U-17/18 Finals Week Participants
NEW YORK RED BULLS (NYRB)
Regular Season Record: 17-3-6
Liberty Division Record: 6-2-2
Playoff Seed: 4
Playoff Results: 3-1 W vs. Cal Odyssey; 4-1 W vs. Sockers FC; 3-0 W vs. Real Salt Lake AZ
Key Players: (D) Bryan Gallego, (F) Brandon Allen, (M) Dan Metzger, (GK) Keith Cardona
Head Coach: Paul O’Donnell
An experienced Red Bulls team enters Finals Week after finishing second in the Liberty Division and earning the No. 4 seed overall at Playoffs with an impressive 17-3-6 record. Paul O’Donnell’s side scored 60 goals during the regular season – and added 10 more during Playoffs – while only allowing only 18 goals against. Forward Brandon Allen is among the Academy leaders with 28 goals scored on the year, while midfielder Scott Thomsen has added 10 of his own. Red Bulls are a physically imposing team and will be looking to grind out victories in group play.
Regular Season Record: 14-13-1
SoCal Division Record: 11-7-0
Playoff Seed: 31
Playoff Results: 2-1 W vs. North Carolina Fusion; 3-0 W vs. D.C. United; 3-1 W vs. Empire United
Key Players: (D) Javan Torre, Jose Villareal, Oscar Sorto, Ricardo Escadero
Head Coach: Todd Saldana
After forfeiting seven games from the early part of the season, Pateadores revived and thrived, making an incredible run to win eight of its last nine games in the regular season and qualify for Playoffs. With three more wins in Frisco, the SoCal Division club has now won 11 of its last 12 and is brimming with confidence heading into Finals Week. Three players on the quick, athletic team have scored more than 10 goals this season – Maxxwell Bauman (14), Irvin Parra-Anaya (11) and Jose Villareal (17). During the current seven-game winning streak, Pateadores has effectively intertwined a possession-oriented style with lethal finishing to outscore opponents 20-6 in performances symbolic of their re-born season.
PLAYERS DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY (PDA)
Regular Season Record: 17-5-4
Liberty Division Record: 7-2-1
Playoff Seed: 6
Playoff Results: 2-0 W vs. PA Classics; 1-0 W vs. Chicago Fire; 3-1 L vs. California Development Academy
Key Players: (D) Matt Jeffrey, (M) Christian Hernandez, (M) Christiano Francois
Head Coach: Sam Nellins
PDA narrowly edged fellow Finals Week participant New York Red Bulls to win the Liberty Division with 17 regular-season victories. Led by U-17/18 Player of the Year Christian Hernandez and his 16 goals, PDA’s potent attack led to 14 wins by two goals or more. In Playoffs, PDA had to get through last year's champion Chicago Fire to advance. The New Jersey club brings a roster of players who competed at 2009 Finals Week as U-15/16s and have now moved on to the older age group.
DALLAS TEXANS (DAL)
Regular Season Record: 12-0-11
Texas Division Record: 8-0-8
Playoff Seed: 9
Playoff Results: 1-1 T vs. Arsenal FC; 4-0 W vs. Crew Soccer Academy; 4-1 W vs. Charlotte Soccer Academy
Key Players: (M) Aaron Simmons, (F) Caleb Richardson, (M) Clint Ritter
Head Coach: Hassan Nazari
One of only two clubs to send both Academy teams to Finals Week, the Dallas Texans bring an imposing undefeated record into Milwaukee. Led by head coach Hassan Nazari, the team has not lost a game all season, collecting 14 wins and 12 draws across all competitions. The stingy and athletic defense has earned 10 shutouts in those 26 games. In a testament to the hotly contested Texas Division, the Texans unblemished record still only earned second place in the table. Nonetheless, teams that ignore their accomplishments will do so at their own peril.
