Youth Articles

Star 2013s make commitment headlines

Top Drawer Soccer - Fri, 02/17/2012 - 12:51de la mañana

Kellyn Acosta would like to be a professional soccer player some day. And, well ...

"Maryland produces a lot of professionals," he said.



Sounds like a perfect fit to me.


Acosta, our No. 5 ranked 2013 prospect, has given his verbal to join the Terrapins in a year and a half. By then, he'll have added to his lengthy list of impressive credentials. 

The athletic FC Dallas standout has his share of big-game experience as he was a U.S. U17 Residency player and frequent national program performer.

Kellyn Acosta

He's shown the ability to both attack and defend effectively, which will give Maryland options. Acosta had plenty of options himself, and considered other ACC programs Virginia, Wake Forest and North Carolina - not to mention Akron and SMU.



"I really like the coaches at Maryland, the campus and the team," he said. "It's a really good school and program."



Other 2013 newsmakers include Colin Webb, ranked No. 28 in the Top 100, who announced that he has verbally committed to Indiana. 

Webb is a skilled goalkeeper for Albion SC where he has played up during stints of his young career. He was showcased with the U18 team back in 2009 and has also received calls in from the U.S. Soccer program.



PA Classics striker Connor Maloney made it known that he will stay in-state to attend Penn State beginning in 2013.

Connor, ranked No. 54 in our Top 100, is a small and shifty player who looks to combine with his teammates first. Maloney has been named to the Development Academy East Conference Starting XI, and is a team captain.


And now that the 2013s have hijacked the news, on to the 2012s:

Jordyn Cikesh (Fox Valley Strikers) has verbally committed to Lewis University for the 2012 season.

Austin Burke (Cypress FC Premier) has signed with UC Irvine for the 2012 season.

Leland Newhaller (Tampa Bay United) has signed to American for the 2012 season.  

Rayon Gibbs (Central Jackson Soccer Org) has signed with UNC Asheville for the 2012 season.

Ryan Kretz (San Diego Surf) has signed with LMU for the 2012 season.

Chris Berardi (Empire United SA) has signed with Canisius for the 2012 season.

Matthew Praino (FC Westchester) has signed with NJIT for the 2012 season.

Jason Kayne (Sockers FC) has signed with Tufts University for the 2012 season.

Jared Dublin (F.C. Westchester) has signed with Monmouth for the 2012 season.

Connor McCafferty has signed with Wright State for the 2012 season.

Mattias Thompson (Maui United) has signed with Lenoire-Rhyne University for the 2012 season.

Clarke Foxand (Spirit United Strikers) signed with Bucknell for the 2012 season.

George Mansour (San Diego Football Academy) signed with UC Irvine for the 2012 season.

Andrew Sotak (NC Fusion) has signed with UNC Asheville for the 2012 season.

Charles DeFeo (Seacoast United) has signed with Vermont for the 2012 season.

Kevin Fallet (Real Bethesda) has signed with High Point for the 2012 season.

Categorías: Youth Articles

Javier Perez named USMNT U18 head coach

Top Drawer Soccer - Fri, 02/17/2012 - 12:38de la mañana
Javier Perez has been named head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team, effective immediately. He will fill the vacancy left by former head coach Richie Williams after he was named head coach of the Under-17 Men's National Team.

"It's an honor to be part of the National Team staff," Perez said. "This job is extremely important because the U-17 Men's National Team and U-20 Men's National Team are two groups going into World Cups for their respective age group. The U-18s do not have a World Cup, but the job, in this case, is to make that transition between the U-17s toward U-20s easier. Also, I think it's a good opportunity to work with other National Team coaches and I'm really excited."

Perez is the Director of Coaching at New York Soccer Club and was previously a coach at Real Madrid, spending six years with the Spanish team as a coach in the club's development center.

The Valladolid, Spain, native holds a UEFA PRO license from the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and a UEFA "A" license from the English Football Association, and he worked at the RFEF as a member of the management team for the Master License available to senior coaches.

With a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology for monitoring the Real Madrid youth players' heart rates, Perez became one of three coaches in Spain to receive an Exercise Physiology Ph.D. and the UEFA PRO license. In addition to his Ph.D., he also holds an M.Phil. in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a Masters Degree in Sports Science and a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education.

Perez already has experience with U.S. Soccer, having worked with U.S. Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna to develop the U.S. Soccer coaching curriculum, which is designed to improve the development of players in the United States. He has also worked with U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann as a member of the staff for a two-game trip in October of 2011, when the U.S. faced Honduras and Ecuador.

"The style of play we are going to develop is in line with what Technical Director Claudio Reyna and myself have been working on the past two years with the U.S. Soccer curriculum," Perez said. "It will be an offensive style, a dominant style, and it will give the opportunity to the most talented players to develop possession and quick circulation of the ball to create goalscoring opportunities."

Perez also plans on being in close contact with U-17 Men's National Team head coach Williams, who was recently joined on staff by assistant coach Jim Rooney, and U-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos.

