Youth Articles

Wake Forest men primed for a big year

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 12:19de la mañana

Spring soccer is right around the corner in North Carolina, and without losing a player from last fall, Wake Forest is primed and ready for a big year.

Along with not losing a single player to graduation, transfer, or to the pro ranks, coach Jay Vidovich has also assembled a high quality recruiting class, ranked No. 5 in the country.

And with a challenging spring schedule beginning on March 10, there's plenty to be optimistic about.

"I'm very excited, because we haven't lost anybody," he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "There's nobody leaving, and we're bringing in seven players, quite a few that we think can play major role in our team."

Among those joining the Demon Deacons ranks in the fall are midfielder/defender Jalen Robinson (D.C. United Academy), goalkeeper Andrew Harris (Baltimore Bays) and forward Michael Gamble (Baltimore Bays).
Jay VidovichVidovich expects the influx of talent to improve the team across the board as it forces everyone - even experienced players - to raise their game.

"I think our team will improve dramatically not just because of the talent but that will be on the field, but because of the competition, the quality of training will improve and people will grow faster that way," Vidovich said.

The leaders from last fall - including leading scorer Luca Gimenez, forward Andy Lubahn and exciting young talent Sean Okoli, to name a few - will have plenty to say about playing time.

And other contributors, such as Ben Newnam, Teddy Mullin, Kovi Konowiecki, Anthony Arena and Sean Randolph will be pushed to try and make an even bigger impression in the coming year.

Okoli in particular, a graduate of Seattle Sounders Academy, who also received a call up to the US U20 camp this week in Florida, is someone who Vidovich expects to continue improving.

"It took a while for Sean to get going and make the adjustment to playing at this level," he said. "He's committed, an ambitious guy, had a tremendous run at the end of the year. He's always a dangerous threat, and I think he's growing that way right now."

If Okoli continues to emerge up front, and with rising seniors like Danny Wenzel, Michael Lisch and Lubahn ready to lead, Wake appears to have the deadly combination of talent and experience that will almost certainly earn a mention among the group of national title contenders come the fall.

However, before they can think ahead about returning to the prestigious heights of past seasons later in the year, an extremely challenging spring schedule awaits.

"To be honest with you I'm very excited about all of [the spring games] for different reasons," Vidovich said. "We start off the calendar with Northwestern coming down here, they're always a strong team, a difficult team, a tournament team."

After Northwestern, Wake visits the rising program of Virginia Commonwealth, before taking on Coastal Carolina, West Virginia, and closing out the spring by taking on the 2011 National Champions North Carolina.

When all is said and done, Vidovich is hoping for the team to continue its growth towards a winning mentality.

"It's a part of the growth process in terms of the ability to read the game and execute on that," he said. "To grow a winning mentality of how to play to win."

Travis Clark is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text73452 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->

Categorías: Youth Articles

U-23 WNT Heads to La Manga, Spain

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 12:11de la mañana

The U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team will travel to La Manga, Spain, from Feb. 20-March 2 to compete in the Four Nations Tournament that also features the U-23 sides from Sweden, England and Norway. U.S. head coach Randy Waldrum has named a team for his first international matches at the helm of the USA's oldest youth national team that features four players with experience playing in WPS and an additional five players who were high draft picks this past January. The roster is rounded out with some of the top collegiate players in the country.

The USA opens the tournament on Feb. 26 against Sweden, will face England on Feb. 28 and finishes the competition against Norway on March 1. The full U.S. Women's National Team will be competing in neighboring Portugal in the Algarve Cup during that time. Almost all of the players on U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage's Algarve Cup roster have participated with the U.S. U-21/U-23 Women's National Team at some point in their youth careers.

U.S. U-23 WNT Roster By Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Kan.), Bianca Henninger (unattached; Los Gatos, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (7):
Natasha Anasi (Duke; Arlington, Texas), Lauren Barnes (out of contract; Upland, Calif.), Jazmine Hall (Notre Dame; Highland Village, Texas), Camille Levin (unattached; Newport Coast, Calif.), Toni Pressley (unattached; Melbourne, Fla.), Elli Reed (out of contract; Park City, Utah), Kika Toulouse (Virginia; Arlington, Va.)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Amber Brooks (North Carolina; New Hope, Pa.), Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.), Bianca D'Agostino (out of contract; Longmeadow, Mass.), Sinead Farrelly (out of contract; Havertown, Pa.), Taylor Lytle (Texas Tech; Las Cruces, N.M.),

FORWARDS (4): Vicki DiMartino (Boston College; Massapequa, N.Y.), Stephanie Ochs (unattached; San Diego, Calif.), Morgan Marlborough (Santa Clara; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Lindsay Taylor (unattached; Los Altos, Calif.)
Categorías: Youth Articles

2012 id2 National Selection Tour Update

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/21/2012 - 10:20de la tarde
The 2012 id2 National Selection International Tour is the first of US Club Soccer's events to receive Olympic Development Program status, which has recently been granted to the organization's id2 Program and Player Development Programs (PDPs).
 
In addition, the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) PDPs being held in February are also the first of the league's events to receive Olympic Development Program status through US Club Soccer.
 
Members of the 2012 id2 National Selection departed Friday for Spain, with the team scheduled to face FC Barcelona at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) today. The team toured the famous L'Estadi Camp Nou on Monday and will now face FC Barcelona at the club's official training complex - Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.
 
The team opened the tour with a combined match against RCD Espanyol and UE Cornella on Sun. Feb. 19. Video can be found on the US Club Soccer YouTube Channel. Following the match against FC Barcelona, the competition portion of the tour will conclude with a match against Atletico Madrid on Thurs., Feb. 23, at Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas, the headquarters of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the governing body of soccer in Spain.
 
The team will cap off the tour by attending the FC Barcelona vs. Atlético Madrid La Liga game at Estadio Vicente Calderón on Sun., Feb. 26.
 
Joining the squad as a member of the traveling party will be U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Juan Carlos Michia. Numerous former members of the id2 National Selection team have earned invitations into U.S. U-14 Boys' National Team Camps in the months immediately following past tours, including multiple players who made their first appearance at a U.S. Soccer camp.
 
Consistent with US Club Soccer's philosophy that there should be zero or very little cost for participation in the id2 Program, US Club Soccer is funding the tour in conjunction with the strong support of Nike. There is no cost to players.
 
Once again this year, fans will be able to follow the id2 National Selection International Tour through video journals and updates posted on Facebook (facebook.com/usclubsoccer), YouTube (youtube.com/usclubsoccer) and Twitter (twitter.com/usclubsoccer).
Categorías: Youth Articles

U.S. U17 WNT Heads to La Manga for U-19

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/21/2012 - 10:13de la tarde

The U.S. Under-17 Women's National Team will travel to La Manga, Spain, from Feb. 28-March 10 for the Ten Nations Tournament that also features the Under-19 teams from France, England and the Netherlands.


U.S. head coach Albertin Montoya will bring a roster of 18 players for the three matches against older teams as the Americans open play against the French on March 4, face England on March 6 and finish with the Dutch on March 8. The U.S. U-17s are coming off two impressive wins over the German U-17s in Florida in early February, taking 2-0 and 1-0 victories. Emily Bruder, Summer Green and Andi Sullivan tallied goals against the Germans.
The U-17s will be the third U.S. team to participate in a tournament in La Manga this autumn, following the U.S. U-20s, which won its competition with three straight shutout victories in the second week of February, and the U.S. Under-23 WNT, which will play in La Manga the week before the U-17s.
Montoya is preparing his team for the CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Championships taking place May 2-12 in Guatemala City, Guatemala at Estadio Cementos Progreso. The U.S. will face Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and the Bahamas in Group B play with the tournament finalists and winner of the third-place match qualifying for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to be held in Azerbaijan from September 22 to October 13.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster By Position:

 

GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire; Kennesaw, Ga.), Cassie Miller (Sereno FC; Cave Creek, Ariz.)

DEFENDERS (6): Morgan Andrews (FC Stars of Mass.; Milford, N.H.), Brittany Basinger (FC Virginia; Purcellville, Va.), Maddie Bauer (Slammers FC; Newport Beach, Calif.), Lauren Kaskie (Heat FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Lizzy Raben (Colorado Rush; Greenwood, Colo.), Morgan Reid (Chelsea Ladies; Cary, N.C.)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Miranda Freeman (Lady Renegades SC; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Summer Green (Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.), Gabbi Miranda (Colorado Rush; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Sarah Robinson (MVLA Lightning; Los Altos, Calif.), Morgan Stanton (Colorado Rush; Lakewood, Colo.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.)

FORWARDS (4):
Emily Bruder (Utah Avalanche; Sandy, Utah), Amber Munerlyn (So Cal Blues; Corona, Calif.), Toni Payne (Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.), Margaret Purce (Freestate Soccer; Olney, Md.)
Categorías: Youth Articles

Boys National League wraps up play in Florida

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/21/2012 - 5:34de la mañana
The US Youth Soccer National League Boys teams competing this weekend wrapped up their seasons today at Weston Regional Park in Weston, Fla. The other half of the boys and girls divisions will finish their season and solidify the league standings March 23-25 in Las Vegas, Nev.
 
