2011 Development Academy Winter Showcase Wraps Up in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Â The 2011 Development Academy Winter Showcase Finished on Tuesday at Premier Sports Campus;
234 Games Were Played Since the Showcaseâ€™s Start on Dec. 2
SHOWCASE ENDS AFTER 234 GAMES AT PREMIER SPORTS CAMPUS: The 2011 Development Academy wrapped up Dec. 6 after five days of continuous non-league action, with each of the teams playing three games during the event. The most action was on Saturday, Dec. 3, with 78 Development Academy games and two Select Team games, which were composed of Under-17 and Under-15 players chosen by U.S. Soccer technical advisors, scouting directors and Youth National Team coaches. The clubs go back to their respective league campaigns with the 2012 Academy Playoffs on the horizon in next summer.
PLAYING UP: In order to increase player development and challenge their more talented players, many Academy clubs are now moving players up an age group. By playing up an age group, the players get an opportunity to develop their skills against greater competition while improving their cerebral understanding of the game. Read more | Watch the video on ussoccer.com.
GRADING THE ACADEMY: U.S. Soccer technical advisors and national team coaches are evaluating each of the 78 Development Academy clubs year-round. The grades were made public for the first time following the 2010-11 season, and now the end-of-year evaluations will be made public every year. The ultimate goal of the grades is to create a platform on which the coaches and evaluators can discuss what the clubs can do to improve while also focusing on player development and style of play. Read more at ussoccer.com.
REFEREE DEVELOPMENT A MAJOR INITIATIVE: The Development Academy Winter Showcase is another great opportunity for referee development as officials are being assessed on a daily basis in a challenging environment while U.S. Soccer seeks to identify promising referees who can move to the next levels. ussoccer.com took a camera behind the scenes at the Showcase to find out how these events are as beneficial for the referees as they are for the players. Watch the video at ussoccer.com.
U.S. WINS NIKE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES WITH 3-1 VICTORY AGAINST BRAZIL: The U.S. won the Nike International Friendlies after a thrilling 3-1 win against Brazil. All four goals were scored in the first half, and the U.S. did well to hold off the Brazil attack to maintain its lead [highlights]. Meanwhile, France held Turkey to an exciting back and forth tie that ended 3-3 thanks in part to a red card and a last-second tally [highlights]. The U-17 Menâ€™s National Teams of the U.S., Brazil, France and Turkey played a six-game round-robin format after the tournament kicked off on Nov. 30, and this was the first time that the U.S. was crowned champion.
DateÂ Â Â Â Â Â MatchÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â ResultÂ Â U.S. Goalscorer(s)
Nov. 30 Â Brazil vs. TurkeyÂ Â Â 1-0Â Â Â Â Â --
Nov. 30 Â USA vs. FranceÂ Â Â Â Â 2-2Â Â Â Â Â Robinson, Wade
Dec. 2Â Â Â France vs. BrazilÂ Â Â Â 1-1Â Â Â Â Â --
Dec. 2Â Â Â USA vs. TurkeyÂ Â Â Â Â 2-1Â Â Â Â Â Turner, Flores
Dec. 4Â Â Â Turkey vs. FranceÂ Â 3-3Â Â Â Â Â Â --
Dec. 4Â Â Â USA vs. BrazilÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â 3-1Â Â Â Â Â Â Rubin, Turner, Wade
YNT BLOG IN FOCUS â€“ U-17 SPOTLIGHT: U.S. Under-17 Menâ€™s National Team captain Tyler Turner and midfield playmaker Junior Flores both helped to seal the champion spot in the Nike International Friendlies. Tuner scored two goals and Flores added one goal plus three assists, one in each game, over the course of the tournament. ussoccer.com spoke to both former Development Academy players about their experience in the Friendlies and their goals for the future.
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Even as the Showcase ends in Florida, there are still ways to stay up to speed on Development Academy news and events. In addition to coverage on ussoccer.com, the Development Academy is on Facebook and Twitter. Follow news of the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt or like the Facebook page at facebook.com/DevelopmentAcademy.