"Both of them were U-18 National Team coaches before, so they are going to be a good help for the selection of the players," Perez said. "[I will be] working with them for developing these players toward the U-20 National Team. That's my job now."

The U-18 MNT will compete in the annual Lisbon International Tournament from May 23-26 in what will be Perez's first competition as head coach.
Categorías: Youth Articles

Seattle Sounders tops U.S. U17 national team

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 11:03de la tarde
Three Seattle Sounders FC players scored as the Rave Green beat the U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team, 3-0, in their fourth training game of the 2012 preseason at IMG Soccer Academy on Thursday afternoon.
 
The training game consisted of two 35-minute periods with all three Sounders FC goals coming in the first period. Seattle's starters from the previous day did not play.
 
David Estrada struck first with a goal in the 24th minute. Estrada made a run up the left side, collected a pass from Sammy Ochoa and beat keeper Paul Christensen for the game's first goal.
 
Ochoa scored in the 32nd minute when he collected a loose ball outside of the box, dribbled past his defender and beat the keeper with the outside of his right foot from just inside the 18-yard box.
 
Zach Scott added the final tally in the 34th minute after Cordell Cato's shot was deflected by a defender. Scott ran onto the loose ball in the box and finished inside the far netting.
 
Moments before his goal, Estrada hit the post with a header in the 23rd minute after Amadou Sanyang found him at the back post.
 
Alex Caskey created several scoring opportunities. Caskey set-up Ochoa in the box in the 12th minute but Ochoa's shot sailed over the crossbar. In the 22nd minute, Caskey cut across his defender on the right side and served a low cross into the box to a streaking Roger Levesque but his shot missed wide.
 
Sounders FC Academy goalkeeper Paul Christensen is currently living in Bradenton, Fla. as part of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program. Christensen started and played the first 35 minutes against his senior team counterparts.
 
Seattle's final training game in Florida is on Sunday afternoon against Florida Gulf Coast University. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT at the IMG Soccer Academy.
 
Scoring Summary
SEA - David Estrada (Sammy Ochoa, Amadou Sanyang) 24'
SEA - Sammy Ochoa 32'
SEA - Zach Scott 34'
 
Seattle Sounders FC
Andrew Weber, Amadou Sanyang, Harlinton Gutierrez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott (Andrew Duran 36'), Cordell Cato (Christian Sivebaek 36'), Servando Carrasco, Alex Caskey, Roger Levesque (Andy Rose 36'), Sammy Ochoa, David Estrada (Babayele Sodade 36').
 
U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team
Paul Christensen (Evan Louro 36'), Elijah Martin (Steven Echevarria 36'), Conor Donovan (Tyler Turner 36'), Tommy Redding (Kevin Politz 36'), John Requejo Jr. (Caleb Duvernay 36'), Cameron Lindley (Mukwelle Akale 36'; Rubio Rubin 48'), Angel Heredia (Guyllain Kabala 36'), Junior Flores (Christopher Lema 36'), Rubio Rubin (Aaron Meyer 36'), Corey Baird (Bradford Jamieson 36'), Wesley Wade (Ahinga Selemani 36').
 
Misconduct Summary
U17 - John Requejo Jr. (caution) 5'
Categorías: Youth Articles

U23 roster released for Frisco, TX camp

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 9:49de la tarde

 U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team head coach Caleb Porter named a 23-player roster as the group convenes Feb. 19 for a 10-day training camp in Frisco, Texas. The camp culminates with a match against Mexico's U-23 National Team on Wed., Feb. 29, at FC Dallas Stadium. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on Univision.

The training camp and Mexico match make up an important stretch for the U-23s as they get set for the Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament, with group play kicking off March 22 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.

"I think Mexico is going to be about as close to a qualifying atmosphere as we can possibly get," Porter said. "We're going to have, for the most part, our entire group together for the first time."

In addition to the Mexico match, the U.S. U-23s will hold scrimmages against FC Dallas of Major League Soccer on Wed., Feb. 22, and the North American Soccer League's new franchise, the San Antonio Scorpions, on Friday, Feb. 24.

"The No. 1 priority in this camp is to see our guys in games and to build a little bit of that rhythm by playing multiple games in a short amount of time," Porter said. "Everything is geared toward the Mexico game, but we want to get a couple of games early in the week to get guys minutes so we can look at everybody to help with those final roster decisions leading into qualifying."

Five players who had not previously been in camp with the U-23 team will be on hand, including FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea, who has appeared in all nine of the U.S. Men's National Team matches under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The 2011 U.S. Young Male Athlete of the Year and Bryan, Texas, native is coming off a strong season with FC Dallas that included MLS Best XI recognition and a nomination for MLS Most Valuable Player.

Juan Agudelo joins the camp after earning 14 appearances with the senior team last year. Agudelo was the first player to come out of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy to earn a cap with the U.S. Men's National Team.

Also making their first U-23 appearances under Porter are defenders Perry Kitchen, Ike Opara and Alfredo Morales. Kitchen was the third overall pick by D.C. United in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft following a collegiate career at Akron.

Porter is confident the newcomers to the group can quickly get acclimated with the group that has been in place through previous camps.

