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More Than 300 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Athletes Headed to College Teams After High School Graduation


CHICAGO (March 4, 2009) - While U.S. Soccer's Development Academy continues to grow as a platform for player development, it has also experienced unprecedented growth as a platform for college recruitment. More than 300 members of the Academy Class of 2009 have been identified by top college programs at every level and have indicated their intentions to play for a college team.

More than 270 Academy athletes have committed, signed a letter of intent or verbally committed to Division I schools across the country, including traditional men's soccer powerhouses UCLA and Wake Forest University, 2008 College Cup runner-up University of North Carolina and 2008 College Cup champion Maryland.

The early commitment by Academy players to college programs builds on the impact at the college level in 2008, when more than 700 Academy alumni graced the rosters of college teams nationwide.

"I think the Academy helps out with the process because what it's able to do is provide an environment that on an on-going basis you have a higher number of quality games," said Sockers FC President and Technical Director David Richardson, who also coaches the Academy Under-15/16 and Under-17/18 teams. "It's a combination of the Academy putting an environment together and the clubs now making sure that they're helping the players. I think a big part of our responsibility isn't just for our team but to make sure that our players are ready to move beyond this."

The Chicago-area club has long had a history of producing quality athletes. This year, 19 players from the Sockers Development Academy teams have indicated their commitment to continue playing soccer with a college team. Other clubs who boast a high number of college soccer-bound athletes include Vardar (17), PDA (15), Albertson SC (14), Andromeda (14), Atlanta Fire United (14), CASL Chelsea FC Academy (13), D.C. United (13) and FC Greater Boston (12).

"As a club we're more proud of the fact that all our players who end up staying with us to 18 all have a place to play when they leave," said Richardson. "Whether it's Division I, II, III or NAIA, all the kids that end up sticking with us and staying in the environment, whether they are a full player or a developmental player, they continue their soccer and their education at another level. That, in the end, for us, means more than say, winning a trophy, or a team championship."

Richardson points out that with the Academy training format in which teams train at least three times before playing a match, many area college coaches are not only attending Development Academy Showcases and Academy matches, but have also started coming to training sessions. By observing the players practice, they can learn more about a player's style of play as well as his personality.

"It's been good because I think the college coaches will come out and see the guys in a good training environment and get a better feel for them sometimes than a game," said Richardson. "Before, you could end up playing three games to every one practice and then your games could be all over the place, which is hard. I think it didn't allow there to be a consistency for college coaches to be able to monitor and watch and observe players.

"I think in the areas like Chicago, on the West Coast, in California and on the East Coast with a large number of colleges, some of those clubs are finding a large number of the college coaches aren't just observing the players in games but they're starting to watch them in their practice environments as well."

The large number of Academy athletes bound for college teams seems to indicate that Academy players will have a similar impact in 2009 as during the last season, in which 16 players from Development Academy clubs were part of the four teams in the 2008 College Cup semifinals. Meanwhile, athletes and coaches within the Academy continue training and preparing as the 2008-09 Academy season continues, with Academy playoffs in the horizon.

Under-15/16 Results

Thursday, February 26
Colorado Rush AS Monaco 1, FC Milwaukee 1

Saturday, February 28
Irvine Strikers 0, FC Portland 2
Real Colorado 1, FC Milwaukee 0
Colorado Rush AS Monaco 0, Colorado Rapids 2
BW Gottschee 6, South Central Premier 0
Met Oval 2, FC Greater Boston 1
Vardar 1, Internationals 1
Ohio Elite SA 0, Empire United 1
Albertson 0, New England Revolution 0
Columbus Crew 1, Carmel United SC 1
IMG Soccer Academy 0, Miami FC Kendall 1
LAFC Chelsea 1, Chivas USA 1
D.C. United 1, Baltimore Bays 1
FC DELCO 2, Match Fit Chelsea 1
South Charlotte SA 1, Greensboro Youth Soccer 1
Derby County Wolves 4, CASA 1
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 3, North Meck SC 0
Pateadores 1, Nomads SC 2
New York Red Bulls 2, Potomac 2