The National League provides an avenue for teams to play in meaningful matches against top competition from across the country for continued development and opportunities for exposure at the national team, collegiate and professional levels. In addition to recruiting opportunities, the first place finishers from each division (Blue and Red) in the U-15, 16 and 17 age groups will earn a ticket to the 2012 US Youth Soccer National Championships, making each match valuable to the team's fate as it could make or break their chance at competing for a National Championship.
 
Other than the Under-18 Girls, who completed their season last Dec. in Orlando, Fla., no division champion will be decided until play resumes in Las Vegas. Five teams heading into Weston had an opportunity to wrap up the division, but only two still had hopes going into today's matches.
 
Defending Region II champion and National finalist Chicago Magic (IL) needed only a draw versus West Pines United Black (FL) to seal the U-15 Blue division and an undefeated season, but Daniel Reese's goal in the 20th minute lifted West Pines to the 1-0 victory, while Magic have to wait with a seven point lead atop the table. Magic are hoping they did enough to return to the National Championships. The only threat to the first spot comes from Albion SC White (CA-S), who will need to win all three games next month.
 
"First of all, it's a privilege to be in the National League. Everybody has earned their place here and that's what makes it the National League. I told the boys that this is the level we need to be playing at, and without a doubt it's been a great ride so far and we really appreciate the competition," said West Pines United Head Coach David Cunningham. "I read an article yesterday about the Chicago Magic and how they were about to wrap this up and I said to the boys, 'Let's be the spoiler today.' Magic are a great team and I give my boys a lot of credit, fortunately for us we spoiled their run to an undefeated season. I'm delighted and it's a beautiful win for us."
 
"Playing in the National League certainly helps players to develop and it opens their eyes up to what we call 'the next level'. A lot of clubs advertise the next level, but once we got into Region III (US Youth Soccer Region III Premier League) and now into the National League, the boys are actually experiencing what the next level truly means and that's what the National League brings to us. The boys now feel like they're a step better. It's really a pleasure to play in this league and for the players it's exciting."
 
Region III finalist GSA 96 Phoenix Red (GA) had the chance to take home the U-16 Red division crown and a ticket to South Carolina this summer with a win against AHFC 96 (S-TX). After falling behind 2-1 at halftime, it looked like GSA might lose all three points as they struck the post twice in the second half. However, a stoppage time goal from Joseph Sandres earned GSA a 2-2 draw, and although they didn't claim the group, the draw mathematically eliminated defending National League champion and National finalist Michigan Jaguars 96 Green. The only threat to GSA's position atop the group is Beachside SC (CT), who will need three wins in Las Vegas.

Some highlights from today's matches...

Under-15 Boys
Defending Region I champion Smithtown Arsenal (E-NY) took over the top of the Red division by two points, but are likely to be surpassed by the time play is done in Las Vegas unless some precise results and drastic goal differential occur. Arsenal jumped in front thanks to a 2-1 victory over Lehigh Valley United 96 (E-PA) on a Zach Pogrob game winner with a minute to play. Harrison Weilbacher had given Arsenal the lead in the 29th minute, but Cade Harmon equalized for LVU nine minutes later to set up the dramatic finish.

Under-16 Boys
Region I finalist OBGC Rangers (MD) failed to come back from an early two goal deficit to begin the weekend with a loss, but rattled off 10 goals in the next two days to make their case for the Blue division title. Sean Cowdrey exploded for the first four goals of the game in a 5-0 win versus Classics Eagles Red (OH-S) and he now sits in second on the scoring chart with six, just behind teammate Jeremy Ebobisse with eight. Jony Karahbetyan, tied for third in scoring with four, netted the final goal of the game for Rangers as the team scored 22 goals over the course of seven games. Region IV quarterfinalist Scottsdale 96 Blackhawks (AZ), the only team to shutout Rangers in a 5-0 win, are the only team that could top OBGC with five points from Vegas.
 
Under-17 Boys
The weekend did not play out the way AHFC 95 (S-TX) had planned as they gave up a two goal lead in the final three minutes to CESA 94 Premier (SC) today, leaving AHFC in second place, despite heading into the weekend as the division leader. The door is open now for all four teams competing in Las Vegas to jump into first place. The regional rivals are familiar with each other as CESA knocked AHFC out of the 2011 Region III semifinals on their way to becoming Region III champions. Kayode George scored his third goal of the weekend to give AHFC the lead in the 16th minute. When Mario Toro struck in the 76th, AHFC thought they had added to their lead over the group, but Joseph Terry struck in the 87th to pull CESA back and Austen Burnikel leveled in stoppage time for the 2-2 draw.
 
Region I champion Beadling SC 94/95 (PA-W) assumed top spot in the Blue division thanks to a 4-1 victory over AC Bethesda (MD) and three wins on the weekend. Michael Pcholinsky was ready to play for Beadling as he set the tone with goals in the 3rd and 4th minutes. Vikram Pothuri pulled one back for Bethesda in the 22nd, but Dante Piccolo and Ryan Vilella struck in the second half to cap a strong weekend for Beadling.
 
Under-18 Boys
Region II finalist Lou Fusz SC Gold (MO) assumed the Blue division lead with a 2-0 victory over WAZA FC 94 Black (MI). Lou Fusz now holds a seven point lead over their only competition for the division title, Annandale United (VA). Lou Fusz and Annandale drew 3-3 in Birmingham. Lou Fusz was in danger of leaving the division lead to Region III semifinalist CESA 93 Premier (SC), but Miles Chase scored the game winner in the 71st minute and Lucas Hake added an insurance goal just before full time.
Categorías: Youth Articles

Jamie Clark excited for second season with UW

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/21/2012 - 4:07de la mañana

Bitterly disappointed.

That is the phrase Jamie Clark used to describe his first season as head coach of the University of Washington's men's soccer team.

He was not describing the results on the field; he was describing what happened behind closed doors.

After leading the Huskies to a second place finish in the PAC-12 and seven wins in their last eight games, Clark had hopes of receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament following a 12-4-2 record in the regular season.

"I was bitterly disappointed that we did not get a chance to play in the NCAA tournament," Clark told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "I thought the guys deserved it, and we certainly won enough games. Unfortunately, the NCAA committee felt like we did not win the right games."

There are only 48 teams each year [out of 203 programs] that make the field of the tournament. Out of the 48, 22 are automatic bids via winning their conference. The NCAA selection committee determines the other 26.

UCLA was the only team from the PAC-12, via the automatic bid, to play in the NCAA tournament. The Bruins made it to College Cup, but lost in the semifinals to eventual National Champions UNC Tar Heels.

"I think UCLA was marginally better than us, and I felt like UCLA was the best team in the country," said Clark. "Again, I am going to get plenty of chances to do this, but I felt badly for our seniors."

When asked about the difficulty of qualifying from a West Coast program, Clark, who previously coached Harvard and Creighton, said he only had a small sample size, but believed the best teams he faced last year were all from the PAC-12.

"I certainly think one team coming from our conference speaks volumes to how hard it can be to make it from the West Coast," said Clark.

The next season offers new promise for the coach, as he looks forward to a new group of Huskies joining his squad in the fall.

"I honestly believe Darwin Jones is the best attacking player coming into college soccer next year," said Clark about the Seattle Sounders Academy product. "He has pace and strength to go along with unbelievable technique. In the Sounders preseason camp, he was the fastest guy on the team."

Clark was also excited about the rest of the recruiting class, plus a few transfers that have not been announced yet due to a holdup in admissions.

"I think we have three or four other guys who will end up being pros," added the coach. "The worry for us is I don't even know if we return double digit scoring within our whole team combined throughout their college careers."

The lack of an experienced goal-scorer is obvious, but the Huskies do return a seasoned goalkeeper in junior Spencer Richey. The U.S. Residency Program alum has started 27 games in two years with Washington.

"Spencer is fantastic," said Clark. "He is a really good athlete, great hands, moves well, and he has the best feet I've coached in a keeper."

The Huskies will depend on Richey's leadership next season to surpass UCLA and the rest of the PAC-12, which is set to undergo some changes in the near future.

During this offseason, the Big West Conference announced the addition of San Diego State in all sports with a TBA date for the switch in men's soccer.

San Diego State's impending exit will drop the PAC-12 below the required amount of teams for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.   

"We have teams clamoring to get in and it is not a concern at all with the amount of teams asking to be the sixth team," said Clark replacing the Aztecs.  

Despite the low number of teams, the PAC-12 continues to attract highly rated recruiting classes and well-respected coaches.

