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Development Academy U-15/16 Conference Starting XI and Coaches of the Year Announced


CARSON, Calif. (July 16, 2008) – The Development Academy Conference Starting XI squads and Coaches of the Year from the Under-15/16 age group were announced this afternoon during the fourth day of Finals Week at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

The overall Academy Starting XI, Coach of the Year and Player of the Year from the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups will be unveiled on ussoccer.com on Thursday. The recipients of the awards were voted upon by U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy coaches and National Team scouts.

The Baltimore Bays, led by 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year Chris Agorsor, will be facing LAFC in the U-18 championship match after both teams clinched the top spot in their respective groups this afternoon. The inaugural Development Academy championship on the Mooch Myernick Field at The Home Depot Center will be shown live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. PT on Friday, July 18, capping off an unprecedented 10 straight hours of coverage.

The other U-18 age group placement matches will also be live on ESPNU on Friday, kicking off with the seventh-place match between FC Westchester and CASL at 12:30 p.m. PT, which will be followed by the Chicago Fire against the Concorde Fire in the fifth-place match at 3 p.m. PT and the Crew taking on the Colorado Rush for third place at 5:30 p.m. PT.

The U-15/16 division will close out group play on Thursday, July 17, with matchups between Albertson and Schulz Academy, LAFC and Carmel United, Chicago Magic and PDA, and CASL and Real Colorado. With PDA already clinching the top spot in Group D, Group C is the bracket to follow. Thursday’s results will determine who advances on to the championship match, as going into the final group match, Carmel United sits in first with two wins. In order to knock them from the top spot LAFC will need to make up a four-goal difference.

While action at The Home Depot Center continued on the field, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley and Development Academy Technical Director John Hackworth spoke to Academy players about what it takes to succeed at the professional and international level. During the hour discussion, Bradley engaged the players by asking them to think about their strengths and weaknesses, and to find role models amongst the top professionals in the world.  

Of the 62 teams that participated in the inaugural season of the Development Academy, 41 are represented in the eight Under-15/16 Conference Starting XI rosters, and as many as seven different teams are honored in their respective regions.

Several Starting XI players from across all conferences not only play for their respective club teams but also various Youth National Teams. Last Friday, Zarek Valentin (IMG) received an opportunity to travel with the U-20 squad to Laredo, Texas, for the 3–0 victory against regional rival Mexico. Spencer Richey (Crossfire) and Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire) recently returned from a four-game tour of South America with the Under-17 MNT. Soony Saad (Vardar) has also been invited to several U-17 training camps.

So Cal Starting XI is the most evenly distributed conference, with representatives from seven clubs, including San Diego Surf, Irvine Strikers, Pateadores, Arsenal FC, Chivas USA, LAFC, and Nomads SC. The West Conference follows suit with six club teams — Crossfire, De Anza, Real Colorado, Cal Odyssey, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Rush — contributing players to the Starting XI.

Half of the conference rosters are comprised of five clubs, with representatives distributed relatively equally. CASL lends five players to the Atlantic Starting XI, Schulz Academy contributes four to the Southeast squad and PDA offers four to the Mid-Atlantic roster.

Four clubs are represented in the Great Lakes and Mid-America Conferences each, with an unprecedented five players from the Chicago Fire and four from Carmel United.

As the nine-month Development Academy season draws to a close, Finals Week is well underway at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with 16 conference champions squaring off in group play. The purpose of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy is to promote player development through quality training, meaningful matches, and professional environments both on and off the field. In additional to soccer education components, the Academy provides young players opportunities to get scouted by coaches from the U.S. national teams as well as college coaches from across the country.

