Across the Academy - June 2, 2011
U.S. MNT Set for Gold Cup Tune Up: The U.S. Menâ€™s National Team will take on Spain on Saturday, June 4, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Included on Bob Bradleyâ€™s 23-player roster is former New York Red Bulls Academy striker Juan Agudelo, who has scored two goals in four appearances with the team leading into Saturday. The match against the No. 1-ranked team in the world will serve as a tune up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which kicks off for the U.S. on Tuesday, June 7, against Canada in Detroit.
Empire United, CASL Chelsea FC Playoff Bound: Empire United U-15/16 and CASL Chelsea FC U-17/18 both clinched automatic berths to the playoffs, and will compete from June 24-28 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. Empire United used a win against Oakwood SC and a draw with South Central Premier to secure a first- or second-place finish in the Northeast Division. CASL Chelsea FC was idle last weekend, but with a 10-0-2 record in the Atlantic Division, they have secured either a first- or second-place finish.
More Automatic Qualifying Spots Up for Grabs: This weekend, most divisions will learn their automatic qualifiers as key matches are sprinkled across the country. Ninety of the 100 games scheduled for June 4-5 are divisional match ups, and almost half have playoff implications. With just two weeks of games remaining in the regular season, the playoff picture will come into focus.
LAST WEEKâ€™S HIGHLIGHTS:
The month of May had the highest goals per game average of the season, with 3.1 goals scored in each match.
D.C. United, Real Salt Lake-Arizona and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri each posted two wins in each age group last weekend.
Empire Unitedâ€™s two teams combined for three wins and a draw against Oakwood SC and South Central Premier.
Texas Rush AJ Auxerre U-15/16 kept its slight edge on the Houston Dynamo for the top place in the Texas Division standings after the two teams drew 3-3 on Saturday.
With a 2-1 win against Real Colorado, who currently holds the top place in the Frontier Division, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-17/18 kept themselves in the running for an automatic playoff qualification.
PA Classics U-15/16 topped FC DELCO 2-1 and took over first place in the Mid-Atlantic Division with an 8-2-0 record.
In the U-17/18 age group, PA Classics improved their record to a division best 7-1-2 with a win against Baltimore Bays Chelsea and a draw with FC DELCO.Â
With two wins against Match Fit Chelsea and NJSA 04, D.C. United U-17/18 stayed in second place and in the hunt for an automatic playoff berth from the Mid-Atlantic Division.
IMG Academy U-15/16 stayed in second place in the Southeast Division after a win against Birmingham United moved their record to 9-3-2 in the division.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona posted an impressive four wins at home against the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA, keeping the U-15/16 team in the top place in the SoCal Division and the U-17/18 team in second place.
U-15/16 Performer of the Week: Edossa Muhammed â€“ Forward, Shattuck-St. Maryâ€™s
Playing up this weekend in the U-17/18 age group, Muhammed, born in 1994, helped Shattuck-St. Maryâ€™s to a 4-1 win against the Colorado Rapids. Muhammedâ€™s two goals led the Shattuckâ€™s offense in his 11th appearance with the older team. He has played regularly for both teams this season, helping the younger age group to fourth place in the Frontier Division and the older team to third place while leading his club with 11 goals overall.
U-17/18 Performer of the Week: Maikon Orrellana â€“ Midfielder, Real Salt Lake-Arizona
In two starts this weekend, Orrellana helped Real Salt Lake-Arizona to two huge wins against Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy. His three goals in the 4-1 win against Chivas USA added to his team-high total of 16 on the season. Orrellana has appeared in all 25 of RSL-AZâ€™s games this season, including 23 starts.
Referee of the Week: Ramy Touchan
Touchan, a Grade 5 referee from Arizona, is an Academy regular who has worked 26 league matches during the past three seasons. He refereed games in the Winter Showcase in 2009 and 2010, and has also taken advantage of local MLS preseason games in the area. He was recognized for his performance in the U-17/18 match between Real Salt Lake-AZ and the LA Galaxy.
ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES:
Pineda Scores for the U-18 MNT: Chicago Fire product Victor Pineda scored the lone goal for the U.S. U-18 MNT during the Lisbon International Tournament last week in a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands. The Yahoo! Sports contributor network has a fanâ€™s perspective of Pinedaâ€™s rise within the club.
Kassel Makes MLS Debut: New York Red Bulls midfielder Matt Kassel made his Major League Soccer debut on Saturday, coming on in the 70th minute of a 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Big Apple Soccer talked to the Homegrown signee and wonders if he will see more playing time when five Red Bulls teammates travel to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Whiteâ€™s Smooth Transition into MLS: D.C. United rookie Ethan White has made a smooth transition from the University of Maryland to Major League Soccer. He has already made seven appearances for the first team early in the MLS season and put up a solid performance in Sundayâ€™s win against Portland at JELD-WEN field.
Â ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:
Potomac Soccer Wire with an extensive Q&A with D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper about the D.C. United Academy â€“ Potomac Soccer Wire
Top Drawer Soccer updates the Academy playoff picture â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com
Tulsa World chimes in on the increased focus of club soccer (and basketball) â€“ Tulsa World
The Brotherly Game discusses two Philadelphia-area teams who are closing in on Academy Playoffs â€“ The Brotherly Game
The CBS affiliate in Kansas City checks in with the Sporting Kansas City Juniors ahead of their final weekend of regular-season Academy play - WIBW
Top Drawer Soccer chats with Birmingham Unitedâ€™s Jay Howell and Oliver Weiss â€“ TopDrawerSoccer.com