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Ref of the Week

Across the Academy - May 12, 2011


WHAT’S AHEAD:
Finals Week to be Held in Milwaukee: The 2011 Development Academy Finals Week will be held from July 9-16 in Milwaukee, Wis., with the top eight teams in each age group competing for the national championship. The 32 games will be played at Uihlein Soccer Park, Marquette University and Marquette University High School in the first Development Academy event to be held in multiple venues.

Northwest, Texas Divisions Commit to Extended Academy Season in 2011-12: Along with the SoCal Division, the Northwest and Texas Divisions have committed to extending their Academy seasons and forgoing other competitions, including high school. The 10-month season will begin in the fall, and will allow more training sessions and more single-fixture weekends for divisional games.

U-20 MNT Off to Vichy, France: The roster for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team training camp has been finalized, with 20 players set to travel to Vichy, France, to train from May 15-20 and play two friendlies against the France U-20 MNT on May 17 and May 19. There are nine alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy representing the U.S., with Derby County Wolves products Sean Cunningham and Josh Gatt the only two players from the same club.

U-18 MNT Roster Set for Lisbon International: U-18 MNT head coach Mike Matkovich has called 20 players to travel to Lisbon, Portugal, for the annual Lisbon International Tournament. The U.S. will travel on May 19 to train ahead of three international matches against the Netherlands (May 25), Portugal (May 26) and Finland (May 28). The roster includes 16 current Academy players.

U-15 BNT Split Friendlies Against Croatia in Zagreb: The U.S. U-15 BNT, coming off a 4-1 win against Croatia on Tuesday, dropped a 2-1 decision to the home team in their second match on Thursday morning. In the opening match, San Diego Surf’s Corey Baird, New York Red Bulls’ Wesley Wade, South Central Premier’s Tyler Turner and DeAndre Robinson each scored for the U.S. Bradley Dunwell scored the lone goal in the loss on Thursday.

Rivalry Games Continue as Divisional Season Heats Up: Divisional games become increasingly more important as most teams are coming to the close of the season. The three teams in Colorado will all face each other this weekend, and the second installment of the Minnesota derby is on Saturday morning.  Of the 94 games scheduled this weekend, 82 feature divisional matches, including D.C. United traveling to play PA Classics in a battle for early control of the U-17/18 Mid-Atlantic Division.

LAST WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS:
National Notes:

  • From the 78 matches this past weekend, 262 goals were scored,
  • Baltimore Bays Chelsea and Sporting Kansas City were the only clubs to pick up three combined wins in the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups.
  • Once again, there were a lot of close matches last weekend, with 11 draws and 32 one-goal games played.

  Central Conference:

  • Derby County Wolves U-15/16 moved into second place in the Great Lakes Division with a key 1-0 win against Vardar.
  • Chicago Magic U-15/16 handed Crew Soccer Academy its first loss of the season in division play on Sunday, but the Crew still hold the top place in the Great Lakes Division.
  • After a sweep of the Minnesota teams, Sporting Kansas City U-17/18 jumped into first place in the Frontier Division.
  • Sockers FC completed a sweep of Indiana United Academy, winning 2-0 in the U-15/16 age group and 3-1 in the U-17/18 age group.

  East Conference:

  • D.C. United and the Baltimore Bays split a pair of 2-1 games on Saturday, with the Bays taking the U-15/16 win and D.C. earning the victory in the older age group.
  • The New York Red Bulls and Cosmos Academy East split their games last weekend, with Cosmos earning a 4-0 win in the U-15/16 age group and the Red Bulls taking the U-17/18 game 2-1.

South Conference

  • Charlotte Soccer Academy U-15/16 moved to 17-1-2 on the season with a 2-2 draw against North Meck SC, keeping a firm grip on the top place in the Atlantic Division.
  • U-17/18 CASL Chelsea FC stayed undefeated in divisional play with a 2-0 win against North Carolina Fusion that improved their division record to 10-0-2.