"I have to recruit against them, but it is hard to say a bad word about any of the programs [in the PAC-12]," said Clark about the addition of quality coaches to the conference in the past two seasons. "I think as a coach, it is where you want to because you should be able to recruit talent there."

And Clark gives a lot of credit to the great location of his campus for helping to land top recruits.  

 "If I can't sell University of Washington, I am doing something wrong."

Now, he just needs to sell Washington and the PAC-12 to the selection committee.

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text57733 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->
Categorías: Youth Articles

Manhatttan Kickers FC focuses on development

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/21/2012 - 3:59de la mañana

Sometimes, you hear an idea so simple, you are amazed no one has thought of it first.

That is the story of Manhattan Kickers FC's success.

It is a little club in a big city. With only 60 players currently at the club, it would not even register on a map for the most prominent youth soccer establishments in New York State.

But, MKFC has caught the eye of youth soccer observers recently because there is something weird going on there: it is actually producing players.  

Alumni like Max Brown and Alex Muyl, who were among the first players at the club, have gone on to bigger things after starting with the Kickers. Brown was reportedly sought by Manchester City, but denied the opportunity due to work visa problems.

Muyl was one of the last players cut by Wilmer Cabrera from the U.S. U17 World Cup roster last summer. Both players now play with the New York Red Bulls Academy.

Other alumni have found success at European youth academies. Former players Mohammed Al-Khamees and Sal Esposito are highly thought of by their clubs Atletico Madrid and Genoa, respectively.

How could a club with no history, no marketing, and no publicity start churning out players better than most of the top U.S. youth clubs?

It is simple, the club decided to focus on player development between the ages of five to ten.

"We really don't think we are doing anything special," Manhattan Kickers FC Director Evan Rosenthal told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "We aren't reinventing the wheel."

Rosenthal and his older brother, Curt, began coaching in the club in 2003 and soon split off from the recreational program, which has been around since the 1980's.

Curt has moved down to Brazil and started coaching with the historic Flamengo Academy. Evan is still running MKFC, developing players, and coaching.

The younger Rosenthal brother seems genuinely as confused as many as to why other clubs have not approached player development in the same manner.

"The way our coaches look after the players is the only sort of difference I can tell," Rosenthal said as he tried to explain how his club has found success so quickly compared to other clubs. "We really care about our training and developing the players for the long-term."

Even though he continues to stress there is no magic to his practices, there are subtle disparities that appear to set his club apart from any other domestic youth program.

One of the little distinctions that Rosenthal recognized was the way his club specializes in these ages and focuses on that stage of the development.

"There isn't much knowledge carryover or institutional memory in youth soccer coaching," Rosenthal explained. "The typical youth soccer coach will move up with a team to another age group, but if you go to the best European or South American youth academies, you will find a guy who specializes in the young ages and remains there for years.

"We really understand what is needed at the young ages. That is what is lacking at other clubs, it is very rare to find an experienced coach who is working with the youngest kids."

Parents appear to take notice of that attribute, Sedat Gazko said his son played against MKFC at a tournament and he came away impressed by the way Rosenthal's team played.

Gazko called the club after the tournament and asked for a tryout for his son, Tarik. Rosenthal immediately accepted Tarik into the program and coached him for three years.

"It felt like a family," said Sedat. "Evan worked hard to develop players. He prepared the boys to play competitive soccer."

After Tarik graduated from MKFC, he had trials in the Netherlands, Brazil, and Spain. He spent a considerable amount of time with Atletico Madrid, but had to return to the States due to residency issues. He now plays with the New York Red Bulls Academy.

Tarik is a slight exception in joining the club when he was 9-years-old, most players join MKFC at an even younger age. The majority of the current U12 team has been at the club since they were seven.

Other parents have similar stories about how they heard about MKFC. DeWayne Martin said his son, Henry, was practicing at the same facility with another club when they saw the Kickers. Rosenthal said that Henry Martin's previous club had him on the "B or C" team, and did not see the potential.

"Evan, and the Kickers, did a great job teaching the boys the fundamentals along with a deep appreciation and love for the game," said DeWayne Martin. Henry Martin is now a regular in the U.S. youth national team program with the 1997 group and plays for New York Red Bulls.

Ryan Alexander knew about the Rosenthal brothers via his previous playing days. Alexander said that he played on a select team with Curt for many years in Cleveland. When he began searching for a competitive club for his son, he heard about Manhattan Kickers and the Rosenthal brothers through his parents.

"MKFC's understanding, dedication and patience with the youngest of players is truly remarkable," said Alexander. "[My son] Nolan is truly excited for each session whether it's entirely technical or the boys are playing in small-sided games."

Although there are not many spots at the club, it is not a very selective process. Rosenthal said they take pretty much anyone who shows up to some extent.  

"We look for players who come to practice every week and are serious about soccer," said Rosenthal. "Ideally from a soccer family, but that is not always the case. We aren't going to work with a kid who has other priorities and doesn't come to practice; it just isn't going to work out."

But he does have high expectations for the players, as he expects the foundation of a good player to be in place before any player graduates from MKFC after the U12 team.

"By 10 years old, a kid should have all the skills to be a good player," said Rosenthal. "If you look at a really good 10-year-old player in a top soccer nation, the way the he moves and his skills are similar to a professional player - he can juggle the ball 100 times, strike and receive the ball with both feet, and has plenty of ideas when he's on the ball."

Rosenthal's aspiration for his club's future is a little club in Argentina called Club Parque. He has never been to the club, but he knows the tales of the Buenos Aires youth futsal academy.

"At one point, there were six [Argentina] national team players from this club that only goes to U12," Rosenthal said about Club Parque. "Their club is sort of the ideal model that I would imagine for the Kickers."

Many may consider that an ambitious dream for the tiny club, yet ingenuity and ambition is what got the club here in the first place. 

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text63817 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->
Categorías: Youth Articles

FC Virginia is on a high as Showcase approaches

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/21/2012 - 3:54de la mañana

One thing's for certain as FC Virginia U17 prepares for the ECNL Showcase in San Antonio this weekend: the team is on a roll.

With a pair of wins over last weekend - 2-0 over Freestate Soccer Alliance and 2-1 over Bethesda SC - the club has won four games in a row and pushed its overall record to 10-1-1.

For head coach Paul Ellis, one specific improvement in the girls' development stands out in light of their success.

"The big difference in the team right now is tactically they are much more aware of what's going on with both sides of the ball," he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "They're much more comfortable changing shape and changing systems within the flow of the game and not necessarily me having to make substitutions to change that shape."

The next weekend will provide the next big challenge, as the club faces a three games in three days schedule beginning February 24 at the San Antonio ECNL Showcase.

Brittany BasingerSet to go up against San Juan Soccer Club, Dallas Texans and Lonestar SC, with a successful weekend, FC Virginia could boost its overall record with a positive trip. According to Ellis, the team has come a long way from when it first started making trips like it faces this weekend.

"The kids have matured so much now when it comes to these longer trips," he said. "Getting on an airplane now isn't such a big deal for them - they know how to eat properly, they know how much sleep they need.

"They know now there are no easy games, doesn't matter who you play, what ranking you play them at, they're all competitive games."

Most of the team already has made their college commitments, reducing that possible distraction. Standout defender Brittany Basinger, a member of the US U17 WNT player pool, is heading to Penn State in 2013, while other players like Hannah Winner (Princeton), Clara Logsdon (William & Mary) and Murielle Tiernan (Virginia Tech) have made their verbal commitments.

Regardless of where their individual futures may lie, the team is focused on a strong finish to the current ECNL season. After the showcase, only three games remain on the regular season schedule, and the goal is to continue the push for a championship by the end of the season.

"We set ourselves a goal to finish in the top eight [nationally]," Ellis said. "That was our goal the year before and we actually finished seventh and got into the playoffs and ended up finishing third last year... that gives us something to play for when we go out to the national championship there in Chicago. That's what we're working towards."

Travis Clark is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text80433 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->
Categorías: Youth Articles

U17 WNT learns CONCACAF draw

Top Drawer Soccer - Mon, 02/20/2012 - 11:00de la tarde

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) conducted the draw for the upcoming Under-17 Women's Championship this past weekend in Miami Beach, Fla., and the United States will face Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and the Bahamas in Group B play. Group A consists of host Guatemala, Canada, Panama and Jamaica.

The tournament will take place from May 2-12 and will be played entirely at Guatemala City's Estadio Cementos Progreso, site of the 2010 CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship and numerous CONCACAF Champions League matches.

The finalists and winner of the third-place match qualify for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup to be held in Azerbaijan from September 22 to October 13.

A complete schedule will be announced in the coming days, but Group A games will be played on May 2, 4 and 6, while Group B action will take place on May 3, 5 and 7.


The semifinals will be played on Thursday, May 10, with the final and third-place match being held on Saturday, May 12.

