U.S. Soccer

Across the Academy – March 19, 2014

Across the Academy highlights the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and its clubs and players, as well as alumni and Youth National Team activity. Across the Academy will be available for the duration of the 2013-14 season.

2013-14 Academy Postseason Features New Format: The Development Academy’s 2013-14 postseason will include an elimination format for its Under-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups. The postseason will consist of a knockout round, followed by the semifinals and final to be held July 17 and 19, respectively, at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif. The Academy Playoffs, which maintain the same format as previous seasons, will be held June 23-27 at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., near Indianapolis.

Opportunity Knocks: De Anza Force’s Jonathan Navarro: De Anza Force forward Jonathan Navarro, a former member of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program, spoke with ussoccer.com for its Opportunity Knocks series about his recent time in the Academy. Navarro credits U-15/16 head coach Shaun Tsakaris for pushing his game both mentally and physically.

Opportunity Knocks: Players Development Academy’s Josh Burnett: Players Development Academy center midfielder Josh Burnett caught up with U.S. Soccer to reflect on his time with the New Jersey-based club. Burnett says PDA has helped improve his defensive game and has created a competitive training environment while playing up with the U-15/16 age group.

For the latest Development Academy news, visit the ussoccer.com Academy home page, follow us on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt or like us on Facebook.

Share your Academy news, comments, photos, links and more using the #OpportunityKnocks hashtag.

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of March 15-16):

  • West Conference: Seattle Sounders FC’s U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams each came away with one-goal victories against Crossfire Premier in Northwest Division action on Saturday at the Starfire Sports Complex. Cody Crook tallied the game-winning goal in the 90th minute to lift the Sounders U-17/18s to a 3-2 victory. Seattle has won six straight and sits in second place in the division at 11-3-4 and 2.06 points per game. The first-place Seattle Sounders U-15/16 squad (12-3-3, 2.17 points per game) topped Crossfire Premier 1-0, with Victor Mansaray’s 51st-minute tally holding up for the win.
  • Central Conference: Solar Chelsea SC swept Texans SC Houston in Central Conference play Saturday. The Solar Chelsea U-15/16s surrendered an early goal but responded with tallies from Nicholas Blessing (34th minute) and Garrett Garwood (70th minute) for a 2-1 victory to move to 8-6-4 (1.54 points per game). At the older age group, Blake Stricker and Alan Winn each scored a goal in the opening 10 minutes of the U-17/18 team’s 2-0 victory.
  • East Conference: The New England Revolution U-17/18s, playing in their first match since an Academy Winter Showcase matchup against the U.S. U-17s, earned a 4-2 victory against the Montreal Impact on Sunday in Northeast Division action in Foxborough, Mass. The Revs rallied from a 2-1 deficit with Daniel Apajee’s second goal in the 54th minute serving as the game-winner. Christian Sady added an insurance goal in the 80th minute as the Revolution improved to 5-5-2 and 1.42 points per game. The Revolution U-15/16s edged Montreal 2-1 with Daniel Jones scoring both goals for New England (5-5-3, 1.38 points per game).

Academy Honors:

  • Player of the Week: Midfielder Kyle Gurrieri of NJSA 04’s U-15/16 team scored what proved to be the game-winner with his ninth-minute goal to lead NJSA to a 2-1 victory against a strong Players Development Academy side on March 8.
  • Referee of the Week: Ramy Touchan, a 28-year-old Grade 4 referee from Arizona, was named Academy Referee of the Week for his work during the U-17/18 match between Chivas USA and host Real Salt Lake AZ on March 8. Touchan is a former Referee of the Week during the 2010-11 season. In addition to his five-plus years working Academy matches, Touchan’s background also includes games in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, USL PRO, MLS preseason and PDL.

For all Development Academy results, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

Bruin Leads Dynamo Again: St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri product Will Bruin scored his third goal in two games to lead the Houston Dynamo to its second victory on Saturday in Major League Soccer action. Elsewhere, Colorado Rush alum Kekuta Manneh scored a clutch game-tying goal during the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 1-1 road draw against Chivas USA on Sunday.

U.S. U-14 and U-15 BNT March Camps Set for NTC: The U.S. U-14 and U-15 Boys’ National Teams will be holding simultaneous camps from March 22-30 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif. The U-15 BNT group, headed by Hugo Perez, features 24 players among the 32 who are registered with Development Academy clubs. U-14 BNT head coach Tony Lepore named a 32-player roster for this age group’s third camp in the current cycle, with a roster that includes 21 players currently registered with Academy clubs.

U.S. U-17 MNT Wraps Up Pacific NW Tour: The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team completed a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest. The USA went unbeaten in its first two matches, posting a scoreless draw against Seattle Sounders FC’s joint U-17/18 Academy and MLS Reserves team on March 10, followed by a 3-2 victory against the University of Portland. Lonestar SC’s McKinze Gaines supplied the offense with all three goals against Portland. On Monday, March 17, the U-17s capped off the trip with a hard-fought 3-2 loss to the Portland Timbers Reserves. Haji Wright out of the LA Galaxy Academy provided a goal and assisted a Gaines tally.


  • 2013-14 Academy Schedule
  • Development Academy Regular Season: The March 21-23 weekend includes the busiest slate of games for the 2014 portion of the schedule to date. A total of 118 matches are scheduled, with a combined 74 games at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups and 44 fixtures at the U-13/14 level.


IN PHOTOS: A Day in the Life of Ashlyn Harris

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a U.S. Women’s National Team player is like? We followed WNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to get an inside look at a day inside WNT training camp, a day that included a weight session and on-field practice.

After a grabbing a quick coffee, the busy day starts early for Harris and the WNT, as they are headed to a weight lifting, the first of two trainings sessions that day.

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“The bus ride is always total shenanigans with the people I sit around with. Usually that group is Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger. It’s just fun and good vibes heading into our workout.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

First stop of the day: weightlifting. The WNT usually spends about 90 minutes at the gym, and each player has a specialized workout sheet that is tailored to their needs.

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“At lifting I usually spend time on my shoulders and continue to strengthen my back; things I need as goalkeeper. Every day I hit the ground, so I have to make sure my arms are strong. Shoulder strength and shoulder stability are key to make sure my arms are moving well and to prevent any injuries.”

As the team exits the gym, several fans await them by the bus and most players, including Harris, stop to sign a few autographs and pose for a few selfies. 

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“It’s always just really cool to stop and have a chat with the younger generation after or before training sessions. They’re just awesome.”

“Our van leaves the hotel about 45 minutes before the field players whenever we go to the training. I always have a pre-training and pre-game routine of taping my fingers and hands. It’s a personal preference and to be honest, I’ve always done it. Being at training earlier helps us get some good stretching in, stay focused and it allows us to nail down techniques and work individually and collectively as a small group before we jump in with everyone else.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

For afternoon training, Harris, along with Alyssa Naeher and Jane Campbell, as well as goalkeeper coach Graeme Abel, all pile into a team van and head to training earlier than the field players to spend some time working on their technique and specific areas before the rest of the team arrives.

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“Alyssa and I have very good communication and no one has a better view or can critique one another better than each other. If we see something we tell each other and help each other out.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher

After training, the players all cool down, chat with each other, hydrate and reflect on the session they just completed.

“We tend to immediately grab our protein shakes. We talk about the day, what we saw on the field, what we can fix, what wasn’t good, what was good and we just overall critique the game in every way we can to become better.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“Once we’re back in the hotel, it’s all about treatment. Like true professionals, we must take care of our bodies and be responsible to get the treatment we need. Our bodies take a beating from all the impact at training so we take care of it to do it all over again the day after.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

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