"We've had a good number of guys in the last two or three camps, so there's a good comfort level both ways - them with us, us with them - of knowing how we do things, how we train, the rhythm of how we prepare for games, the system and the style of play," Porter said. "As we add a few more pieces, I think that core group will make it a lot easier in integrating them."

Five players will arrive at camp after the Feb. 19 start date, with forward Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund) scheduled to join the team Feb. 23, while midfielder Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), midfielder Mix Diskerud (Gent), forward Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim) and Morales (Hertha Berlin) appearing on Feb. 26 into Frisco.

Fifteen of the 24 players are with MLS franchises, including Philadelphia Union teammates Freddy Adu, Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo.

The U-23 goalkeeping tandem includes D.C. United's Bill Hamid and the Chicago Fire's Sean Johnson. Both played for the U.S. Men's National Team at the start of the year. Hamid manned the net during a 1-0 victory against Venezuela on Jan. 21 in Glendale, Ariz., as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy alum became the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to collect a shutout in his first game. Johnson earned his second international cap when he played in the second half of a 1-0 win against Panama on Jan. 25 in Panama City.

Five players on the roster have U.S. Soccer Development Academy ties: Agudelo, Corona, Hamid, McInerney and defender Zarek Valentin.

Texas natives Greg Garza and Jared Jeffrey return to their home state for training and the Mexico match. Jeffrey is from Dallas suburb Richardson, Texas, and Garza hails from Grapevine, Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying begins on March 22, with Group A games being played at LP Field in Nashville and Group B games at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The USA was drawn into Group A with Canada, Cuba and El Salvador, while Group B is composed of Mexico, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.

The semifinal and final matches will be played at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., on March 31 and April 2, respectively.

 Full roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

DEFENDERS (7): Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)


MIDFIELDERS (6):
Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS (8): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia)

Categorías: Youth Articles

Bethesda SC U16 focus on improvement

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 7:35de la tarde

Like all elite youth club teams, Bethesda SC's U16 Girls team has had to deal with the stop-start schedule demands of its ECNL season.

After opening the season with a pair of Ohio games in early December - both losses - Bethesda has since steadied the ship after returning to a more regular schedule at the end of January.

While the schedule has been a challenge, the start hasn't bothered head coach Dave Nolan, who simply asks his team to continue improving throughout the year.
Eliza Doll (left)"I don't get overly worried about results, I'm more of a process guy," he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "I'm far more interested in us getting better, and if we work hard to get better, then the results will take care of themselves."

Since opening with that pair of losses, Bethesda has put together a record of 2-1-1, with a win over FC Virginia 3-0 at the end of January and a 3-1 win over the Richmond Strikers.

Already, the team has begun to take steps forward and Nolan, also the head women's coach at Georgetown, has been pleased with the progress.

"I do think we've shown some improvement as we've gone through these six games and certainly where we are now, and where we were four weeks ago when we started up in early January, it's night and day," he said.

Playing an attack-minded game, Bethesda has a pair of strong outside backs in Aliza Wolfe and Madison Krasko who like to get forward and chip in to the offense, while attacking midfielder Eliza Doll pulls the strings sitting behind the forwards.

With the group now moving in the right direction, Nolan is hoping that the team can continue to climb up the standings, both within the divisions and on a national scale.

"I'd like us to get where we are comfortably in the mid-table and above," he said. "It's tough because there are so many good teams in the [ECNL] A Flight, it's challenging."

Nolan believes that he has a team ready to put in the effort to get accomplish that, and they'll look to do so this Sunday as the season continues with a match against FC Virginia.

"My group is a hard working group, we encourage them to play good soccer," he said. "We're a team, on our day, we can absolutely play with anybody in the country."

Travis Clark is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text59142 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> .

Categorías: Youth Articles

ECNL PDP attracts college, national coaches

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 5:22de la mañana

Part 3 of a 3-part series. Read Part 1 | Read Part 2
TOLEDO, OHIO - The atmosphere at the University of Toledo's Fetterman Athletic Center last weekend was a bit surreal. Inside the colossal indoor training facility, which hosted the latest ECNL Premier Development Program event, there were a handful of watching parents, about 25 players at a time and a near silence save for some communication from the players. Outside it was way below freezing, with a chilling wind to go with it, but inside the spacious venue the air was only a bit cool, as the place is heated by geothermal wells meaning no massive air compressor providing an unwanted deluge of white noise. The fine folks from Nike Sparq Training blared techno music through the place on the 2nd day. I thought that was not only unwelcome but also god-awful, but the players I asked afterward all seemed to either enjoy it or not notice it (the latter group are REALLY focused, or need to get their hearing checked, the former group, well I guess I shouldn't harp on preferences as it just makes me look that much older). But in the one-day quiet and one-day loud atmosphere, the ever-present eyes of watching coaches provided a constant reminder of the importance for these players to show well; particularly the group of younger players who mostly have not made commitments to colleges yet. Along with those college coaches, U.S. Soccer's Keri Sarver, part of the U18 WNT staff and a member of the national scouting network being built by USSF Youth Technical Director Jillian Ellis, was carefully scrutinizing every kick of the ball on the weekend. Sarver explained why the format of the event is a good one for her to evaluate potential national team prospects.  Like Sarver, approximately 35 college coaches were on hand, watching carefully. Ohio State head coach Lori Walker, who doubled as one of the team coaches for the event, said the event setup works for her as she continues in recruiting mode. We also learned something about her appreciation for the frigid outdoor climes present in Ohio that day.   Iowa coach Ron Rainey echoed his colleagues' comments, and also shared with us some insights on the recruiting process.   I'd like to again thank Lavers and Michigan Hawks coach Doug Landefeld for their work in accommodating my coverage of the event this weekend.
Categorías: Youth Articles