Categorías: Youth Articles

Kickers Unveil Cost-Free Academy

Top Drawer Soccer - Mon, 02/20/2012 - 10:32de la tarde

The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce their U.S. Soccer Development Academy will be a cost-free program for the 2012-13 season.  The historic milestone in Virginia youth soccer development is reached through the support of partnerships with The Computer Solution Company, Proseal America, Inc, and multiple donors, allowing dedicated and talented players to reach the highest level of youth soccer, playing, training and traveling free of charge. 

U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor, Chris Brewer, will be hosting a Town Hall meeting on Saturday, February 25 at 5 p.m. at the Richmond Kickers office, located at 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 203 Richmond, VA.  The informational meeting is open to anyone who wishes to learn more about this exciting initiative as well as U.S. Soccer Federation's plans to move to a 10-month season beginning Fall 2012.

"I wish to thank everyone who had the vision, passion and commitment to make this historic moment in youth player development a reality," commented Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer.  "It is our hope that this significant commitment to youth soccer development will ignite community interest in establishing one neutral Academy program for Central Virginia that all clubs, players and parents can unite behind to share resources to best serve the most talented and dedicated players in the region."
 
The Richmond Kickers U16 and U18 Academy players will not be required to pay traditional player fees, and all hotel, flight and ground transportation expenses associated with league travel will be covered by the club.  Valued at nearly $20,000 for a four-year player, the Kickers cost-free Academy eliminates the most significant barrier for talented soccer players to compete in U.S. Soccer's world-class program.  Unprecedented in the state of Virginia, the Kickers join 17 other Academy clubs who offer fully funded programs, including the majority of professional clubs in Major League Soccer.

"A fully funded Academy is a significant contribution to our community and consistent with our club's vision to be the model for American soccer, a youth to pros development system that has been emulated by clubs throughout the country," added Rob Ukrop, Richmond Kickers President, Board of Directors.  "We are excited to initiate the process with the boys program and look forward to one day developing a similar philosophy for our national caliber girls program."
 
The Kickers Academy teams will be led by USSF "A" Licensed coaches Leigh Cowlishaw and Ihor Dotsenko, and Goalkeeper Coach, Ronnie Pascale, who bring a combined 50 years of professional playing and coaching experience to the club staff.  Competing in the Atlantic Division, the Kickers will play league matches against many of the top teams in the nation including D.C. United, CASL, Baltimore Bays, North Carolina Fusion as well as two national showcase events annually.

U.S. Soccer recently announced a 10-month season for Academy teams, allowing players to focus on training together three or four times per week and play meaningful games on the weekend nearly year-round.  Fewer games and an extended season will allow the addition of a substantial number of extra training sessions, which are the primary vehicle for player development.

Tryouts
Players interested in joining the Richmond Kickers Academy should send the following information: player's name, date of birth and a detailed playing history including references, to Leigh Cowlishaw, Director of Soccer at ' ); document.write( addy_text98946 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> .  Guaranteed Academy roster spots for the 2012-13 squads will be awarded to select players on an ongoing basis.  Additionally, six Discovery Player roster spots are available to players who wish to join the Kickers Academy for the current season.
 
About the U.S. Soccer Development Academy
U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players.

About The Computer Solution Company
The Computer Solution Company (TCSC) has been one of the Mid-Atlantic's leading technology solution providers for over three decades.  TCSC provides enterprise application design and development, full-service SharePoint implementations and business intelligence solutions.  The company's core values of passion, technical excellence, customer focus and lifelong learning closely parallel those of the Richmond Kickers.  As an organization that invests heavily in maintaining a position of leadership, TCSC is excited to partner with the Kickers organization as it continues to invest in the lives of players throughout the Richmond area. 

About Proseal America, Inc.
Just like soccer, Proseal was originally formed in the North West of England. Since our formation we have not only become the leading manufacturer of food packaging machinery and tooling in the UK, but are now recognized as a major force internationally, having extended its operations into a number of sites overseas including our newest manufacturing plant right here in Richmond, Virginia.

Our aim is to be an innovative and pioneering organization within the fast paced food industry, and to take pride, not only in producing a range of high quality, efficient, cost effective food packaging machines, but also in providing a service that surpasses our customers' expectations.  Our reputation is founded on excellent customer service and the ability to design and produce consistently reliable machines.

With many years' experience in the tray sealing industry, we have a deep understanding of the demanding production requirements to which machinery in this sector is subjected. Combined with the high level of after sales service we provide, our business continues to grow from strength to strength.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Richmond Kickers Academy?
The Richmond Kickers Academy is designed to identify and develop the top players in the Central Virginia area. The Kickers goal is to have every player reach his full potential both on and off the field.

What is the cost of the Richmond Kickers Academy?
The Academy is a cost-free program. Each player is fully funded by the Richmond Kickers. This includes:
• All player fees
• Travel (air fares, buses, vans, etc)
• Accommodation (hotel rooms for away trips)
• Uniforms (adidas player package)

How is the program fully funded?
The program is entirely self-sufficient thanks to support from sponsorship revenue and multiple donors. 

How are the Richmond Kickers Academy Teams different from other local programs?
The Richmond Kickers has the only professional team in Virginia, which has been in existence for 20 years. The Kickers have a strong reputation for excellence progressing 23 players to Major League Soccer and we are respected nationally as one of the country's best clubs.

Expectations for our Academy players are very high and they are treated like young professionals.  The move to a ten month season also allows select players to train and play scrimmage matches with the professional team from February through August. Additionally Academy players have the opportunity to observe the Richmond Kickers first team's training, matches and coaching sessions.

What age groups does the Academy have for the 2012-13 Season?
• U16s (1999/1998/1997/1996)
• U18s (1996/1995/1994)

How are players selected for the Richmond Kickers Academy?
There are a number of ways that top players can become part of the Richmond Kickers Academy:
• Assessment in their own playing environments (e.g. club, school, state or regional teams)
• Recommendation from personnel within the professional and collegiate ranks
• Assessment in Academy training environment after requesting to join Academy

What competitions do the team plays in?
The U16s and U18s play in the US Soccer Development Academy League.

Can players play for other Youth Soccer Clubs and/or High School teams?
After receiving overwhelming support from the Development Academy membership, the Academy is moving to a schedule beginning in the fall of 2012 that runs from September through June (or July based on postseason play). This creates a format that is similar to those followed by the elite soccer playing nations around the world as the Development Academy and U.S. Soccer continue their goal of closing the performance gap with the top soccer nations. Academy members will not be able to play for any additional soccer teams.

Categorías: Youth Articles

Boys continue play at National League in Fla.

Top Drawer Soccer - Mon, 02/20/2012 - 6:21de la mañana
The US Youth Soccer National League Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 Boys showcased their talents in meaningful and competitive matches today at Weston Regional Park in Weston, Fla., in conjunction with the Weston Cup.

Teams competing in Weston will wrap up their season tomorrow while the rest of the league will compete in Las Vegas March 23-25 before standings are finalized. While no Girls' division titles were clinched before the Las Vegas event, two Boys teams can claim National League titles tomorrow as Under-15 Chicago Magic (IL) needs only a draw and Under-16 GSA 96 Phoenix Red (GA) will need all three points.

Under-17 Raiders FC (IL) have taken a one point lead in the Red division ahead of 4-0-0 Eastside FC 94 Red (WA), and hope to put the Northwesterners under heat with another win tomorrow. This is the third straight year Raiders have qualified for the National League and they claimed one of the National Championship bids in the 2009-2010 season and finished third in the division last season. The team is lead by head coach Minos Vlamakis, assistant coach at the University of Illinois-Chicago and an Illinois Olympic Development Program coach.

"The National League is great. We had a rough slip up against Eastside in the first game of the season and believe me, I wish we could take that game back and play them again, but that's how you learn. We see a lot of different playing styles and it's been fun because a lot of the schools these boys will be going to are going to have different styles. The Big 10 is a little more athletic, the ACC is a bit more of the ball on the ground and speed, so it really prepares these boys for a lot of different stuff. We've played teams from literally every corner of the country and I think it's great for them because it's something different than they're used to. It's done nothing but help the boys."

Raiders have one player who has committed to school already, Brandon Medina to Northwestern, but coach Vlamakis says he expects all of the Raiders to play in college.

"Brandon's committed to Northwestern and there are a couple more that, probably within the next week or two, will announce their commitments and there are several other schools that have been following the club. These guys have been making a good name for themselves and all 20 players are capable of playing at the next level. The competition we're seeing is great and like I said, it prepares the boys with what they need going forward."

"Coming from a Division I coach, the teams in the National League are more than capable of providing that type of environment. Just from the games we've played in this weekend, there's seven or eight Division I players on each team and that's not going to change with clubs like Albion and Bethesda and these types of clubs playing in the National League. They've got the coaching and infrastructure that's going to teach these kids the right way to play and the right way to carry themselves. Every match is a tough match and that, at the end of the day, is what's going to make you better. From there, it's really what kind of a training environment you're in more than anything else.

