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Across the Academy - March 17, 2011

U.S. U-20 MNT Set for CONCACAF Championship: U.S. U-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen has included 10 Development Academy alumni in his 20-player roster for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The group will travel to Dallas on March 20 for a week of training before departing for Guatemala City, Guatemala, on March 25 to begin its quest to qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia. The U.S. will face Suriname on March 29 and Panama on April 2 in group play.

U.S. U-15 BNT Continuing Camp at The Home Depot Center: The U-15 Boys’ National Team continues its first camp of 2011 from March 13-20 at The Home Depot Center. Of the 36 players heading into training camp, 20 come from Development Academy clubs, including Tyler Turner, who was the first player born in 1996 to earn U-15/16 Performer of the Week honors in early March, and four New York Red Bulls Academy players. The U.S. team has been training twice per day while also playing friendly matches against local Academy teams throughout the week.

Biggest Slate of Games to Date ahead This Weekend: With 64 games on tap, Week 27 will be the busiest so far in the 2010-11 season. Games will be underway in the Atlantic, Great Lakes, Liberty, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and SoCal Conferences. A vast majority of the weekend’s matches will be non-divisional games, including IMG Academy and Clearwater Chargers playing their first matches since the 2010 Winter Showcase.  

Battle of Ohio Teams Set for Saturday: Saturday will see the two Ohio-based clubs – Internationals and Crew Soccer Academy – battle for state supremacy. At the U-15/16 level, the Crew are coming off a win against Vardar on March 13 and will be looking to improve on their 2-3-2 overall record. In the older age group, Internationals picked up two wins against their powerful Great Lakes division rivals last weekend, with a 1-0 win versus Vardar and a 5-1 win against Derby County Wolves.


National Notes:

  • Of the 50 games last weekend, 15 featured multiple goalscorers, including Cal Odyssey’s Villyan Bijev, who scored twice in both of his team’s games.
  • Thirty-one games were either decided by one goal or ended in a tie.
  • Empire United, Pateadores and the San Jose Earthquakes all went 3-1-0 on the weekend.

East Conference

  • Empire United topped NJSA04 in both age groups last weekend, while the U-15/16 Empire United team also picked up a 4-1 win against MatchFit Chelsea.
  • Three goals from Yaw Amankwa helped D.C. United U-15/16 to a 3-1 win against South Central Premier on Saturday.
  • A hat trick from FC DELCO U-17/18 forward James McLaughlin helped his team to a 3-2 road victory against the New England Revolution.

South Conference

  • CASL Chelsea FC split its games against Charlotte Soccer Academy, winning 1-0 at the U-17/18 level and losing by the same score in the U-15/16 age group.

West Conference

  • Villyan Bijev’s four goals this weekend for Cal Odyssey U-17/18 brought his season total to 11 in as many games.
  • Pateadores and San Jose Earthquakes split their two games on Sunday. The 1-0 loss at the U-15/16 age group was Pateadores only loss of the weekend. A 2-0 game at the U-17/18 age group was San Jose Earthquakes only loss.


U-15/16 Performer of the Week: John Jlopleh - Forward, Baltimore Bays Chelsea
Jlopleh started the game against the U-15/16 New York Red Bulls, hammering home two goals to lead his team to a 3-2 victory. He has played in six of the team's first seven matches so far this season, starting four of his last five matches and helping to guide the team to a 3-2-2 record. Jlopleh is the second player born in 1996, and the first member of Baltimore Bays Chelsea, to be recognized for his outstanding performance this season.

U-17/18 Performer of the Week: Christian Hernandez - Midfielder, Players Development Academy
Hernandez went the full 90 minutes for Players Development Academy in their lone weekend match, scoring PDA's first goal in a 4-2 win against Baltimore Bays Chelsea U-17/18. The goal was Hernandez's second of the season.  Hernandez has been a consistent contributor to the teams’ 4-1-3 record, starting five matches and appearing in seven of the team’s first eight games this season.

Referee of the Week: Steve Montanino
Montanino has been named Referee of the Week for his performance during the Empire United versus NJSA 04 U-15/16 match on Sunday. Montanino is a relative veteran in the Academy program, working games during the 2010 Winter Showcase, the 2009 and 2010 Spring Showcases and the 2010 Playoffs. The Western New York native also referees in USL-Pro, PDL and W-League matches.

Agudelo Gets Another Call: New York Red Bulls Academy product Juan Agudelo earned his third call-up to the Men’s National Team this week as he was named to the roster for a training camp that begins on Sunday. U.S. head coach Bob Bradley has named 24 players to train in Cary, N.C., ahead of a pair of friendly matches against Argentina (March 26) and Paraguay (March 29).  

Academy Alums Set to Kick off Rookie MLS Seasons: The 16th season of Major League Soccer officially kicked off on Tuesday night, but the full slate of first games will be this weekend. With a new batch of rookies set for their first seasons, Ryan Kinne (South Central Premier) has been pegged as one of five who might be underrated. The first Home Grown player signee, Tristan Bowen (LA Galaxy Academy), is stepping into a new role with Chivas USA while the number of Home Grown Players continues to grow throughout the league. has a look at five who are hoping to make their mark in 2011.


  • The Chicago Fire U-17/18 Academy team played the Mexican U-17 MNT on Tuesday evening at Toyota Park –
  • San Jose Earthquakes Academy recently returned from a trip to London –
  • The Clearwater Chargers will make a new home at a brand-new complex – Lakewood Ranch News
  • Globo TV in Brazil chats with members of Cosmos Academy East (Portuguese) – Globo TV (via YouTube)
  • takes a look at some of the options for players who come through the Development Academy –
  • Philadelphia-area clubs return to action and the Brotherly Game is providing updates –
  • Dallas Texans founder Hassan Nazari with a Q & A for Soccer America – Soccer America