McLean U18 Boys look for strong finish

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 4:19de la mañana

Despite it being just February, the next two weeks are massive for the playoff aspirations of McLean Youth Soccer U-18 boys.

Currently top of the table in the South Conference's Atlantic Division with a division record of 6-0-1, McLean has three games left until a break lasting until June, and are looking to position themselves well for the final four games in the summer.

"We want June to matter, we want these matches to be competitive, and essentially we're achieving that," head coach Ed Beach told TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Last weekend provided a stiff challenge, as the team traveled to North Carolina for a pair of weekend matches against Charlotte Soccer Academy and North Meck. The result of the trip was an unbeaten stretch of games, a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 win.

"The Charlotte game was tough, to be fair," Beach said. "We're probably happier with the result than they are, they were a really good side. We turned around and did a very good job with North Meck."

Peter LamAt this stretch of the season, McLean is holding on in the face of a couple of injury problems. Midfielder Greg Boehme, who has played an integral part of this year's success, suffered a broken collarbone and separated shoulder against North Meck.

Fortunately, McLean did get another midfielder, Francesco Amorosino, back after he suffered the same injury earlier in the year. The club continues to rely on center back Peter Lam and Sheldon Sullivan in defense, while receiving timely scoring up front from Conor Nogueira and Amardo Oakley.

But perhaps the biggest test for McLean lies ahead this weekend with another trip to North Carolina. On Saturday, they face CASL Chelsea, which has dominated the Atlantic Division of late, before playing the North Carolina Fusion on Sunday.

"We need to manage travel well to Carolina but at the same time we need to take care of business at home as well, so we are in the running [for the playoffs], which was one of our objectives at the beginning of the year."

After the Carolina trip, a final match at home is on the slate at home against the Virginia Rush before McLean has a break in its Development Academy schedule until the beginning of June.

Regardless of how the final stretch of the season plays out from a results perspective, for Beach, it's been a very good season for his McLean side.

"I'm very pleased with how the players individually and a group have been able to meet the demand that's been put on them, both in training and the quality of the games too," he said. "From a results standpoint, we're pleased, we're happy, but also from a development standpoint again, I think the players are becoming better players in all phases of the game, especially learning how to manage adversity and competitive situations better."

Travis Clark is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text21085 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> .
Categorías: Youth Articles

West Coast FC gets boost from younger pair

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 2:53de la mañana

They go by the nicknames, J and K. But they aren't kidding around when they take the field.

Natalie Jacobs and Natalie Kennedy are two of the top center midfielders in the country for the U15 age group, which is pretty remarkable that they are on the same team, but on top of that, both Natalies are actually playing up a year.

"I never think about them as playing up," said West Coast FC U15 head coach Gus Castaneda. "Both girls have had older sisters in our club, and they have been around the club since they were six or seven."

Jacobs is more of an attacking player, she leads her high school in scoring as a freshman, according to her coach.

Natalie Jacobs"She doesn't need a lot of motivation," said Castaneda about Jacobs. "She is a tremendous athlete with a great work ethic and a lot of passion. She has been the captain for this team and a lot of girls look up to her."

Kennedy is the destroyer of the midfield. Despite her size, she is ruthless in the holding midfield position.

"She has an incredible soccer IQ," said Castaneda. "One of the smartest players I have ever seen. She reads the game very well and always knows where the ball needs to go to get out of pressure."

The pairing of Natalies in the center of the field has West Coast FC at the top of the SoCal Conference Standings with a 6-0-2 record. But, the coach is quick to point out there are quite a few other players who deserve credit for that undefeated start to the season.

"The reason the team is successful is because it has so many talented players," said Castaneda. "It is a very deep team. We have 19 players on the roster, and I don't have any reservation about playing of the players."

The coach went on to say that a variety of players have chipped in with some timely goals so far this year.

Holding the top spot amongst the Southern California teams is nothing new for this group. Castaneda said that this is basically the same group from the past few years in the Coast Soccer League's Gold bracket, where West Coast FC has finished either first or second since U12.

The goals for West Coast FC, however, remain on a bigger stage.

"We always set our goals on the top prize," said the coach. "We want to qualify for the National Championship of the ECNL at the end of the season. We want to win it."

Standing in the way of West Coast FC and a date with the title is 29 other teams from the Flight A of the ECNL and a few months of rust. The team is currently on break for its high school season, and will not return to action until the beginning of March.