Sunday, March 1
Pateadores 2, FC Portland 0
Colorado Rapids 1, FC Milwaukee 2
Columbus Crew 0, Empire United 0
Derby County Wolves 2, Internationals 2
Vardar 4, CASA 2
BW Gottschee 3, Oakwood SC 3
Met Oval 1, New England Revolution 1
Albertson 3, South Central Premier 0
Ohio Elite SA 1, Carmel United SC 2

Under-17/18 Results

Thursday, February 26
Colorado Rush AS Monaco 3, FC Milwaukee 0

Saturday, February 28
Real Colorado 2, FC Milwaukee 1
Colorado Rush AS Monaco 2, Colorado Rapids 1
Irvine Strikers 2, FC Portland 0
BW Gottschee 2, South Central Premier 0
Met Oval 4, FC Greater Boston 1
Vardar 1, Internationals 1
Ohio Elite SA 1, Empire United 2
Columbus Crew 0, Carmel United SC 1
IMG Soccer Academy 0, Miami FC Kendall 0
LAFC Chelsea 2, Chivas USA 2
D.C. United 2, Baltimore Bays 1
Albertson 3, New England Revolution 2
FC DELCO 4, Match Fit Chelsea 3
South Charlotte SA 2, Greensboro Youth Soccer 0
Derby County Wolves 2, CASA 1
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 2, North Meck SC 0
Pateadores 1, Nomads SC 5
New York Red Bulls 0, Potomac 1

Sunday, March 1
Colorado Rapids 0, FC Milwaukee 2
Pateadores 1, FC Portland 1
Columbus Crew 2, Empire United 0
Derby County Wolves 3, Internationals 1
Vardar 2, CASA 1
BW Gottschee 3, Oakwood SC 3
Met Oval 0, New England Revolution 2
Albertson 5, South Central Premier 0
Ohio Elite SA 2, Carmel United SC 4

Under-15/16 Schedule

Saturday, March 7, 2009
Time Match Location
10 a.m. Carmel United SC vs. Derby County Wolves Butler University - Butler Bowl (Turf)
11 a.m. Irvine Strikers vs. LA Galaxy Concordia University - Upper Field (Turf)
11 a.m. Chicago Fire vs. Colorado Rapids Toyota Park
11:30 a.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro vs. FC Milwaukee McKendree University - Leemon Field (Turf)
12 p.m. FC Greater Boston vs. Albertson SC Framingham State College
12 p.m. Met Oval vs. Seacoast United Metropolitan Oval
 1 p.m. BW Gottschee vs. New England Revolution Aviator Sports and Recreation - Field 2
 1 p.m. PA Classics vs. Baltimore Bays Biemesderfer Stadium - Chryst Field (Turf)
 1 p.m. Real So Cal vs. De Anza Force Calabasas High School - Lower Field (Turf)
 1 p.m. FC DELCO vs. New York Red Bulls Eastern University Field Complex (Turf)
 1 p.m. Crossfire Premier vs. FC Portland Lake Washington High School
 1 p.m. Potomac vs. Match Fit Chelsea Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 19
 1:15 p.m. FC Westchester vs. Oakwood SC SUNY Purchase - Stadium Field (Turf)
 2 p.m. D.C. United vs. PDA Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 20
 4 p.m. Schulz Academy vs. Concorde Fire Central Broward Regional Park - Field 4
 4 p.m. CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs. South Charlotte SA WRAL Soccer Center - Stadium Field
 5:30 p.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri vs. Sockers FC  Gallagher Training Facility - Field 1
 6 p.m. Arsenal FC vs. Cal Odyssey University of California, Riverside