The National League is an extension of the highly successful US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues (US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League, Midwest Regional League, Region III Premier League and Far West Regional League). The National League brings together some of the best teams in the country, all of which have earned their place in the league with a proven track record of success in US Youth Soccer regional and national competition, regardless of club affiliation or location.

The National League provides a unique opportunity of progression for the top teams in the US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues. Teams that earned their spot to compete in the league compete against other top teams in the nation with the hopes of earning a league title and a ticket to the prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championships.

Some highlights from today's matches...

Under-15 Boys
Region II champion and National finalist Chicago Magic (IL) are right where they hoped they'd be going into their final game of the season, needing just a draw to clinch the Blue division title and make it back to the National Championships for the second straight year. A loss would leave the door open for Albion SC White (CA-S), who could steal the division with three wins in Las Vegas. CESA 96 Premier (SC) could have pulled in front of Magic with a win today, but Magic shot out of the gate with three goals in the first 15 minutes to win 3-1. Renato Albuquerque moved into second place in the scoring race with his fourth goal of the competition in the 7th minute for Magic and Adrian Roman followed up with goals in the 13th and 15th to put CESA on their heels. Esteban Alvarado pulled a goal back for CESA two minutes after the break, but that would be all the scoring as Magic look to lock up the Blue title.

Region I champion Smithtown Arsenal (E-NY) can move to the front of the Red division with a win tomorrow after defeating Region III quarterfinalist West Pines United Black (FL) 1-0 today, but three teams competing in Las Vegas will still have an opportunity to pass them. Matthew Aprile scored the game winner for Arsenal in the 70th minute to lead Smithtown.

Under-16 Boys
Region III finalist GSA 96 Phoenix Red (GA) was put to the test in their quest to clinch the Red division this weekend as a 61st minute penalty kick from Brahan Gamarra lifted them to a 1-0 victory over Bethesda SC Revolution (MD). A win tomorrow will punch GSA's ticket to the National Championships, otherwise Connecticut state champ Beachside SC (CT) can still surpass the Georgians.

Region I finalist OBGC Rangers (MD) dropped a tough loss to Florida state champion SAA Real Madrid - Miami yesterday, but today's 5-2 victory over DSC 95 Green Premier (SC), and SAA's draw with Classics Eagles Red (OH-S), put Rangers two points ahead of SAA atop the Blue standings with Scottsdale 96 Blackhawks (AZ) still controlling their destiny in Las Vegas. Rangers went ahead with goals from Sean Cowdrey and two from Sam Schmidt in the first half. Julian Welborn pulled one back for DSC just after halftime, but Jeremy Ebobisse scored his league best eighth goal of the competition in the 52nd and Nicholas Tait added another in the 65th for Rangers before Welborn netted his second to finish the game.

Under-17 Boys
Region III semifinalist AHFC 95 (S-TX) held their own destiny heading into Weston, but a draw yesterday and a 3-2 loss today to Region I champion Beadling SC 94/95 (PA-W) have AHFC with just a one point lead atop the group. Two-time defending National League champion and National finalist Albion White (CA-S) now control the group with their performance in Las Vegas. Lehigh University commit Jamie Luchini put Beadling in the lead just seven minutes into the game, but Kayode George leveled only two minutes later for AHFC. Luchini struck for his second in the 23rd minute before AHFC equalized again in the 63rd from Mario Toro. However, Michael Pcholinsky grabbed the game winner for Beadling in the 80th to secure the win.
 
Region II semifinalist Raiders FC (IL) now lead the Red division with a decisive 4-0 victory over Lake Grove United (E-NY), scoring three in the final 18 minutes. Alexis Monteon assumed the league scoring lead with eight total, bookending the game with strikes in the 33rd and 90th minutes. Javier Guzman also scored in the 72nd and Roberto Torres added another in the 86th.
 
Under-18 Boys

Region II finalist Lou Fusz SC Gold (MO) and Region III semifinalist CESA 93 Premier (SC) were both hoping to clinch the Blue division this weekend, but after a 1-1 draw today and less than ideal results yesterday, the title will still be up for grabs come March. Robert O'Keefe put Lou Fusz in front in the 14th minute, but Alejandro Bedoya leveled for CESA just before halftime to earn the draw.
 
Javanon 94 (KY) ended their season with a 0-0 draw with Florida Rush Nike to take a two point lead in the Red division, however defending National Champion Grand Rapids Crew Juniors (MI) looms with three games left to make it up and defending National League champ Dallas Texans Red (N-TX) Region IV champion Rush Nike 94 (NM) are also within striking distance.

National League action continues Monday, Feb. 20, at Weston Regional Park with games at 8 and 10 a.m. and Noon ET. For complete standings, scores, schedules and match details, click here or go to /National_League/. Follow National League on Twitter (@nationalleague).
Categorías: Youth Articles

Development Academy recap: February 18-19

Top Drawer Soccer - Mon, 02/20/2012 - 1:02de la mañana

It was another weekend with only three conferences in action; there was a lack of suspense and drama for the most part. The storyline continues to come from the South Conference where the North Carolina Academies are once again fighting and clawing against the Virginia clubs to regain top spots in the division standings.

Charlotte SA U18 made a massive push to jump to the top of the standings with a pair of wins over the weekend. On Saturday, Roland Minogue, Kyle Parker, and Ben Burdon each scored a goal in a 3-1 victory over Richmond Kickers. The next day, the Charlotte offense overran the Virginia Rush in a 7-0 win.

CASL's Eric O'BrienWho else did well over the weekend?

West Conference:

RSL-AZ U18 continued to close the gap on the top two teams in the SoCal Division with a 5-0 win over Pateadores on Saturday. Danny Gavin, Nick Semintendi, Maikon Orrellana, Ricardo Velasco, and Etiandro Tavares all scored for RSL-AZ in the victory. The MLS residency program trails LA Galaxy by three points in the standings.

In the U16 game, Pateadores upset the previously undefeated RSL-AZ with a 2-0 result. RSL-AZ still leads the division with a 6-1-0 record, but LA Galaxy is now within six points with the two teams scheduled to play twice in April.

In the Home Depot Center derby, both Academy games ended 1-1 in two unremarkable affairs.

In Central California, Santa Cruz Breakers escaped Fresno with four points. The two U18 teams played to a 2-2, while the Breakers emerged as victors in the U16 game.

Out on the coast, San Jose Earthquakes and De Anza Force split a pair of games. De Anza Force won the U18 game by a 3-1 score, but lost the U16 game 2-0.

In British Columbia, Vancouver Whitecaps made quick work of Strikers with three points from both games. In the U18 game, Caleb Clarke scored twice for the home time, while Sean Dhillon netted the lone goal for the visitors.

The later game had a few more scorers with the Whitecaps U16 pounding the Strikers, 5-1. Brody Huitema scored twice, and Sebastian Cabrera, Titouan Chopin, and Jordan Haynes all added one goal a piece in the win. Paul Salcedo Borrego had the lone tally for the Southern California Academy.

MORE ACADEMY NEWS: Superclasico ends in two draws | Charlotte SA U16 adjustments

Central Conference:

Texans SC Houston U18 seized control of second place in the Texas Division with a 2-0 victory over Houston Dynamo. Texans SC Houston trails FC Dallas by 11 points with nine games remaining in division play.

In the U16 game, Texans SC Houston defeated Houston Dynamo 2-0 and leapfrogged into fifth place in the standings.

South Conference:

Erick Suarez scored twice in the second half to help North Meck U18 overcome Virginia Rush on Saturday. Sunday's contest was not as fruitful for North Meck, as Richmond Kickers knocked off the road team, 3-1.

In the U16 game, Virginia Rush defeated North Meck 2-0 to hold onto the top spot in the division for one last day. On Sunday, Charlotte SA U16 defeated Virginia Rush 3-0 and overtook Rush for the top spot in the division. 

NC Fusion U16 stormed its way past the Richmond Strikers on Saturday with a 5-0 victory. Ethan Wells, Andre Fortune, Brandt Bronico, Ryeong Choi, and Alex Requarth all scored for the home team. Fusion are in fifth place in the division, yet have only played three games with a 2-0-1 record.

Eric O'Brien continued his fine run of form with two goals over the weekend. The star of CASL U16, who has already verbally committed to UNC, scored in the first half against McLean Youth Soccer on Saturday for the game-winning goal in a 1-0 result.

O'Brien followed up his Saturday heroics with a late goal against Richmond Strikers on Sunday for his second game-winner of the weekend.

CASL U18 drew 0-0 with McLean on Saturday, as the latter side continues to hold the top spot in the division standings. On Sunday, William Thompson netted his first goal of the season in a 1-0 win for CASL over Richmond Strikers.

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text11045 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->
Categorías: Youth Articles

Charlotte U16 new coach, new players adjusting

Top Drawer Soccer - Mon, 02/20/2012 - 12:58de la mañana

Heading into this year, a whole slew of new faces made their way to the Charlotte Soccer Academy U16 squad.

