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Across the Academy – April 16, 2014

Across the Academy is a weekly summary of news that 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.

PDA U-17/18s, LA Galaxy U-15/16s and RSL AZ U-15/16s Clinch Playoff Spots: The Development Academy Playoffs are a little more than two months away, and three clubs have clinched the first Playoff spots in this 2013-14 season. The Players Development Academy U-17/18, LA Galaxy U-15/16 and Real Salt Lake AZ U-15/16 teams have all qualified for the 2013-14 Academy Playoffs, which take place from June 23-27 at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.

Opportunity Knocks: PDA’s Hunter Pinho and LAFA’s Jake Arteaga: At a recent U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team camp, chatted with Players Development Academy U-13/14 goalkeeper Hunter Pinho and Los Angeles Futbol Academy U-13/14 defensive midfielder Jake Arteaga for the Opportunity Knocks series. Pinho reflected on the intensity of the U-14 BNT camp and his greater responsibility and leadership from the back. Arteaga talked about how he tries to be a strong distributor of the ball in his game.

U.S. U-20 MNT Opens Dallas Cup with Two Victories: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team took control of Bracket C of the Gordon Jago Super Group at the 35th Dallas Cup this week, opening with a pair of victories. The U-20 MNT started the event with a thrilling 3-2 comeback win against Club Athletico River Plate of Argentina on Sunday. Chivas USA Academy alum Ben Spencer tallied two goals, including the game-winner in the 79th minute. The U-20s followed that up with a 3-0 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany, led by FC DELCO alum Zac Pfeffer, who had a goal and an assist. U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos also sat down with U.S. Soccer to discuss the opportunity to compete against international teams as the staff continues to identify the top talent for this current U-20 cycle.

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ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of April 12-13):

  • West Conference: The San Diego Surf U-15/16s of the Southwest Division played a pair of crossover matches over the weekend. San Diego earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, followed by a 2-0 victory against Crossfire Premier on Sunday. Against Vancouver, which is second in the Northwest Division, San Diego’s Guillermo Bermudez scored his team’s only goal in the 58th minute. Against Crossfire Premier, which is fourth in the Northwest Division, the Surf’s Jacob Cintas and William Blackburn each scored first-half goals. It marked the fifth win of the season for the San Diego Surf.
  • Central Conference: The FC Wisconsin Nationals U-15/16 team has had a strong April with a 4-0-0 record, earning two big victories this past weekend. FC Wisconsin earned a 4-1 win against Mid-American Division leader Vardar on Saturday and edge third-place Crew Soccer Academy Wolves by a 2-1 margin. Blake Carr had three goals during this stretch – two tallies against Vardar and the game-winner against CSA Wolves.
  • East Conference: Bethesda-Olney’s U-17/18s continued their banner first season in the Academy with a 2-0 victory against Baltimore Bays Chelsea on Sunday. Georgetown-bound Matthew Ledder provided all the scoring Bethesda-Olney needed with both goals in the 51st and 75th minutes. Ledder now has 14 goals in 17 games, and Bethesda-Olney leads the Atlantic Division at 15-2-0 (2.65 points per game).

Academy Honors:

  • Player of the Week: Chicago Fire U-17/18 midfielder Shannon Seymour was named Academy Player of the Week during the April 5-6 weekend. Seymour, who is eligible for the U-15/16s, has played up an age level for the Fire and has put in a solid 2013-14 campaign. He has currently started in 16 of 18 games played this season with four goals, including a brace during the Fire U-17/18 team’s 4-0 victory against Sockers FC on March 29.
  • Referee of the Week: Luis Guardia, a 28-year-old Grade 4 referee from southern Texas, was named Academy Referee of the Week for his work during the U-17/18 match between Lonestar SC and FC Dallas on April 5. In addition to Academy matches and the Academy Winter Showcase, Guardia has worked MLS Reserve and preseason games, international matches, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, NASL, PDL and USL PRO.

For all Development Academy results, visit or click on the following links:


U.S. U-18 MNT Tops Canada, Falls Late to Mexico: It was a mixed bag for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team during its two international friendlies at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif. The USA defeated Canada 2-1 on April 8, with FC Dallas Academy forward Coy Craft scoring the game-winner and assisting the USA’s first tally by recent Real Salt Lake homegrown signing Justen Glad. Against Mexico, the U.S. held a 3-2 lead heading into stoppage time, but gave up two late tallies and dropped a 4-3 decision. The USA’s goal scorers included Jorge Ruiz of the LA Galaxy Academy, Sebastian Elney and Real Salt Lake Arizona’s Sebastian Saucedo.

U-18s Value Klinsmann’s Tutelage: The U-18 MNT recently had the privilege of U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann helping coach one of the team’s sessions during its April camp in Carson, Calif. Klinsmann, U-18 head coach Javier Perez and Crew Soccer Academy midfielder Ben Swanson spoke to U.S. Soccer about this valuable experience.

Academy Alumni: Agudelo Tallies winner for FC Utrecht: Former New York Red Bulls Academy forward Juan Agudelo scored the game-winning goal to lead FC Utrecht to a 2-1 victory against Heracles this past Sunday for his second goal with the Dutch club. In Major League Soccer action, former PA Classics forward Andrew Wenger scored a goal during his debut with the Philadelphia Union.


  • 2013-14 Academy Schedule
  • Development Academy Regular Season: A lighter schedule is on the docket, with 15 games over the April 18-19 stretch and no games on Sunday, April 20. A combined 10 games are scheduled at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups and five fixtures at the U-13/14 level.