U-15/16 West Starting XI
GK: Spencer Richey – Crossfire
D: Dylan Serrano – De Anza
D: Kyle Venter – Real Colorado
D: Brent Ham – Real Colorado
M: Victor Garcia – Cal Odyssey
M: Kelyn Rowe – Crossfire
M: Zachary Portillos – Real Colorado
F: Cameron Wood – Colorado Rapids
F: Cole Chapleski – Colorado Rush
F: Paul Islas – Cal Odyssey
F: Zak Foxhoven – Colorado Rush

Coach of the Year: Neil Payne – Real Colorado

U-15/16 So Cal Starting XI
GK: James Stroud – San Diego Surf
D: Joseph Sofia – Irvine Strikers
D: Bryan Ponce – Pateadores
D: Alex Arballo – Arsenal FC
M: Carlo Chueca – Chivas USA    
M: Benny Estes – Pateadores
M: Antonio Benitez – LAFC
M: Anthony Jimenez – LAFC
F: Danny Delgado – Nomads SC
F: Jorge Ramirez – Chivas USA
F: Andrew Peebles – LAFC

Coach of the Year: Ted Chronopoulos – LAFC

U-15/16 Mid-America Starting XI                
GK: Charles Lyon – Chicago Fire                
D: Cesar Morales – Sockers FC Chicago             
D: Jorge Flores – Chicago Fire                
D: David Caban – Chicago Magic                
M: Sito Sasieta – Scott Gallagher                
M: Connor Holliway- Chicago Magic                
M: Victor Pineda – Chicago Fire                
M: Emanuel Guzman  – Chicago Fire                
F: Marco Gutierrez – Chicago Fire                
F: Josh Beard – Sockers FC Chicago                 
F: Harrison Shipp – Chicago Magic    

Coach of the Year: Sole Antonijevic – Chicago Magic    

U-15/16 Great Lakes Starting XI      
GK: Justin  Luthy – Crew Soccer Academy
D: Kevin Cope- Michigan Wolves
D: Ryan Barrett – Michigan Wolves
D: Michael Wignot – Carmel United
M: AJ Corrado – Carmel United
M: Latif Alashe – Vardar
M: Harrison Petts – Carmel United
M: Harmoody Saad – Vardar
F: Austin Oldham – Carmel United
F: Soony Saad – Vardar
F: O’Neil Kalunga – Crew Soccer Academy

Coach of the Year: David Costa – Carmel United     

U-15/16 Southeast Starting XI
GK: Cody Uzcatequi – Schulz Academy
D: Reginald Phelps – Schulz Academy
D: Raffaele Centofanti – Miami FC Kendall
D: Zarek Valentin – IMG Soccer Academy
D: Miguel Medina – IMG Soccer Academy
M: Alex Tuch – Clearwater Chargers
M: Alvaro Bastidas – Miami FC Kendall
M: Justin Diaz – Schulz Academy
F: Hasani Sinclair – Schulz Academy
F: Wesley Sever – Clearwater Chargers
F: Eric Cannon – Atlanta Fire United

Coach of the Year: Peter Mannino – Clearwater Chargers

U-15/16 Atlantic Starting XI
GK: Alex Long – CASL
D: Ryan Metts – CASL
D: Blair Jeralds – North Meck
D: Malcolm Reed – Bridge FA
M: Jared Girard – CASL
M: Alexander Givens – CASL
M: Alex Vaughan – Virginia Rush
M: Eduardo Alvarez – Greensboro
F: Chipper Root – CASL
F: Justin Watson – Bridge FA
F: Austin Savage – Bridge FA

Coach of the Year: Jay Hoffman – Virginia Rush

U-15/16 Northeast Starting XI
GK: Brendan Lafferty – Alberston SC
D: William Congdon – Met Oval
D: Will Donovan – FC Greater Boston
D: Ryan Reichmann – Albertson SC
M: Mathias Coni – Met Oval
M: Andre Ciliotta – FC Greater Boston
M: Andrew Jean-Baptiste – Albertson SC
M: Leonardo Fernandes – BW Gottschee
F: Dominic Sarle – BW Gottschee
F: Doural Scott – South Central Premier
F: Sebastian Guenzatti – Met Oval
 
Coach of the Year: Giovanni Saverese – Met Oval
 
U-15/16 Mid-Atlantic Starting XI
GK: Rafael Diaz – PDA
F: Josimer Sanchez – PDA
D: Nick Yin – DC United
D: Sacir Hot – NYRB
M: Jon Aguirre – PDA
M: Joseph Schmid – FC Delco
M: Paul Torres – DC United
M: Dylan Mencia – NYRB
F: Dylan Renna – PDA
F: Chris Hegni – DC United
F: Kene Eze – Match Fit Academy

Coach of the Year: George Nazario – PDA

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