Last year's head coach Jeremy Gunn was already going to take a step back to an assistant coach role, before he departed town altogether to take over as head coach at Stanford in December.

Enter Kevin Langan, who also took Gunn's vacated job at UNC Charlotte. Langan took the coaching reigns with the Charlotte Soccer Academy U16 side in Gunn's wake before the season, and he has been quite pleased with the Development Academy season so far.

Tomas Hilliard-Arce"They're doing fantastic," Langan told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "We have quite a young team - we don't have many players who have experience in the Academy before, probably have only four players who've played Academy before and the rest are all new to it. It's been a great learning curve for them, getting used to playing the FIFA rules instead of the club soccer rules."

Of course, with a young team, heading on long away trips are something new to adjust to, and this past weekend, Charlotte traveled to Virginia for its first league matches on the road this year.

Those two games were a resounding success, with Charlotte winning both games, a 2-0 win over the Richmond Kickers, and a 3-0 defeat of Virginia Rush, pushing its conference record to 6-0 on the year.

There is plenty of talent on the squad, as the results indicate so far. A pair of twin brothers - James and William Pyle - rotates in goal, along with Nickolas Gardner, and the central defensive partnership of Jared Odenbeck and Remington Frost have yet to concede a goal in conference play. Up top, Hans Honer has managed to provide a consistent scoring threat.

MORE ACADEMY NEWS: Superclasico ends in two draws | Academy rewind: Feb. 18-19

Despite the success, Langan isn't piling any pressure on, instead making an effort to bring his team along slowly.

"We're keeping it very clear and simple, just giving them jobs and roles they have to do as a player in their position and how to develop themselves," he said. "Then also hold them accountable on it and focus on it down the road."

But along that road to adjustment and development, Langan believes that his talented group can achieve results, as the team's start to conference play clearly indicates.

"We have some great individual players, real talented great technical players, and the challenge for me is to get them all on the same page, playing defensively out of a system and offensively attacking out of a system as well," Langan said.

The challenge continues next month, as Charlotte now gets almost a month break before its Development Academy schedule resumes on March 11 against the Clearwater Chargers.

Charlotte Soccer Academy U16 roster

Khalil Abderahman, Kipp Carriker, Giovanni Castro, Charles Coulson, Remington Frost, Nickolas Gardner, Luiz Hernandez, Tomas Hillard-Arce, Hans Honer, Eduardo Iturbide, Jared Kent, Daniel Khordehforosh, Nathan Marder, Brendan McDonough, Corey Michocki, Jack Miller, Jared Odenbeck, Klinton Parker, Jordi Poff, James Pyle, William Pyle, Axel Rojas, Jaric Spath

Travis Clark is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text35299 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->
Categorías: Youth Articles

Mini-SuperClasico ends with pair of draws

Top Drawer Soccer - Sun, 02/19/2012 - 4:47de la mañana

CARSON, Calif - - Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA share a city, stadium, and on Saturday, their Academies shared the points.

Both the U16 and U18 games ended in a 1-1 draw between the two MLS Academies from the City of Angels.

In the U18 game, both goals came in the first half, and perhaps there should have been more.

Chivas USA had the better run of play to start the game and was rewarded eight minutes in when Marco 'Marky' Delgado was brought down in the box by Galaxy's keeper Juan Cervantes.

Cervantes made up for the error with a diving save on Delgado's penalty kick to keep the squads even in the opening ten minutes.

Mario RodriguezChivas USA would break through first though, and it came only a dozen minutes later. Delgado picked out a well-timed run by Mark Verso, who had split the Galaxy center backs. Alone on net, Verso used the instep of his right boot to give the Goats the lead.

Galaxy made a strong push right before half to get the game back on level terms. Willie Raygoza's silky combination with Sebastian Velasquez broke down the Chivas USA defense, but keeper Jake McGuire pushed away the shot.

Two minutes later, Galaxy right back Oscar Sorto hit what originally appeared to be a hopeful cross to no one in particular, but Chivas USA defense failed to handle the ball.

Mario Rodriguez thanked them for the careless defending with a one-time effort from 20 yards out to net the game-tying strike only seconds before the halftime whistle.

The two teams had little to show from the second half beyond one moment of significance between Delgado and Cervantes again.

Chivas USA left midfielder Eric Gonzalez hit a long ball over the top of the defense into Delgado's path. The gifted playmaker slightly bumped his mark to create space and then hit a shot bound for the upper corner of the goal, but Cervantes punched the ball away for a corner kick.

Galaxy remains one point behind Chivas USA in the SoCal Standings with a game in hand. Galaxy is back in action next week against Pateadores, while Chivas USA is off until March.

U16 game:

When a striker is hot, everything seems to go his way. That is the case with Jorge 'Jorgie' Ruiz right now.

After a listless, scoreless first half, Ruiz and Chivas USA turned up the pressure to start the second half. They were immediately rewarded for their hustle with a fluky goal.

Two minutes after the start of the half, an attempted clearance by a Galaxy defender serendipitously bounced off Ruiz's foot, sailed over the keeper, and landed in the net for Ruiz's fifth goal in his last four games.

The 14-year-old is now tied for leading scorer honors on Chivas USA U16 with Romario Lomeli, who had a very good game on the day as well, with nine a piece.

Chivas USA seized full control of the tilt after the goal, and Ruiz was once again in the thick of things. The young winger hit a 40-yard pass on a rope to Lomeli, who beat his mark with an excellent first touch.

Galaxy keeper Daniil Slepukhin rushed out of his box to stop the threat, but Lomeli easily rounded the charging, off-balance keeper. Slepukhin was forced to clip the strikers' heel and concede the foul.

The referee deemed it was only a yellow card offense, much to the chagrin of the Chivas USA bench, and the teams continued with even numbers. The free kick bounced harmlessly off the wall, but eventually led to a sequence of corner kicks for Chivas USA, which would be its undoing on the Galaxy goal.

After a handful of corner kicks, none of which resulted in anything meaningful, Galaxy finally found an outlet pass and exploited the Chivas USA defense. LA efficiently pinged the ball from one side to the other, Kevin Labastida capitalized on the lack of defenders behind the ball. The Galaxy midfielder settled a cross about 17 yards from goal and volleyed home his fourth goal of the season.

Galaxy looked the more likely side to find the winner directly after its goal, but Chivas USA withstood the onslaught for some time and settled back into the contest.

Chivas USA coach Mike Munoz brought on Edzon Cuevas in the final ten minutes, who provided a spark to the proceedings, but had his lone effort on goal awkwardly saved by Slepukhin.

Galaxy U16 is now 4-1-2 on the season, and trails RSL-AZ by five points. Chivas USA is 3-2-3 and remains in fourth place in the SoCal standings.

Lineups:

Galaxy U18: Juan Cervantes; Nathan Smith, Javan Torre, Jeffery Payeras, Oscar Sorto; Grady Howe, Drew Murphy, William Raygoza; Jamie Villarreal, Mario Rodriguez, Sebastian Velasquez

Chivas USA U18: Jake McGuire; Julio Chavez, Brendan Hines-Ike, Stephen Copley, Joel Martinez; Marco Delgado, Eduardo Quezada, Rene Santos, Eric Gonzalez; Mark Verso, Jose Dheming

Galaxy U16: Daniil Slepukhin; Rolando Munoz, Ivan Vasquez, Justin Schottenhammer, Nathan Castillo; Bryan Guzman, Juan Arellano, Matthew Perez; Justin Dhillon, Aaron Lombardi, Kevin Labastida

Chivas USA U16: Vincent Morales; Malcolm Jones, Sebastian Velasco, Jeffrey Quezada, Adonis Amaya; Adam Arana, Josue Garcia, Ever Delatorre; Bradford Jamieson, Jorge Ruiz, Romario Lomeli

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text99909 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->
Categorías: Youth Articles

Tab Ramos names 26-player roster

Top Drawer Soccer - Sat, 02/18/2012 - 2:10de la mañana

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 26-player roster for a domestic training camp from Feb. 20-March 1 in Clermont, Fla. 

As part of the camp, the U.S. U-20 MNT will face the reserve teams from FC Dallas on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m. ET and Montreal Impact on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 10:30 a.m. ET. Both matches will take place at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex.

The squad is composed of six players born in 1994, with the rest born in 1993. The roster features four Development Academy players - Daniel Garcia, Alfred Koroma, Collin Martin and Andrew Oliver. A total of 19 total players having gone through the Development Academy during their career. Ten players are college players, with Seth Casiple and Christian Dean coming from California and Mikey Lopez and Boyd Okwuonu hailing from North Carolina.