"I use the analogy of the treadmill. Before the players left for high school, we were going full speed," said Castaneda about dealing without practicing for a few months. "When they return, the treadmill is a couple notches down, then it gets cranked back up. We go hard in training, but it usually takes a few weeks to get it back."

Luckily for West Coast FC, it returns to action on March 10 against another team on break for high school soccer, Eagles Soccer Club. But Castaneda's team has a busy month with a college showcase event in Las Vegas and the ECNL National Showcase Event in San Diego at the end of the month.

His squad seems up for the challenge.

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text14290 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> .

Categorías: Youth Articles

West Coast FC gets boost from younger players

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 2:53de la mañana

They go by the nicknames, J and K. But they aren't kidding around when they take the field.

Natalie Jacobs and Natalie Kennedy are two of the top center midfielders in the country for the U15 age group, which is pretty remarkable that they are on the same team, but on top of that, both Natalies are actually playing up a year.

"I never think about them as playing up," said West Coast FC U15 head coach Gus Castaneda. "Both girls have had older sisters in our club, and they have been around the club since they were six or seven."

Jacobs is more of an attacking player, she leads her high school in scoring as a freshman, according to her coach.

Natalie Jacobs"She doesn't need a lot of motivation," said Castaneda about Jacobs. "She is a tremendous athlete with a great work ethic and a lot of passion. She has been the captain for this team and a lot of girls look up to her."

Kennedy is the destroyer of the midfield. Despite her size, she is ruthless in the holding midfield position.

"She has an incredible soccer IQ," said Castaneda. "One of the smartest players I have ever seen. She reads the game very well and always knows where the ball needs to go to get out of pressure."

The pairing of Natalies in the center of the field has West Coast FC at the top of the SoCal Conference Standings with a 6-0-2 record. But, the coach is quick to point out there are quite a few other players who deserve credit for that undefeated start to the season.

"The reason the team is successful is because it has so many talented players," said Castaneda. "It is a very deep team. We have 19 players on the roster, and I don't have any reservation about playing of the players."

The coach went on to say that a variety of players have chipped in with some timely goals so far this year.

Holding the top spot amongst the Southern California teams is nothing new for this group. Castaneda said that this is basically the same group from the past few years in the Coast Soccer League's Gold bracket, where West Coast FC has finished either first or second since U12.

The goals for West Coast FC, however, remain on a bigger stage.

"We always set our goals on the top prize," said the coach. "We want to qualify for the National Championship of the ECNL at the end of the season. We want to win it."

Standing in the way of West Coast FC and a date with the title is 29 other teams from the Flight A of the ECNL and a few months of rust. The team is currently on break for its high school season, and will not return to action until the beginning of March.

"I use the analogy of the treadmill. Before the players left for high school, we were going full speed," said Castaneda about dealing without practicing for a few months. "When they return, the treadmill is a couple notches down, then it gets cranked back up. We go hard in training, but it usually takes a few weeks to get it back."

Luckily for West Coast FC, it returns to action on March 10 against another team on break for high school soccer, Eagles Soccer Club. But Castaneda's team has a busy month with a college showcase event in Las Vegas and the ECNL National Showcase Event in San Diego at the end of the month.

His squad seems up for the challenge.

J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an ' ); document.write( addy_text35959 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //-->\n ' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ' ); //--> .

Categorías: Youth Articles

Study finds coaches in dark about concussions

Top Drawer Soccer - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 12:09de la mañana

Do soccer coaches know enough about concussions?

On Tuesday, Korrio and Axon Sports released data from surveys with over 250 youth soccer coaches about concussions. The two companies will fully present their findings at the US Youth Soccer Workshop later this week, but their initial findings suggest that more education is needed for coaches. 

The survey found that one in four coaches still do not receive training for how to identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion. 

"We were certainly encouraged by the high-level of concussion awareness, but with 25 percent - that's one in four - coaches still professing a lack of awareness regarding serious brain injuries to young athletes, we believe there is still a lot of work to do," Steve Goldman, CEO of Korrio, said in a press release. 

The survey was conducted in late 2011 with coaches from a variety of levels in the youth game. Per the release, it was designed to "gauge youth soccer coaches' level of concussion awareness and the strength of related organizational guidelines, protocols, education and training."

Only 50.4 percent of the coaches said they were familiar with baseline testing for concussion management, which is widely considered the best-practice protocol for concussion management, according to the release.

"Baseline testing is a very simple and effective method for measuring cognitive brain functions and managing the return of players suffering from concussion symptoms," Axon Sports President and CEO Polly James said in the release. "It is a protocol that should be familiar to every coach and volunteer in youth sports, as well something parents and players should be very familiar with. These survey results indicate there is still education to do on a fundamental step to advance safety."

When asked if the coaches thought concussions were a serious problem in youth soccer, nearly 42 percent of coaches selected either 'strongly disagree' or 'neutral.'

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that one in ten athletes would suffer a concussion this year. 

Coaches also said that parents were not properly educated on the topic of concussions, as only 56 percent said that their organizations offered some form of concussion awareness education for parents. 

