U-20 MNT Nearing Playoff Spot at World Cup Qualifying: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team prepares for an important match against Trinidad & Tobago to cap off Group A play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Wednesday. The USA needs a win or a draw to advance to the tournament’s playoff stage, where then the U.S. would be one step away from a spot at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Four teams from the CONCACAF U-20 Championship will directly qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Mexico, the Group B winner, has clinched a spot in the World Cup. U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos, midfielder Romain Gall and defender John Requejo speak about the team’s growth during the tournament. Gall, formerly of Real Salt Lake AZ, scored two goals during the USA’s most recent 2-0 win against Jamaica and is tied for the tournament lead with five goals in all games.
Touchline Tommy: Academy alum and U-20 MNT forward Tommy Thompson is traveling down a familiar family path in soccer, starting with his father, Gregg, who played for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 1980s. ussoccer.com spoke with Thompson and U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos on the young forward’s rise.
U-14 Futsal Regionals Return in January and February: As part of the Development Academy’s futsal period from December through February, the Academy U-14 age group will look forward to a series of regional showcases from Jan. 24-Feb. 8, 2015. Eight regional showcases will include a minimum of four futsal matches over a two-day stretch in eight regions: SoCal and Texas (Jan. 24-25); Florida, Mid-America and NorCal (Jan. 31-Feb. 1); and New England, North Carolina and Pennsylvania/New Jersey (Feb. 7-8).
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. 17-18):
- West Conference: In a crossover matchup, the Southwest Division’s LA Galaxy defeated the Northwest Division’s Seattle Sounders FC at both the U-18 and U-16 age groups on Sunday. The Southwest-leading Galaxy U-16s built a three-goal lead en route to a 3-1 win. Brandon Torres, Colin Apel and Enrique Bustamante each scored a goal for the Galaxy. At the U-18s, Elijah Martin and Juan Orozco each tallied in the first half for a 2-0 victory against Seattle.
- Central Conference: In Frontier Division play, the San Antonio Scorpions Youth Academy’s U-18 scored two goals in the closing minutes to rally for a 3-2 victory against Texans SC Houston on Saturday. Trailing 2-1, San Antonio’s Patrick Noriega scored an 87th-minute equalizer and Luis Espinar tallied the 88th-minute game-winner for the team’s second victory of the season.
- East Conference: The East returns to action during the Jan. 24-25 weekend.
Academy Player of the Week: San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Amir Bashti was named Academy Player of the Week following his five-goal performance during San Jose’s U-18 victory against FC Golden State on Saturday. Bashti, who leads the Earthquakes with 11 goals in 12 games, has recently featured for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team. Bashti most recently was part of the U-18 squad that traveled to Marbella, Spain, to play against Germany’s U-18s on Dec. 17 and 19.
For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:
Alumni Selected in 2015 MLS SuperDraft: A large contingent of former Development Academy players were selected by the 20 clubs at the 2015 MLS SuperDraft over the past week. The highest pick was No. 2 overall selection Khiry Shelton, formerly of Lonestar SC, who went to expansion side New York City FC. On Tuesday, the third and fourth rounds took place, with another 20 Academy alumni selected in the draft.
U-16 BNT Splits First Two at Aegean Cup: The U.S. Under-16 Boys’ National Team kicked off the 2015 Aegean Cup International Youth Tournament this week in Manisa, Turkey. The USA opened with a 2-0 win against Romania on Monday, with Justin Rennicks of the New England Revolution Academy and Adrian Villegas of the Portland Timbers Academy system scoring the respective goals. The U.S. then fell 2-0 to Norway on Tuesday to move to 1-1-0 in Group A. The U-16s concludes the group stage against Turkey on Thursday, followed by a placement match on Saturday.
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- mlssoccer.com: Philadelphia Union’s Zach Pfeffer Eager for Preseason
- News Observer: Fuquay-Varina Native Conor Donovan Drafted by Orlando City
- Chicago Fire: Kingsley Bryce Selected in Second Round of MLS SuperDraft
- Colorado Rapids: Joe Greenspan Selected at MLS SuperDraft
- Houston Dynamo: Zach Steinberger, Oumar Ballo Chosen at MLS SuperDraft
- Houston Dynamo: Zach Steinberger Selected in Draft After Impressive Combine
- New York City FC: Khiry Shelton Joins NYCFC
- San Jose Earthquakes: Fatai Alashe Selected in First Round of MLS SuperDraft
- Sporting Kansas City: Connor Hallisey Picked No. 10 Overall in MLS SuperDraft
- Sporting Kansas City: Connor Hallisey on MLS SuperDraft Selection (video)
- Toronto FC: Club Selects Alex Bono with Sixth Pick in MLS SuperDraft