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Development Academy Playoffs: U-17/18 Capsules


Five Texas-Based Clubs Among 32-Team Field; U-17/18 Playoffs Start June 25 in Frisco, Texas

Five Texas-Based Clubs Among 32-Team Field; U-17/18 Playoffs Start June 25 in Frisco, Texas

The 2011-12 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs kick off Monday, June 25, in Frisco, Texas, starting with the Under-17/18 age group opening their matches that day. As a prelude to the Academy Playoffs, here is a look at the 32-team U-17/18 field that features 20 divisional berths and 12 wild card berths:

Division Qualifiers (20 teams)
Central Conference

Frontier Division

Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy:
Shattuck won its division with a 10-2-2 mark and defensively allowed a meager eight goals in 14 Frontier Division matches. Ricardo Lopez-Espin was the team’s leading scorer during the regular season with nine tallies in 19 games played. (No. 1 seed in Group 1 of Development Academy Playoffs)
Colorado Rapids:
The Rapids edged two teams by one point for the second Frontier Division spot in the Academy Playoffs with a 6-3-5 division record and 23 points. Colorado Rapids homegrown player Shane O’Neill, who had earlier committed to Virginia, had 10 goals in 15 games to lead the Rapids Academy team. Akron commitment and U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team player Dillon Serna had nine goals in 14 matches. (Group 4 of Development Academy Playoffs)

Great Lakes Division
Chicago Fire:
The Fire went unbeaten to win the Great Lakes Division with a 13-0-3 record. Chicago was the only unbeaten team in division play in the U-17/18 age group, and the team posted nine straight wins from March 17 through April 22. Northwestern commitment Joseph Calistri led the Fire with 16 goals in 21 games. (No. 1 seed in Group 7 of Development Academy Playoffs)
Vardar SC Freiburg:
Winners of the 2010 U-17/18 Development Academy Finals Week, Michigan-based Vardar rode a season-ending, five-game winning streak to a 10-3-3 record and a berth from the Great Lakes Division. Butler commitment Jeff Adkins (eight goals in 22 games) leads a balanced offensive attack with five players scoring five or more goals during the regular season. (Group 3 of Development Academy Playoffs)

Texas Division
FC Dallas:
The team qualified for the Academy Playoffs for a fourth straight year after dominating the Texas Division with a 20-3-1 record and 61 points. Midfielder Danny Garcia, who has recently played for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team and the FC Dallas MLS Reserve League squad, led the FC Dallas Academy team with 18 goals in 23 games played. He is committed to play for defending NCAA champion North Carolina. (No. 1 seed in Group 5 of Development Academy Playoffs)
Solar Chelsea SC:
Solar Chelsea SC qualified for the Development Academy Playoffs for the first time as a U-17/18 side this season with a 14-6-4 record and enters the tournament unbeaten in its last four contests. Duke commitment Zachary Mathers was the team’s leading scorer during the regular season with 12 goals in 30 matches while forward Samuel Hayward pitched in 11 goals for the club. (Group 7 of Development Academy Playoffs)

East Conference
Liberty Division

New York Red Bulls:
The Red Bulls won their division with a 9-1-0 record and an 18-4-4 mark overall, qualifying for the Academy Playoffs for a third straight year. New York averaged more than three goals per game in division action and allowed only seven total goals in Liberty Division play. The team’s scoring punch came from Brandon Allen, who led all Development Academy players with 26 goals during the regular season in his 25 matches. He is committed to play for Georgetown later this year. (No. 1 seed in Group 6 of Development Academy Playoffs)
Players Development Academy:
PDA was the runner-up in the Liberty Division with a 6-1-3 record, qualifying for the Academy Playoffs for the third time in four years. Though the team stumbled in its last two regular-season matches against Albertson SC and the New York Red Bulls, PDA made its push toward the postseason with a 10-game unbeaten streak (7-0-3) from April 21 through June 9. Forward and St. John’s commitment Jelani Williams led PDA with nine goals. (Group 8 of Development Academy Playoffs)