For the full results of the data: click here.

 

Categorías: Youth Articles

New commits set to join lots of Top 100s

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/15/2012 - 6:26de la mañana

As you may have heard, our final 2012 Top 100 Girls Ranking update was released today. 

So in honor of the best seniors in the country we're declaring this the Top 100 edition of our commitment update. So let's examine our most recent signings/commits and the Top 100 stars they'll be joining.

Riley Barger (Freestate SA) has signed with Maryland for the 2012 season, a good decision considering the talent that will be accompanying her.

 Our No. 6 ranked player Ashley Spivey is also set to join the Terrapins along with No. 19 Gabby Galanti and No. 47 Sarah Molina. 

Molina and Spivey have shared the field on U.S. National Teams while Galanti is an absolute force in the midfield. 

Barger, you just joined forces with a stellar lineup.

 Not to be outdone is Aaron Strawser (Albion Hurricanes FC) who has signed her future to Texas for the 2012 season.

 Goalkeeper Abby Smith, the No. 12 slotted player in the country, and No. 41 ranked Kelsey Shimmick will be Strawser's wing women (not literally, but you get it).


Mikala KinJaclyn Miller (NASA) has signed with Massachusetts for the 2012 season while Daniela Alvarez (Legends SC) has verbally committed to Massachusetts for the 2013 season where she'll ultimately join our 30th ranked player Mikayla Williams. A dynamic midfielder, Williams will be able to show Alvarez how to attack a defense when she arrives next year.



Another young player who should enjoy a special apprenticeship is Ginny McGowan, a 2014 who has fired off her verbal to Notre Dame. 

McGowan may very well be in awe when she makes it to campus with the likes of: Stephanie Campo (No. 38), Katie Naughton (No. 4), Cari Roccaro (No. 3), Brittany Von Rueden (No. 27) and Glory Williams (No. 16) all lending their star power to the Fighting Irish.


As for the rest of the commitments, NJIT scored a big group: Jaclyn Ward (Freestate Elite) and Danielle Pierce (Pickering Soccer Club) have each signed to NJIT for the 2012 season. While 2013s Marissa Borschke (Burlington Youth Soccer Academy) and Abiodun Fakolujo (Highland SC) has have each given verbals.  

Camille Christie (KCFC Alliance) has signed with Coastal Carolina for the 2012 season.

Mikala Kin (LDC Elite) has verbally committed to Delaware for the 2013 season.

Maria Pinkston (VSA Heat) has signed with VCU for the 2012 season
.

Shelby Koch (Crossfire Premier) has verbally committed to Loyola Chicago for the 2013 season.

Paige McDowell (FC Bucks) has verbally committed to La Salle for the 2013 season.

Kayla Byrnside (Ohio Elite) has verbally committed to Marshall for the 2013 season.

Jordan Pearson (Freestate SC) has verbally committed to Penn for the 2013 season.

Hannah Winner (FC Virginia) has verbally committed to Princeton for the 2013 season.

Natalie Gilbertson (Las Vegas Premier) has verbally signed to Northern Arizona for the 2012 season.

Jordan Young (Vardar) has verbally committed to Valparaiso for the 2013 season.

Categorías: Youth Articles

Final Ranking for 2012 Girls Players

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/15/2012 - 6:17de la mañana

The 2012 class of girls club soccer players is winding up its final competitive season. The players making the TopDrawerSoccer.com Players To Watch Top 100 ranking are all set with their college choices, but we are still adding a few new faces as we continue to look around the countryside for the best soccer talent in the land, class by class.

After a months-long layoff to reconfigure and examine the entire player pool, we resume the process with a final visit to the graduating seniors. Our rankings are made after an examination of national and regional honors among players in the top competitive leagues in the country, as well as selections to youth national teams and other top honors awarded across the nation. Further investigation includes the consulting of coaches at various levels throughout the country.

After February updates of national 2012 and 2013 rankings for Boys and Girls soccer (2012 Boys were last week, and 2013 players will be ranked over the next 2 weeks), the rankings will expand to four age groups, 2013 through 2016 (both genders), with the top 150 being selected for each. The work on these rankings has been going on for some time and will begin being released in March. Each of the top 150 lists will be updated quarterly. Regional lists will from this point be shorter reflections of the national list only, with minimal additional players added.

So we hope you enjoy the rankings and somehow manage to remember, it's impossible to get complete agreement on so massive a task as to ranking all players in high school age groups nationwide. If you have a different opinion, you are certainly entitled, but please don't think of this as life and death stuff - we don't.

Click here for the final 2012 Girls Top 100 ranking. 