BALTIMORE BAYS CHELSEA (BBC)
Regular Season Record: 14-7-6
Mid-Atlantic Division Record: 4-4-4
Playoff Seed: 13
Playoff Results: 2-1 W vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; 1-0 W vs. Seacoast United; 2-0 W vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Key Players: (GK) Andrew Harris, (D) Michael Gamble, (F) Malcolm Harris
Head Coach: Steve Nichols
A perennial participant in Academy post-season action, Baltimore Bays Chelsea has a proud history at Finals Week and won the first edition of the event in 2008. A traditional power in the Mid-Atlantic Division, Bays boast 2007-08 Player of the Year Chris Agorsor among their prestigious alumni. The current team has a youthful element, a combination of injuries to senior players and promising players from the younger age group adding up to a mixed squad that is still packed with experience. The U-17/18 team finished in fifth place and the U-15/16 team came in third at last year’s Finals Week. Playing a high-paced style, the Bays have been able to wear teams down all season and will look to keep the engine running in high gear this week in Milwaukee.
CASL CHELSEA FC ACADEMY (CASL)
Regular Season Record: 19-3-3
Atlantic Division Record: 12-0-2
Playoff Seed: 1
Playoff Results: 2-1 W vs. Concorde Fire; 2-2 T vs. Colorado Rush AJ Auxerre; 2-0 W vs. Albertson SC
Key Players: (M) Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler, (D) Joaquin del Rosario, (F) Monbo Bokar, (M) McAmos Paye, (M) Andrew Morales
Head Coach: Rusty Scarborough
Having lost just three games all season, CASL is prepared to take its impressive record into the club’s fourth-consecutive Finals Week showing. With an appearance in a game this week, defender Eric Steber will become the only player in Academy history to participate in all four Finals Week events. On a team that has netted a remarkable 75 goals in 28 games, forward Monbo Bokar leads the Carolina outfit with 19 tallies. Managed by Rusty Scarborough, CASL plays a possession-oriented game that deploys three forwards in an effort to focus on attacking football.
FC DALLAS (FCD)
Regular Season Record: 16-1-6
Texas Division Record: 10-1-5
Playoff Seed: 2
Playoff Results: 1-1 T vs. Cosmos Academy West; 5-0 W vs. Indiana United Academy; 3-1 W vs. Real Colorado
Key Players: (D) Jack Coleman, (D) Moises Hernandez, (F) Jonathan Top, (D) Kellyn Acosta
Head Coach: Oscar Pareja
After finishing sixth in each of the past two Finals Week events, FC Dallas will look to leap the last hurdle and bring hardware back to the Lone Star State. The technically gifted, skillful squad took the top place in the Texas Division and earned the No. 2 seed heading into playoffs. The Frisco-based team is the only side in Finals Week with two representatives on the Development Academy Starting XI in defenders Moises Hernandez and Jack Coleman. The already-stacked backline is bolstered by the return of U.S. youth international Kellyn Acosta from the FIFA U-17 World Cup. With an abundance of experience at both ends of the park, FC Dallas should feel good about their chances of being in the hunt come Friday.
WESTON FC (WES)
Regular Season Record: 17-5-3
Southeast Division Record: 11-3-0
Playoff Seed: 5
Playoff Results: 2-2 T vs. Chivas USA; 3-0 W vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro; 3-1 W vs. Derby County Wolves
Key Players: (F) Xavier Silva, (M) Brian James, (F) Verneri Valimaa, (F) Felipe Noguerol
Head Coach: Marcelo Neveleff
The attack-oriented Weston FC team scored a whopping 82 goals in 25 regular-season games using a three-forward system, and has four players - James (15), Noguerol (20), Silva (18) and Valimaa (18) – with double-digit goals on the season. Defensively, Weston allowed less than one goal per game while winning the Southeast Conference. Academy Coach of the Year Marcelo Neveleff has assembled a squad with influences from around the world, building a chemistry and flair that could dazzle in his club’s first Finals Week appearance.