Sun, March 8, 2009
Time Match Location
9 a.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri vs. FC Milwaukee Scott Gallagher Training Facility - Field 1
10 a.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro vs. Sockers FC McKendree University - Leemon Field (Turf)
10 a.m. Miami FC Kendall vs. Concorde Fire Tropical Park - Stadium Field
10 a.m. Arsenal FC vs. De Anza Force University of California, Riverside
11 a.m. Carmel United vs. Empire United Butler University - Butler Bowl (Turf)
11 a.m. D.C. United vs. Match Fit Chelsea Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 20
11 a.m. Colorado Rush AS Monaco vs. Real Colorado United States Air Force Academy - Stadium Field
11 a.m. Chivas vs. LAFC Chelsea Cerritos College
12 p.m. Chicago Magic AS Monaco vs. Colorado Rapids Lincoln Way North High School (Turf)
12 p.m. BW Gottschee vs. Seacoast United Aviator Sports and Recreation - Field 2
1 p.m. Real So Cal vs. Cal Odyssey Calabasas High School - Lower Field (Turf)
1 p.m. FC DELCO vs. Baltimore Bays Eastern University Field Complex (Turf)
1 p.m. PA Classics vs. New York Red Bulls Manheim Township High School (Turf)
1 p.m. Potomac vs. PDA Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 19
1 p.m. FC Westchester vs. New England Revolution SUNY Purchase - Stadium Field (Turf)
1:30 p.m. Ohio Elite SA vs. Columbus Crew Walnut Hills High School (Turf)
7 p.m. Internationals vs. CASA Cleveland State University - Krenzler Field

Under-17/18 Schedule

Saturday, March 7
Time Match Location
12 p.m. Carmel United SC vs. Derby County Wolves Butler University - Butler Bowl (Turf)
1 p.m. Chicago Fire vs. Colorado Rapids  Toyota Park
1:15 p.m. Irvine Strikers vs. LA Galaxy  Concordia University - Upper Field (Turf)
 2 p.m. FC Greater Boston vs. Albertson SC Framingham State College
2 p.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro vs. FC Milwaukee McKendree University - Leemon Field (Turf)
2 p.m. Met Oval vs. Seacoast United Metropolitan Oval
3 p.m. BW Gottschee vs. New England Revolution Aviator Sports and Recreation - Field 2
3 p.m. Real So Cal vs. De Anza Force Calabasas High School - Lower Field (Turf)
3 p.m. FC DELCO vs. New York Red Bulls Eastern University Field Complex (Turf)
3 p.m. Crossfire Premier vs. FC Portland Lake Washington High School
3 p.m. Potomac vs. Match Fit Chelsea Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 19
3:15 p.m. PA Classics vs. Baltimore Bays Biemesderfer Stadium - Chryst Field (Turf)
3:15 p.m. FC Westchester vs. Oakwood SC SUNY Purchase - Stadium Field (Turf)
4 p.m. D.C. United vs. PDA Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 20
6 p.m. Schulz Academy vs. Concorde Fire Central Broward Regional Park - Field 4
6 p.m. CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs. South Charlotte SA WRAL Soccer Center - Stadium Field
7:30 p.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri vs. Sockers FC Scott Gallagher Training Facility - Field 1
8 p.m. Arsenal FC vs. Cal Odyssey University of California, Riverside

Sunday, March 8
Time Match Location
11 a.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri vs. FC Milwaukee Scott Gallagher Training Facility - Field 1
12 p.m. Miami FC Kendall vs. Concorde Fire Tropical Park - Stadium Field
12 p.m. Arsenal FC vs. De Anza Force University of California, Riverside
12:30 p.m. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro vs. Sockers FC McKendree University - Leemon Field (Turf)
1 p.m. Carmel United SC vs. Empire United Butler University - Butler Bowl (Turf)
1 p.m. D.C. United vs. Match Fit Chelsea Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 20
1 p.m. Colorado Rush AS Monaco vs. Real Colorado United States Air Force Academy - Stadium Field
2 p.m. Chicago Magic AS Monaco vs. Colorado Rapids Lincoln Way North High School (Turf)
2:15 p.m. Chivas USA vs. LAFC Chelsea Cerritos College
3 p.m. BW Gottschee vs. Seacoast United Aviator Sports and Recreation - Field 2
3 p.m. Real So Cal vs. Cal Odyssey Calabasas High School - Lower Field (Turf)
3 p.m. FC DELCO vs. Baltimore Bays Eastern University Field Complex (Turf)
3 p.m. Potomac vs. PDA Maryland SoccerPlex - Field 19
3 p.m. FC Westchester vs. New England Revolution SUNY Purchase - Stadium Field (Turf)
3:15 p.m. PA Classics vs. New York Red Bulls Manheim Township High School (Turf)
3:30 p.m. Ohio Elite SA vs. Columbus Crew Walnut Hills High School (Turf)
9:00 p.m. Internationals vs. CASA Cleveland State University - Krenzler Field

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