Categorías: Youth Articles

Rodriguez features for Club Tijuana reserves

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/15/2012 - 2:27de la mañana

U.S. U17 World Cup veteran Stevie Rodriguez has only been with Club Tijuana for two weeks, but he seems to be making a really good impression at the Mexican top division club.  TopDrawerSoccer.com reported the signing in early February after Rodriguez left Chivas USA Academy and signed his first professional contract with Club Tijuana.  Last weekend, Rodriguez continued his climb through the ranks at his new club with a start for the reserve team in a 1-0 win over Cruz Azul before the first teams played. The 18-year-old midfielder played 77 minutes in the game, and was the lone American to feature on the day.  Steve Rodriguez"When I first put on the jersey, I felt a little nervous, but also full of joy and excitement," Rodriguez told TopDrawerSoccer.com about suiting up for his first professional game.  The nerves had no factor on his game though, as Rodriguez revealed after his first touch he felt comfortable with his new team.  "I felt like I did well," Rodriguez said. "It was kind of tough in the beginning but as soon as I touched the ball, all my nervousness went away. I had a blast." After being subbed out late in the game, Rodriguez said the coaches gave him some positive encouragement.  "The coaches congratulated me on my first professional game," Rodriguez said. "They also said that I did a good job." The midfield maestro realizes he still has work to do and people to impress. When asked if he was invited to the upcoming U20 camp, Rodriguez said he was not included on the roster. "[It means] I have to work even harder then."
Categorías: Youth Articles

PDP to build development into all activities

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/15/2012 - 2:14de la mañana

Part 2 in a 3-part series. Read Part 1.

TOLEDO, OHIO - When players from the Great Lakes Region gathered last weekend for one of 10 ECNL Player Development Program combines, things looked simple, but even that was part of a plan.

The new Player ID program of the nationwide girls' competitive league is sanctioned by U.S. Club Soccer and has received an official ODP designation from U.S. Soccer. The purpose of the proceedings is to gather top players to compete with and against one another under the watching eyes of organization and national staff to determine who might be suitable for further evaluation.

At the Toledo event, players were divided into four teams based on age, and played games on consecutive days. On the morning of the 2nd day, a training session was conducted along with Nike Sparq Training.

ECNL President Christian Lavers, who was not on hand in Toledo but has been involved with the new program from the beginning, explained a bit more about the program's goal in an interview with TopDrawerSoccer.com, noting that players were being given a glimpse of what a national event might be like, program-wise.

"We worked with Jill Ellis (U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director) to put together a curriculum for the training session to look like what a national team session would be like as far as its flow," Lavers said. "It's not rocket science. We want to have a professional environment and one that helps give kids an understanding of what it will be like if they advance to a higher level. For the activities both on and off the field, we wanted to make our sessions replicate that, and for when we do play 11 a side, we want to put a 4-2-3-1 in place, which is the system our youth national teams are playing. We want to give the kids some ideas as to the system and increase the odds that the kids will be successful if they get there and feel more comfortable on and off the field."

Lavers added that the relatively short duration of the event is also by design, allowing players to come in and participate with minimal driving, no more than one night away from home and then the chance to return to their respective club environments, with costs to families minimized as well.

At the Toledo event, played in a very nice indoor training facility with a full-length field, a decision was made to go to 9 players a side as the full width of the field was unable to be utilized. While that may have affected the tactical teaching part of the program, it definitely was the right call in terms of the flow of the scrimmages.

Lavers said he is pleased with the feedback he is getting from events around the country.

"I want players to go away and say that was really fun I want to do that again," he said. "I want them to think 'I'm going to work harder to make sure I get back there the next time.'"

Categorías: Youth Articles

U17 WNT roster shaping up as qualifying nears

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/15/2012 - 2:00de la mañana

As CONCACAF U17 girls World Cup qualifying draws ever closer, each and every U.S. U17 girls camp provides valuable preparation time.
The team just wrapped up a week-long camp last week in Sunrise, Florida, and according to head coach Albertin Montoya, things continue to move in the right direction as the tournament looms on the horizon.
"It went very well, we're definitely starting to come together as a team," he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "I think we're getting pretty close to determining our final squad that's going to go to qualifying with us."
Andi SullivanThe camp, which lasted from February 3-11, was highlighted by two matchups against Germany, with the U.S. girls scoring a pair of victories - a 2-0 win on Feb. 7 and a 1-0 win on Feb. 9.
Andi Sullivan and Emily Bruder tallied in the first win, while Summer Green grabbed the only goal in the second victory.
Both matches pleased Montoya as the team tinkered with its tactics.
"We had two excellent matches against Germany," he said. "We experimented with a few things, the first game we played more of a low pressure defense and it was interesting because Germany seemed to do the exact same thing. It was a little slower game but we still got some good results out of it. 
"In the second game, we wanted to try a little different approach and decided to defend much higher up the field. The Germans did the same thing so it was a much faster pace game, a lot of good pressure from both teams high up the field."
Perhaps most important for Montoya, the team clamped down on a dangerous German attack.
"Defensively I thought we were very solid, we shut out Germany twice and that's always impressive," he said. "We limited their chances, most of their chances came from outside the box."
With qualifying in May, the U 17s will get together twice more. Once at the beginning of March, an 18-player roster will travel to Spain to play against England, Holland and France.
After that, a camp will be held right before traveling from there to qualifying. Montoya said he's comfortable with his squad right now, and doesn't plan to tweak much, as he likes the camaraderie that has accrued in the latest camp.
"It's a team effort and you can see it on and off the field: the chemistry and the way they get along, support each other, I think that's definitely going to pay dividends later on when we're in qualifying and the World Cup," he said. "They care about each other and want to see each other succeed and I think that's important for us."
U.S. U-17 WNT Roster By Position: 
GOALKEEPERS: Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire South; Kennesaw, Ga.), Cassie Miller (Sereno FC; Cave Creek, Ariz.) 
DEFENDERS: 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 (CASL Chelsea Ladies; Cary, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS: Joanna Boyles (CASL Chelsea Ladies; Raleigh, N.C.), Caroline Chagares (PDA Slammers; Wyckoff, N.J.), Miranda Freeman (Lady Renegades SC; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Summer Green (Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.), Kayla Mills (Slammers FC; West Covina, Calif.), Gabbi Miranda (Colorado Rush; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Sarah Robinson (MVLA Lightning; Los Altos, Calif.), Arielle Ship (Real So Cal; Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Morgan Stanton (Colorado Rush; Lakewood, Colo.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.) 
FORWARDS: Emily Bruder (Utah Avalanche; Sandy, Utah), Cameron Castleberry (CASL Chelsea Ladies; Raleigh, N.C.), Gabrielle Matulich (MVLA Lightning; Los Gatos, Calif.), Amber Munerlyn (So Cal Blues; Corona, Calif.), Toni Payne (Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.), Margaret Purce (Freestate Soccer; Olney, Md.)
Categorías: Youth Articles