Mid-Atlantic Division
Baltimore Bays Chelsea:
Baltimore Bays Chelsea qualified for the Academy Playoffs for the third straight year after clinching the top spot from the Mid-Atlantic Division with a 10-1-1 record and an overall mark of 20-5-2. The club surrendered just seven goals in 12 Mid-Atlantic Division games this season. Wake Forest commitment Michael Gamble and forward Yaw Amankwa each scored 10 goals, helping the squad average more than two goals per game in division play. (No. 1 seed in Group 8 of Development Academy Playoffs)
FC DELCO:
FC DELCO used a seven-game unbeaten streak, including four wins, to end the regular season with the second divisional berth out of the Mid-Atlantic with a 6-1-5 record. The West Chester, Pa.-based club was sparked by Virginia commitment Darius Madison’s 14 goals in 20 games while goalkeeper Zackary Steffen recently played for the U.S. U-18 National Team. (Group 1 of Development Academy Playoffs)

Northeast Division
Empire United:
Empire United won its division with an 8-2-0 record, qualifying for the Academy Playoffs for the second straight year. In 10 divisional games, Empire United conceded just eight goals, while scoring an impressive 27 – a strike rate of nearly three goals per game. During a five-game winning streak to end the regular season, Empire outscored its opponents 17-2. Forward Darren Cooper, a Niagara commitment, led the club with 12 goals in 26 games. (No. 1 seed in Group 4 of Development Academy Playoffs)
New England Revolution:
The Revolution was the runner-up in the Northeast Division with a 6-3-1 record, qualifying for the Academy Playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Uruguayan-born forward Ramiro Osorio was the leading scorer for the Revs, scoring 13 goals in 24 matches. (Group 6 of Development Academy Playoffs)

South Conference
Atlantic Division

Charlotte Soccer Academy:
Charlotte Soccer Academy edged out three other teams for the top spot from the Atlantic Division with a 9-1-4 record. CSA finished the regular season with three wins in its last four matches, holding off CASL Chelsea FC and McLean Youth Soccer by one point and North Carolina Fusion by three points. Forward and High Point commitment Ben Burdon led CSA with 11 goals in 25 games this season. (Group 6 of Development Academy Playoffs)
McLean Youth Soccer:
McLean Youth Soccer posted a 9-2-3 record in the Atlantic Division to tie for second place with CASL Chelsea FC Academy. McLean earned the second division postseason slot by virtue of division goal differential. Led by forward Joel Teston’s eight goals, McLean Youth Soccer had unbeaten runs of six and eight games during the regular season (Group 5 of Development Academy Playoffs)

Southeast Division
South Carolina United Battery:
South Carolina United Battery started the season on an 11-game unbeaten streak and carried that form throughout the regular season, earning the No. 1 seed from the Southeast Division to qualify for the Academy Playoffs. Forward and South Carolina commitment Eli Dent bagged 14 goals in 23 games for the Battery, which finished the season with a 7-1-6 record. (Group 4 of Development Academy Playoffs)
Concorde Fire:
The runner-up in the Southeast Division, Concorde held off two contenders for the second divisional berth to the Academy Playoffs. Clemson commitment Preston Gayton helped lead the Atlanta-based Concorde Fire to a 6-3-5 record with an impressive scoring rate of 14 goals in 18 games. (Group 7 of Development Academy Playoffs)