Ten are signed to professional teams. Mexican side Santos Laguna was the only club to send more than one player, with Daniel Cuevas, Jesus Guzman and Benji Joya all representing the Guerreros. Juan Pablo Ocegueda comes from fellow Mexican Primera Division club UANL Tigres, and Victor Pineda and Omar Salgado come from MLS teams Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps, respectively. Villyan Bijev, Sean Cunningham, Matt Dunn and Kamil Kaminski all play in Europe.

Fourteen players are returning from the U-20 MNT's January camp in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., including Cunningham and Salgado, who were both also on the roster for Ramos's first camp in Duisberg, Germany. The other 12 players are Bijev, AJ Cochran, Daniel Cuevas, Garcia, Guzman, Koroma, Martin, Eric Miller, Ocegueda, Sean Okoli, Okwuono and Walker Zimmerman.

Ramos is preparing the U-20s for the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, which will likely take place in early 2013. The tournament will determine the region's qualifiers for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup being held in Turkey from June 21-July 13. Every player on the roster is age-eligible for the upcoming U-20 World Cup.

U.S. U-20 Men's National Team Roster By Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Tomas Gomez (Georgetown; Webster Groves, Mo.), Jesus Guzman (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Kamil Kaminski (Legia Warszawa; Berlin, Conn.)

DEFENDERS (8): AJ Cochran (Wisconsin; St. Louis, Mo.), Sean Cunningham (Molde FK; Troy, Mich.), Christian Dean (California; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Mobi Fehr (Unattached; Tokyo, Japan), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman; Lawrenceville, Ga.).

MIDFIELDERS (10): Seth Casiple (California; Rocklin, Calif.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Matt Dunn (OFK Beograd; Dallas, Texas), Daniel Garcia (FC Dallas Academy; Dallas, Texas), Alejandro Guido (Unattached; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (D.C. United Academy; Chevy Chase, Md.), Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Staten Island, N.Y.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bollingbrook, Ill.)

FORWARDS (5): Villyan Bijev (Fortuna Düsseldorf; Fresno, Calif.), Alfred Koroma (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Sean Okoli (Wake Forest; Federal Way, Wash.), Andrew Oliver (Chicago Fire Academy; Indianapolis, Ind.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Texas)

Categorías: Youth Articles

Sundhage Names Roster for 2012 Algarve Cup

Top Drawer Soccer - Fri, 02/17/2012 - 9:29de la tarde

 Following a week of training in Frisco, Texas, and a dramatic 2-1 victory against New Zealand on Feb. 11 in front of a sold-out crowd at FC Dallas Stadium, U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named a 23-player preliminary roster that will travel to the 2012 Algarve Cup in Portugal.

This year's tournament is being staged from Feb. 29-March 7 and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Feb. 20. Sundhage will name 21 players to the tournament roster prior to the start of the matches. All the players Sundhage is bringing to Portugal trained with the USA last week in Texas.

The majority of the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, with several matches at the 30,000-seat Estadio Algarve. The placement matches will take place on March 7. Fans can follow the USA's intense schedule of four games in eight days online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and watch highlights on ussoccer.com. For the entire tournament schedule, please go to the Algarve Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.

The U.S. team, which has been placed into Group B at the annual tournament, will open play on Feb. 29 against Denmark in Lagos. The USA will face Norway on March 2, again in Lagos, and will finish the first round on March 5 against Japan at Estadio Algarve in Faro in what will be the first meeting between the teams since the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. Group A features Germany, Sweden, China and Iceland. Group C features host Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Wales and Hungary.

Since the expansion to 12 teams in 2002, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title, as the group winners will play on Wednesday, March 7, in the championship game. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place, while the third-place finishers will play for fifth. The Group C teams will be competing for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C will play the worst fourth place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place.

This will be the 17th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament eight times, including three straight championships from 2003-05 at what has become one of the world's most competitive international women's events. Last year, the USA defeated surprise finalist Iceland 4-2 in the championship game after falling behind 2-1 in the first half.

The USA scored 12 goals at last year's tournament, tied for most ever in an Algarve Cup for the Americans, which included eight goals in the last two matches, a 4-0 win against Finland and the championship game victory against Iceland. Eight different players scored for the USA, including three from Alex Morgan, who won the Top Scorer award (several other players scored three goals, but she played the least minutes) as she began to make what has turned out to be a major impact on the international scene.

U.S. forward Abby Wambach comes into the tournament with 131 career goals, 15 of which have been scored at the Algarve Cup (in seven tournaments), the most of any player in U.S. history. The U.S. roster is of course stocked with veterans, many of whom have attended multiple Algarve Cup tournaments. Twenty of the 23 players on the roster attended last year's tournament. Nineteen of the players on the Algarve Cup roster were on the USA's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Team.

U.S. captain Christie Rampone, who earned her 250th career cap against New Zealand on Feb. 11, will lead the U.S. team that features nine defenders on the roster as Sundhage and her staff continues to look for the best combination to populate the back four. Rampone will be playing in her 11th Algarve Cup.

Also on the roster are several former tournament MVPs in Shannon Boxx (the 2004 and 2006 Algarve Cup MVP) and Carli Lloyd, who scored three goals in last year's tournament and was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games that year. Heather O'Reilly will be playing in her 10th Algarve Cup and Boxx in her ninth. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo will be playing in her ninth Algarve Cup after missing last year's tournament while recovering from shoulder surgery.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position -

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Hope Solo

DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O'Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn

MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez

FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach

Categorías: Youth Articles

Sundhage Names Roster for 2012 Algrave Cup

Top Drawer Soccer - Fri, 02/17/2012 - 9:29de la tarde

 Following a week of training in Frisco, Texas, and a dramatic 2-1 victory against New Zealand on Feb. 11 in front of a sold-out crowd at FC Dallas Stadium, U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named a 23-player preliminary roster that will travel to the 2012 Algarve Cup in Portugal.

This year's tournament is being staged from Feb. 29-March 7 and the U.S. team will depart for Europe on Feb. 20. Sundhage will name 21 players to the tournament roster prior to the start of the matches. All the players Sundhage is bringing to Portugal trained with the USA last week in Texas.

The majority of the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country, with several matches at the 30,000-seat Estadio Algarve. The placement matches will take place on March 7. Fans can follow the USA's intense schedule of four games in eight days online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and watch highlights on ussoccer.com. For the entire tournament schedule, please go to the Algarve Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.

The U.S. team, which has been placed into Group B at the annual tournament, will open play on Feb. 29 against Denmark in Lagos. The USA will face Norway on March 2, again in Lagos, and will finish the first round on March 5 against Japan at Estadio Algarve in Faro in what will be the first meeting between the teams since the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final. Group A features Germany, Sweden, China and Iceland. Group C features host Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Wales and Hungary.

Since the expansion to 12 teams in 2002, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The teams in Group A and B will compete for the title, as the group winners will play on Wednesday, March 7, in the championship game. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place, while the third-place finishers will play for fifth. The Group C teams will be competing for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C will play the worst fourth place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place.

This will be the 17th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament eight times, including three straight championships from 2003-05 at what has become one of the world's most competitive international women's events. Last year, the USA defeated surprise finalist Iceland 4-2 in the championship game after falling behind 2-1 in the first half.

The USA scored 12 goals at last year's tournament, tied for most ever in an Algarve Cup for the Americans, which included eight goals in the last two matches, a 4-0 win against Finland and the championship game victory against Iceland. Eight different players scored for the USA, including three from Alex Morgan, who won the Top Scorer award (several other players scored three goals, but she played the least minutes) as she began to make what has turned out to be a major impact on the international scene.

U.S. forward Abby Wambach comes into the tournament with 131 career goals, 15 of which have been scored at the Algarve Cup (in seven tournaments), the most of any player in U.S. history. The U.S. roster is of course stocked with veterans, many of whom have attended multiple Algarve Cup tournaments. Twenty of the 23 players on the roster attended last year's tournament. Nineteen of the players on the Algarve Cup roster were on the USA's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Team.

U.S. captain Christie Rampone, who earned her 250th career cap against New Zealand on Feb. 11, will lead the U.S. team that features nine defenders on the roster as Sundhage and her staff continues to look for the best combination to populate the back four. Rampone will be playing in her 11th Algarve Cup.

Also on the roster are several former tournament MVPs in Shannon Boxx (the 2004 and 2006 Algarve Cup MVP) and Carli Lloyd, who scored three goals in last year's tournament and was the MVP of the 2007 Algarve Cup after scoring in all four games that year. Heather O'Reilly will be playing in her 10th Algarve Cup and Boxx in her ninth. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo will be playing in her ninth Algarve Cup after missing last year's tournament while recovering from shoulder surgery.

U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position -

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Hope Solo

DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O'Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn

MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez

FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach

Categorías: Youth Articles

Galaxy U16 rework lineup after Academy title

Top Drawer Soccer - Fri, 02/17/2012 - 2:12de la mañana

In 2011, Los Angeles Galaxy U16 stormed its way to a National Championship, the first for the MLS Academy, behind stellar play from Jack McBean, William Raygoza, Sebastian Velasquez, and Matthew Tilley.

