week 32 Schedule: Of the 66 games scheduled this weekend, all but four are divisional matches. Teams across the country will be squaring off against division rivals to jockey for position in the fast-approaching postseason, and all four Conferences will be in action. In the U-15/16 Northeast Division, matchups will be highlighted by Empire United vs. New England Revolution, who currently occupy the top two places.

Spring Derby Time: New Jersey rivals PDA and New York Red Bulls will meet on Saturday as they continue to battle for one of the top two places in the Liberty Division. Meanwhile, the two Minnesota teams, Shattuck-St. Mary’s and Minnesota Thunder, will meet at the National Sports Center.

Four Academy Teams to Compete in Dallas Cup Super Group: The Dallas Texans, FC Dallas Juniors, Real Salt Lake-Arizona and Houston Dynamo are set to compete against clubs from around the world in this year's Dallas Cup Super Group, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world for youth teams. The Dallas Texans were featured, along with Arsenal, Corinthians and Barcelona, among others, in Nike Soccer’s video preview. There are a number of other Academy clubs participating in the Dallas Cup, which kicks off this weekend at Pizza Hut Park.


LAST WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS:
National Notes:

  • The 82 games from Week 31 averaged 3.3 goals per game.
  • There were 43 total shutouts, including one scoreless draw, and 44 games that ended either tied or with a one-goal margin of victory.
  • Visiting teams had a successful weekend with a 37-35-2 record.


Central Conference:

  • Chicago Fire U-17/18 picked up a key 2-1 win in a derby match against Sockers FC, who came into the weekend with a 6-1-0 record.
  • The Fire went undefeated on the weekend, the two age groups combining for two wins and two draws against Sockers FC and FC Milwaukee.
  • St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri also had a successful weekend as a club, earning three wins and a tie against both Minnesota clubs.
  • Sockers FC and Chicago Fire U-15/16 played to the Academy’s lone scoreless draw last weekend.

East Conference:

  • Albertson SC, Baltimore Bays Chelsea, New York Red Bulls and PDA all picked up four wins across the two age groups this weekend.
  • Albertson SC and Red Bulls’ defensive units each picked up three shutouts.
  • Both New England Revolution teams picked up 4-1 wins against D.C. United on Sunday.
  • Baltimore Bays Chelsea outscored their opponents 13-3 in four victories between both age groups.
  • U-15/16 New York Red Bull’s Eric Lagg netted all three of his team’s goals in a 3-0 win  against South Central Premier.

West Conference:

  • Pateadores is the only club in the West Conference to pick up four wins last weekend.
  • Cosmos Academy West U-17/18 striker Dominic Escobar tallied a hat trick in a 5-1 win against San Diego Surf.

PEAK PERFORMERS:
U-15/16 Performer of the Week: Diego Fagundez – Midfielder, New England Revolution
Midfielder Fagundez has been influential in leading the Revolution to an early second-place standing in the Northeast Division. He has scored 11 goals this season in 11 Academy games played, including two with the U-17/18 team, while also participating in New England Revolution reserve games. Fagundez, born in 1995, signed a Home Grown player contract with the Revolution in late 2010.

U-17/18 Performer of the Week: Matthew Jeffrey – Defender, PDA
Jeffrey, a defender, has been a key member of the PDA U-17/18 that currently holds a 10-3-3 record. In addition to leading the PDA defense to a shutout victory against South Central Premier last weekend, Jeffrey also scored the third goal in his team’s 4-1 win against Oakwood SC. Jeffrey was called into his first national team camp earlier this week and will join the U-18 MNT in Portland.

Referee of the Week: Marcelo Ciancaglini
Ciancaglini received praise for his performance refereeing the U-17/18 match between Cosmos Academy West and San Diego Surf. The Grade 5 referee from Southern California has officiated more than 80 Development Academy games during the past two seasons, including Showcase events, and also works college games.

ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES:
D.C. United Trio Makes History:  When 18-year-old reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar stepped onto the field against the Los Angeles Galaxy, D.C. United became the first Major League Soccer team to play three Home Grown players at the same time. D.C.’s top-choice goalkeeper, 20-year-old Bill Hamid started the match in goal and rookie defender Ethan White started on the back line.

Gatt Making His Mark at Molde FK: Former Derby County Wolves standout Josh Gatt played 30 minutes off the bench for Norway’s Molde FK this weekend, picking up an assist in a 2-2 draw against Viking. Prior to Monday’s match, Gatt was featured on the club’s website talking about everything from his favorite (American) football player to the growth of soccer in the United States.

Agorsor Back in the Game: The Development Academy U-17/18 Player of the Year in 2007-08, Chris Agorsor looks to have fully recovered from a knee injury. He played 90 minutes for the Philadelphia Union reserves on Sunday and netted the game-winning goal against the New York Red Bulls. Home Grown players Sacir Hot and Matt Kassel took the field for New York in that match.

Bruin Nets First Professional Goal: St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri alumnus Will Bruin scored his first professional goal for the Houston Dynamo in a 3-1 win against Vancouver. The No. 11 pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft has started all four games for the Dynamo this season and also has an assist to his credit.

ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:

  • Met Oval has partnered with Juventus and Juventus Soccer Schools to help with player development – MetOval.net
  • A look at the evolution of Crew Soccer Academy since its inception in 2006 – TheCrew.com
  • FC Dallas Home Grown signee Moises Hernandez settling in with the first team – MLSsoccer.com
  • Nomads SC has a history of producing college and professional players, including some U.S. Soccer Hall of Famers – MLSsoccer.com
  • The News & Observer recaps CASL Chelsea FC Academy’s weekend in Florida – News & Observer
  • Big Apple Soccer recaps an impressive weekend for the New York Red Bulls Academy – Big Apple Soccer
  • A preview of Real Salt Lake-Arizona’s trip to the Dallas Cup – Goal.com
  • Checking in on Cal Odyssey’s success in the Development Academy program – Goal.com
  • Ethan White fit right into the D.C. United back line after finding out late on game day that he’d be called upon – The Washington Post
  • MLSsoccer.com with a recap of last week’s Academy action – MLSsoccer.com
  • The Dallas Texans are featured in this Nike preview of the upcoming Dallas Cup – NikeSoccer.com

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