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U.S. Soccer Development Academy

Across the Academy – Sept. 25, 2013

#OpportunityKnocks with Georgia United’s Torres: Georgia United Soccer Association U-13/14 Academy midfielder Juan Pablo Torres sat down with U.S. Soccer to discuss the benefits of playing against high-level competition through the U-14 Boys’ National Team and the Development Academy. Torres has scored a goal in each of Georgia United’s two victories to open the 2013-14 Academy season.

Williams Names U-17 MNT Roster for Friendlies: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams named a 20-player roster for several international friendly matches in Alicante, Spain. The group features 15 players who are currently registered in the Development Academy.

For the latest Development Academy news, visit the Academy home page, follow us on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt or like us on Facebook.


  • @CARailHawksAcad: recognizes Thomas Hitchins, member of the U-14 Academy Team, as this week’s Capital Area RailHawks Player Spotlight – Capital Area RailHawks
  • @IMGAcademy: It’s #MotivationMonday! Remember, “Good is not good when better is expected.” (Vin Scully) – IMG Academy
  • @Met_Oval: Players listening to U.S. Soccer Federation coaches at the U.S. Training Center at Met Oval. – Met Oval

Share your Academy news, comments, photos, links and more using the #OpportunityKnocks hashtag.

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of Sept. 21-22):

  • West Conference: Crossfire Premier’s U-17/18 team is in the midst of a four-game winning streak to open the 2012-13 season. Crossfire Premier (4-0-0) shut out Strikers FC 6-0 and garnered a 1-0 win against Pateadores. Ibrahima Drame had two goals against Strikers and Crossfire Premier benefited from an own goal against Pateadores. Crossfire has improved immensely in the early going at this age group, having had one three-game winning streak last season while missing out on the Academy Playoffs.
  • Central Conference: The Colorado Rush had a successful Texas trip in Frontier Division play at both age groups to open their respective seasons at 2-0-0. At the U-15/16s, Colorado shut out Texans SC Houston 2-0 on Saturday and held off the Texas Rush for a 2-1 victory on Sunday. The Colorado Rush U-17/18 squad was strong on both ends of the pitch with two shutout victories – a 1-0 win against Texans SC Houston and a 3-0 victory against the Texas Rush. The Colorado Rush U-17/18s are tied with Sporting Kansas City for first and the U-15/16 team is tied with the Houston Dynamo U-15/16s atop the standings.
  • East Conference: Players Development Academy’s U-17/18 team stayed atop the Atlantic Division alongside the Philadelphia Union with a dominant 9-1 victory against Match Fit Academy on Saturday. Zach Knudson led the way with four goals to help PDA improve to 4-0-0 on the season. Knudson now has a team-high six goals this season. The picture is identical at the U-15/16 age group as both PDA and the Union are atop with 4-0-0 records. PDA’s U-15/16 team shut out Match Fit Academy 1-0 as Erik Swenson scored the lone goal in the 73rd minute for PDA.

Stat of the Week: Thirteen teams – seven at the U-15/16 age group and six at the U-17/18s – have not allowed a goal this season. Two of those teams, however, have yet to play until this upcoming weekend. The FC Dallas U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams make their season debut this Saturday, Sept. 28, when they host Solar Chelsea SC at FC Dallas Sports Park.

Academy Honors:

  • Player of the Week: Hunter Pinho of Players Development Academy was recognized as Academy Player of the Week following the second weekend of Academy play. The U-13/14 Academy goalkeeper is playing up with PDA’s U-15/16s, who are currently tied for first place in the Atlantic Division of the East Conference.
  • Referee of the Week: Vincent Brizzolara, a 20-year-old referee from Southern California, was named Academy Referee of the Week for his work in a U-13/14 Academy match between Santa Barbara Soccer Club and the LA Galaxy.

For all Development Academy results, visit or click on the following links:


Q & A with U-18 MNT Head Coach Javier Perez: U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team head coach Javier Perez chatted with about the current training camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif.


  • Former Internationals SC player and Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe was selected No. 1 on Major League Soccer’s annual “24 Under 24” series, it was unveiled late last week. He was followed by Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) and DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders). Nine players on the 24-player list have ties to the Development Academy.

Quotable: “At [young] ages, you don’t coach – you need to teach. You need to teach in a positive way and encourage players to be creative. Not to be robots, but to be creative.” – U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor and U-14 Boys’ National Team head coach Hugo Perez, told to Soccer America


  • 2013-14 Academy Schedule
  • Development Academy Regular Season: The fourth weekend of the 2013-14 Academy season features 98 games across the three age groups.
  • Development Academy Winter Showcase: Dec. 11-15 at Lakewood Ranch, Fla., for U-15/16 and U-17/18 Academy teams. The U-15/16 matches take place on Dec. 12, 13 and 15, and the U-17/18 games are Dec. 11, 12 and 14.