U-14 Futsal Regionals in Full Swing: The first two regional futsal showcases for the Development Academy’s U-13/14 age group took place in the SoCal and Texas regions over the Jan. 24-25 weekend. The upcoming Jan. 31-Feb. 1 weekend includes regionals in Florida, Mid-America and NorCal, followed by regionals in New England, North Carolina and Pennsylvania-New Jersey over the Feb. 7-8 stretch. The showcases, which are part of the Academy’s futsal period that started in December and runs through February, feature a minimum of four futsal matches over the two-day stretch.
Futsal Top Performers:
- Kevin Negrete (LA Galaxy): Negrete, a U-14 BNT pool player, scored 13 goals in four games for an average of 3.25 goals per game. Negrete found the back of the net seven times in a dominant role in the LA Galaxy attack, demonstrating a strong finishing ability while working well in tight spaces.
- Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea): Ferri, a U-14 BNT pool player, showed technical superiority in high pressure situations. He was heavily involved in the attack, creating a smooth transition from defense to attack. His 1-vs.-1 abilities and vision allowed him to be the most effective player on the court, while also showing comfort on the ball, high speed of play and overall awareness.
Planning Your Soccer Pathway: Development Academy clubs attended an informational session hosted by Nelson Rodriguez, Managing Director of National Team Advisory Services, and other U.S. Soccer staff on Saturday, Jan. 24. Nelson spoke to players and their families about planning their future soccer career. Topics of discussion included education on FIFA regulations and eligibility, discuss college soccer and NCAA eligibility/rules and requirements to become a professional.
U-20 MNT Advances to World Cup in New Zealand: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated El Salvador 2-0 on Saturday in its playoff at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The USA earned third place in the tournament and qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Ben Spencer, formerly of Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake AZ, scored the opening goal and former Arsenal FC and LA Galaxy Academy midfielder Paul Arriola tallied in the second half for the USA. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, previously of FC DELCO, came up with a clutch penalty kick save early in the second half. Romain Gall, who previously played for Real Salt Lake AZ, shared tournament golden boot honors with five goals and was also named to the all-tournament team.
Window Closing for Full-Time Player Adds: A reminder to all Academy clubs: This Saturday, Jan. 31, is the last day to add any full-time players before this second window ends. Please send all requests to Nery Amaya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com and ussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook.
ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Jan. 24-25):
- West Conference: In a matchup of the top two Northwest Division teams at the U-18 age group, second-place Seattle Sounders FC tightened the gap in the standings with a 2-1 victory against first-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Sean Bowman scored the game-winner in the 84th minute and MacArthur Clarke contributed the game’s opening goal for Seattle in the 10th minute. Bowman leads the Sounders with 14 goals in 16 games this season.
- Central Conference: The Colorado Rapids U-18s garnered one of its strongest victories of the season, going on the road to defeat the Frontier Division-leading Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Saturday. Nathan Braaten and JT Grover each tallied a first-half goal and the Rapids defense shut out a Houston offense that had scored a combined 16 goals in its previous four matches. The win was the Colorado’s third of the season, and Houston continues to hold onto first place in the division at 10-2-1 (2.38 points per game).
- East Conference: Weston FC enjoyed an unbeaten weekend for both age groups. The U-16s posted a scoreless draw against Charlotte Soccer Academy and a 1-1 draw against the Carolina Rapids. At the U-18s, Weston’s Andres Cepeda scored an 80th-minute game-winner to lead his side to a 2-1 victory against Charlotte Soccer Academy. Weston followed that up with a 4-1 win against the Carolina Rapids as Tomas Garcia-Morillo and Maximiliano Stiegwardt each scored two goals.
- Academy Player of the Week: Christian Lucatero of the Houston Dynamo U-18s received high scout ratings for his performance during the team’s match against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Lucatero leads the Frontier Division-leading Dynamo with seven goals in 12 games.
- Academy Referee of the Week: Kevin Broadley, a 27-year-old Grade 7 referee from North Carolina, was named the Academy Referee of the Week for his work during the U-16 and U-18 games between Weston FC and Charlotte Soccer Academy on Saturday. Broadley has been working Academy matches since 2012 and was part of the 2014 Academy Winter Showcase and the U-14 regional showcase in Winston-Salem. He also has worked matches in USL PRO, the NPSL and W-League.
For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:
MNT Faces Chile to Kick off 2015 Campaign: The U.S. Men’s National Team begins its 2015 campaign against Chile at 6 p.m. ET today (FOX Sports 1, UniMas) at Estadio El Teniente. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster features nine players with Academy ties.
Roster Named for U-17 Residency’s Spring Semester: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named a 28-player roster for the U-17 Residency Program this spring semester, with 25 of the players currently registered with Academy clubs. The U-17s are gearing up for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in late February and early March.
U-18s Open Year at Copa Mexico: A group of 20 players – 18 with current Academy ties – will represent the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team at the 2015 Copa Chivas Tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico. The USA opens its Group A stage against Monarcas Morelia on Friday. The U.S. then faces Cruzeiro Esporte Clube (Jan. 31), Club Tijuana (Feb. 2) and Club Deportivo Universidad Catolica (Feb. 3). The FC Dallas U-18 Academy team also will be in the competition in Group C against Atlas, Atlético Paranaense, Chivas Guadalajara and Urawa Red Diamonds.
- ESPN FC: In this year’s edition of the top 10 players under the age of 21, ESPN FC’s list includes six players with Development Academy ties: Emerson Hyndman (1), Tommy Thompson (6), Zack Steffen (7), Junior Flores (8), Paul Arriola (9) and Christian Pulisic (10).
- Columbus Dispatch: Crew’s Trapp Set for U.S. Team Debut
- Denver Post: Rapids’ O’Neill, Serna Could Make U.S. Debut vs. Chile
- The Oregonian: Nagbe Looking Forward to Being Eligible for U.S. National Team
- LA Galaxy: After Successful January Camp, Zardes Hoping to Make First MNT Appearance
- New York Red Bulls: Miazga to Train with Bundesliga 2 Side Red Bull Leipzig
- Sporting Kansas City: Academy Teams go Unbeaten in Dallas Over Weekend