West Conference
Northwest Division

Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
Vancouver Whitecaps FC clinched the No. 1 seed from the Northwest Division on the back of several notable offensive performances. Whitecaps FC scored five or more goals in a game on six occasions this season en route to a 10-2-2 record and a mark of 18-5-3 overall. Caleb Clarke, who has made appearances for the Whitecaps FC Reserves of the MLS Reserve League, averaged just more than one goal per game with 24 goals in 23 matches while Yassin Essa contributed 18 goals in 24 games. (No. 1 seed in Group 2 of Development Academy Playoffs)
De Anza Force:
Saratoga, Calif.-based De Anza Force finished on the heels of Whitecaps FC for the second berth from the Northwest Division. De Anza Force used a 10-game unbeaten streak during the winter months to climb up the standings and finish with a 9-4-1 record, including a 15-9-2 overall record. Santa Clara commitment James Huffer led De Anza Force with eight goals in 13 games this season. (Group 3 of Development Academy Playoffs)

SoCal Division
LA Galaxy:
The LA Galaxy U-17/18 squad held off Chivas USA for the top spot in the SoCal Division to the Academy Playoffs by one point. The Galaxy earned a record of 12-3-1 while winning five of its last six contests. UC Santa Barbara commitment Drew Murphy scored 11 goals in 26 games to lead the Galaxy, who are coached by U.S. Beach Soccer National Team head coach Eddie Soto. (No. 1 seed in Group 3 of Development Academy Playoffs)
Chivas USA:
The runner-up in the SoCal Division, Chivas USA finished the year with an 11-2-3 record and 36 points, one point behind division winner LA Galaxy. Five players netted five or more goals for Chivas USA this season, including forward Mark Verso who scored a team-high 19 goals in 25 games. (Group 6 of Development Academy Playoffs)

Wild Card (12 teams listed in alphabetical order):
Albertson SC:
Midfielder and Harvard commitment Jake Freeman, who scored 23 goals in 26 games, is the focal point for Great Neck, N.Y.-based Albertson SC (6-3-1, Liberty Division). (Group 7)
CASL Chelsea FC Academy:
North Carolina State commitment Fernando Castellanos notched 11 goals in 18 games to lead CASL Chelsea FC (9-2-3 in the Atlantic Division, 16-4-5 overall). (Group 3)
Crew Soccer Academy:
Fourth-place finishers in the Great Lakes Division (8-5-3), Crew Soccer Academy had 16 different players score a goal this season. (Group 8)
Crossfire Premier
: The third representative of the Northwest Division, Crossfire Premier (6-5-3) is riding a five-game unbeaten streak into the postseason. (Group 1)
Dallas Texans:
The Dallas Texans (10-5-9, Texas Division) feature a balanced strike force with five players netting five or more goals this season. (Group 4)
Lonestar SC Academy:
One of five Texas-based clubs in the Academy Playoffs, Lonestar SC (9-10-5 in the Texas Division) features a dynamic duo of Terry Delancy (14 goals) and Zachary Wright (12 goals). (Group 8)
North Carolina Fusion:
Winners of five straight entering the tournament, North Carolina Fusion (9-4-1, Atlantic Division) features Brandt Bronico who scored 11 goals in 25 games. (Group 1)
Pateadores:
The 2010-11 U-17/18 Development Academy Playoff champions, Pateadores (7-5-4, SoCal Division) sets out to defend its title featuring team-leading goal scorer and Clemson commitment Robert “TJ” Casner (15 goals). (Group 2)
Real Salt Lake AZ:
The Arizona-based Development Academy arm of MLS club Real Salt Lake (9-3-4, SoCal Division) features Salvadoran forward Maikon “Mikey” Orellana with a team-high 13 goals in 23 games. (Group 5)
Sockers FC:
Northwestern commitment Michael Maley led the way for Sockers FC (10-6-0, Great Lakes Division) with six goals this season. (Group 5)
Texans SC Houston:
The club just missed earning a divisional berth from the Texas Division with a record of 12-4-8 as former U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team member Christian Duarte scored 19 goals during the year. (Group 2)
Weston FC:
Winners in six of its last eight matches, Weston FC (6-6-2, Southeast Division) is led by forward Danny Jensen who has scored 17 goals in 25 games. (Group 2)


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