When the team came back together in the fall, head coach Kenny Arena was looking at a lot of new faces.

"It is a little like starting over each year, which is a good experience as a coach," Kenny Arena told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "You have some guys back from last year's team who did not play a lot, but now they have more responsibility."

The new faces may not have the same pedigree as that championship squad from last year, but the team is starting to find a similar synergy, which enabled Arena's squad to rampage through the Development Academy playoffs last summer.

Alejandro VergaraAfter a couple of months with this group, Arena's style of high, unrelenting pressure combined with incisive wing play is beginning to take shape again.

"This group is coming along great," said Arena. "There are new guys in the mix who will be going through what the old guys experienced. Our academy is still young so these experiences of transition and supporting older players and then having the responsibility to help younger players is interesting to see as a coach."

Since returning to play in 2012, Galaxy is undefeated in four games with three wins and a draw.

Part of the reason for the sudden surge has been the emergence of a replacement for Raygoza in midfield ace Alejandro Vergara.

Vergara just turned 15 years old and is eligible to play with this age group for two more years, but his notoriety comes from his size. He appears to stand two feet shorter than teammate Justin Dhillon, who is just over 6'4. Opponents may overlook the tiny midfielder, but Galaxy knows they have a gem.

"He is a good soccer player," said Arena. "The more I keep doing this, the more comfortable I feel trying to help players develop no matter how fast or big they are."

The diminutive playmaker is perhaps overlooked by most of the competition given his size, but as soon as the ball hits his feet, the physical differences are thrown out the window.

With lightning quick steps, a smooth first touch, and a powerful shot, which sounds like a cannon went off, Vergara is a mesmerizing figure for the Galaxy Academy.

But he is only one of the contributors to Arena's side, which is eyeing development of these players over defending the title.

One of the top scorers from last year's team, Justin Dhillon, is back with Arena's bunch. Dhillon has seven goals on the season, which includes a hat trick he scored last week against Pateadores.

Jaime Villarreal leads the team in scoring with 13 goals in 12 games, but he has spent the last few games playing with the U18 team due to an injury to his older brother, Jose.

Galaxy returns to action on Saturday with an important fixture against rivals Chivas USA. Galaxy U16 trails RSL-AZ by five points in the standings with the teams scheduled to play twice in April.

LA Galaxy U16 roster:
Juan Arellano, Martin Arrieta, Joseph Barakat, Nathan Castillo, Grayson Cornwell, Chris Constantini, Justin Dhillon, Angel Josue Espana, Bryan Guzman, Kevin Labastida, Aaron Lombardi, Steve Martinez, Axel Mendez, Jose Mora, Rolando Munoz, Mario Ortiz, Manuel Padilla, Douglas Perez, Matthew Perez, Vincent Reyes, Justin Schottenhammer, Daniil Slepukhin, Ivan Vasquez, Alejandro Vergara, Jaime Villarreal

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text21644 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //-->
Categorías: Youth Articles

2012 id2 national selection tour heads to Spain

Top Drawer Soccer - Fri, 02/17/2012 - 2:01de la mañana

On Friday, 18 of the top players born in 1998 or 1999, as identified by US Club Soccer's id2 program, and a few coaches depart for a trip to Spain.

It is by no means a vacation though. The team, assembled from players all across the nation, is heading to Spain for ten days of training and learning, which also includes three scheduled games against top youth academies.

"If you selected the ideal soccer destination based on the last few years, I think Spain would be the most rewarding trip for you," McKeown told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "The way they play is certainly how we would like to play."

The trip is put on by US Club Soccer's id2 program, which was established in 2004, as a means to identify and develop the country's elite youth soccer players, while also scouting the top talent for inclusion in the U.S. National Team program.

Kevin SilvaThe program is open to all players regardless of their club's affiliation. There are four camps held across the country each year where potential players are indentified for possible inclusion for the national selection tour.

Two years ago, current U.S. Residency Program members Corey Baird, Ade Taiwo, and Wesley Wade starred on the trip that toured through the Netherlands and Germany.

McKeown was reluctant to put any comparisons in place between this year's tour and the team from two years ago, but he did say, "We have some very good players this year."

The coach went on to talk about how influential this opportunity is for players to see how other countries cherish the sport.

"It is an opportunity to matchup against kids in completely different situation than our players," said McKeown referencing the competition. "This will be a step up and we anticipate some good games."

The tour begins with a split game against UE Cornella and RCD Espanyol on Sunday. Then the American team will face FC Barcelona on Tuesday, before ending the tour against Atletico Madrid on Thursday.

The 2012 tour includes two players who were part of last year's competition in St. Louis Scott Gallagher's Logan Panchot and PDA's Kevin Silva.

"I think it is really important," McKeown said about having two returners on the team. "They know what to expect heading into this. One of those guys will likely be the captain of the tour."

The coach does anticipate some nervousness from the players, as they face off against some of the best club's in the world.

"All of the guys are going in with their eyes wide open," said the coach. "I'm sure they're nervous with the names we are playing against, but there has to be a little belief.

"In previous tours, we played against Ajax and Celtic. Quickly, the players realized it is just 11 guys against 11 guys, same game."

Although there is no scheduled practice time for the team before landing in Spain, McKeown did not seem too worried about how his squad would work together.

"It is difficult to get a bunch of kids together, but they're all good players, so they have a similar mindset heading into this," said McKeown. "Obviously, there will be some issues with awareness and communication, but we work on that by shaping the back four and talking about expectations."

The coach added that the overreaching theme of the trip is to absorb the culture and the soccer in Spain.

"We make it a point of humility, we are there to learn and respect the history," said McKeown.

The tour also includes the group attending the La Liga fixture between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona next Sunday, before the group returns back to the States.

Full roster: Harry Adanuty (CASL), Christian Albelo (TSV Aimicita Vierheim 1906/09), Danny Barbir (PDA), George Braima (Columbus Crew), Chaz Burnett (PDA), Jonathan Navarro (PAC Atlas), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls), A.J. Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic), Juan Riley (Weston FC), Chad Sahinkaya (Dallas Texans), Kevin Silva (PDA), Jack Skahan (Sunrise FC), Raheem Taylor-Parkes (Brandon FC), Suniel Veerakone (Michigan Wolves), Andrew Verdi (FC Delco)

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text16730 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> .
Categorías: Youth Articles

ECNL teams mix it up a weekend before showcase

Top Drawer Soccer - Fri, 02/17/2012 - 1:57de la mañana

One weekend before scores of ECNL teams descend on San Antonio, Texas for the first National Showcase of 2012, this weekend's action is limited primarily to a small handful of teams.

As clubs across the ECNL cope with the varying depends of their respective schedule, Bethesda SC U16 is trying to pick up a second straight win over FC Virginia in less than a month and continue climbing up the Midatlantic Conference standings.

"It'll be interesting how FC [Virginia] approach the game," Bethesda U16 coach Dave Nolan told TopDrawersoccer.com. "We beat them the last time 3-0 it was a little unfair on them as regards to score line. I'm sure they're well coached team, I'm sure Mike [Jorden] will have a couple of tricks up his sleeve to change the outcome."

A byproduct of playing teams so close together creates an interesting challenge for the winning coach in the second matchup - like Bethesda faces.

"When you're the team that's come up on the short end of it, you have a chance to adjust and change teams that you see may give you a different outcome," Nolan said. "If you're a team that's won, why would you change something because you won?"

Here's a look at a few other matchups around the ECNL this weekend:

U18

Freestate Soccer Alliance can stretch its winning run to six games this weekend at FC Virginia. Riley Barger tops FSA's scoring charts with six goals, as the team has yet to suffer a defeat this year.

A crucial meeting in the Midwest pits the Minnesota Thunder Academy against FC Milwaukee, as both sit around mid-table in the Midwest Conference standings, looking to start a push towards the summit.

U17

Both St. Louis Scott Gallagher and Carmel United have plenty of ground to make up in the Midwest Conference standings when they play on Saturday. With the Michigan Hawks and Eclipse Soccer Club setting the bar extremely high - 36 and 37 points respectively - neither side can afford to drop points as they chase the leaders.

FC Delco has only one conference game under its belt, but on Saturday, will add to the total when it plays the lone game against McLean. Forward Kristen Gatti has carried the attack thus far, and will need to continue to do so as FCD plays its only game in February. Meanwhile, Mclean is looking to improve its conference point total with just 14 through 10 games so far this year.

U15

Freestate Soccer Alliance boasts another team enjoying a strong start to the ECNL slate in its U15 side, winners of its first three game of the year. Goal scorer Paige DeLoach's five-goal haul from that trio of matches has helped, and FSA can pad its points per game lead in the standings with a win on Saturday against FC Virginia.

Travis Clark is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text54374 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> .

Categorías: Youth Articles
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