West Conference:

  • Arsenal U-15/16 picked up wins against Cosmos Academy West and Nomads SC to keep pace in the SoCal Division and moved up five spots into second place with a 6-5-2 division record.
  • The highest scoring game of the weekend was a 5-4 finish between the U-17/18 teams from Real Salt Lake-AZ and San Diego Surf, with RSL coming out on top.


PEAK PERFORMERS:
U-15/16 Performer of the Week: Eddy Milien – Midfielder, Weston FC
Milien scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a 3-0 win against Kendall SC on Sunday. The midfielder born in 1995 started and went the distance in that match, which was his 12th start on the season. He has appeared in 19 of Weston FC’s 20 matches this season, and has helped his team to a 9-8-3 record by scoring a team-high 11 goals.

U-17/18 Performer of the Week: Jeffrey Gal – Goalkeeper, Sockers FC
Gal was an integral part of Sockers FC’s 3-1 win against Indiana United Academy on Saturday, making several huge stops. One of the younger players on the Sockers team, Gal has started eight times for the U-17/18s, and was recently recognized for his play with a call up to the U-18 MNT trip to Portugal for the Lisbon International Tournament.

Referee of the Week: Connor Williams
Williams, a Grade 5 referee from Michigan, earns Referee of the Week honors after managing the U-15/16 rivalry match between Derby County Wolves and Vardar. The 27-year-old has worked a handful of Development Academy matches in the past, and participated in the 2010 Winter Showcase.

ACADEMY ALUMNI NEWS AND NOTES:
Cunningham, Toia and Ulloa Set for First U-20 MNT Trip:
Sean Cunningham (Derby County Wolves), Donny Toia (Real Salt Lake) and Victor Ulloa (FC Dallas) will all be taking their first-ever trips with the U.S. U-20 MNT when they travel to Vichy, France on Sunday. Cunningham moved from Michigan to Norway’s Molde FK, while Toia and Ulloa each signed Homegrown Player contracts with Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas, respectively.

Young MLS Players Finding Minutes: Goal.com’s JR Eskilson takes an in-depth look at the ever-increasing role of Homegrown Players on Major League Soccer. He spoke with some of the rookies, including the Revolution’s Diego Fagundez, Galaxy forward Jack McBean and FC Dallas defender Moises Hernandez about how they train and where they find matches to stay sharp.

Caldwell Training With Revolution’s First Team: Former New England Revolution Academy and current Akron star Scott Caldwell is spending his offseason training with the Revolution’s first team in Foxborough, Mass. The two-week stint comes at the end of Caldwell’s sophomore season, during which he won an NCAA Championship with the Zips. 

ACADEMY IN THE NEWS:

  • ESPN RISE with a rundown of the recently named Gatorade State Players of the Year, seven of which are Academy players – ESPN RISE
  •  Wisconsin Soccer Central with more on Finals Week in Milwaukee – Wisconsin Soccer Central Top Drawer Soccer’s review of Academy matches last weekend – TopDrawerSoccer.com
  • MLSsoccer.com with a recap of the weekend’s action – MLSsoccer.com
  • Gatorade honors 26 Development Academy players – YNT Blog
  • Pfeffer’s international experience helps prepare him to possibly earn some minutes for the Philadelphia Union – MLSsoccer.com
  • Five players from the New England Revolution Academy joined the club’s Reserve squad for a match against Columbus – New England Revolution
  • Big Apple Soccer with the Red Bulls vs. Cosmos Academy East game story – Big Apple Soccer
  • Potomac Soccer Wire on D.C. United Academy’s three-win weekend – Potomac Soccer Wire
  • ESPN Insider on the importance of creating an American soccer culture for player development – ESPN Insider (subscription service)
  • Concorde Fire’s Adrian Alabi profiled after his decision to commit to Standford – Top Drawer Soccer  
  • D.C. United’s Bill Hamid nominated for MLS Save of the Week – MLSsoccer.com

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