U17 WNT roster taking shape as qualifying nears

Top Drawer Soccer - Wed, 02/15/2012 - 2:00de la mañana

As CONCACAF U17 girls World Cup qualifying draws ever closer, each and every U.S. U17 girls camp provides valuable preparation time.
The team just wrapped up a week-long camp last week in Sunrise, Florida, and according to head coach Albertin Montoya, things continue to move in the right direction as the tournament looms on the horizon.
"It went very well, we're definitely starting to come together as a team," he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. "I think we're getting pretty close to determining our final squad that's going to go to qualifying with us."
Andi SullivanThe camp, which lasted from February 3-11, was highlighted by two matchups against Germany, with the U.S. girls scoring a pair of victories - a 2-0 win on Feb. 7 and a 1-0 win on Feb. 9.
Andi Sullivan and Emily Bruder tallied in the first win, while Summer Green grabbed the only goal in the second victory.
Both matches pleased Montoya as the team tinkered with its tactics.
"We had two excellent matches against Germany," he said. "We experimented with a few things, the first game we played more of a low pressure defense and it was interesting because Germany seemed to do the exact same thing. It was a little slower game but we still got some good results out of it. 
"In the second game, we wanted to try a little different approach and decided to defend much higher up the field. The Germans did the same thing so it was a much faster pace game, a lot of good pressure from both teams high up the field."
Perhaps most important for Montoya, the team clamped down on a dangerous German attack.
"Defensively I thought we were very solid, we shut out Germany twice and that's always impressive," he said. "We limited their chances, most of their chances came from outside the box."
With qualifying in May, the U 17s will get together twice more. Once at the beginning of March, an 18-player roster will travel to Spain to play against England, Holland and France.
After that, a camp will be held right before traveling from there to qualifying. Montoya said he's comfortable with his squad right now, and doesn't plan to tweak much, as he likes the camaraderie that has accrued in the latest camp.
"It's a team effort and you can see it on and off the field: the chemistry and the way they get along, support each other, I think that's definitely going to pay dividends later on when we're in qualifying and the World Cup," he said. "They care about each other and want to see each other succeed and I think that's important for us."
U.S. U-17 WNT Roster By Position: 
GOALKEEPERS: Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire South; Kennesaw, Ga.), Cassie Miller (Sereno FC; Cave Creek, Ariz.) 
DEFENDERS: 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 (CASL Chelsea Ladies; Cary, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS: Joanna Boyles (CASL Chelsea Ladies; Raleigh, N.C.), Caroline Chagares (PDA Slammers; Wyckoff, N.J.), Miranda Freeman (Lady Renegades SC; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Summer Green (Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.), Kayla Mills (Slammers FC; West Covina, Calif.), Gabbi Miranda (Colorado Rush; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Sarah Robinson (MVLA Lightning; Los Altos, Calif.), Arielle Ship (Real So Cal; Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Morgan Stanton (Colorado Rush; Lakewood, Colo.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.) 
FORWARDS: Emily Bruder (Utah Avalanche; Sandy, Utah), Cameron Castleberry (CASL Chelsea Ladies; Raleigh, N.C.), Gabrielle Matulich (MVLA Lightning; Los Gatos, Calif.), Amber Munerlyn (So Cal Blues; Corona, Calif.), Toni Payne (Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.), Margaret Purce (Freestate Soccer; Olney, Md.)
Categorías: Youth Articles

Real So Cal U17 tries to duplicate postseason

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/14/2012 - 3:04de la mañana

Real So Cal's U17 team finished last season with a sense of accomplishment after setting a goal at the start of the season to make it to the ECNL National Championship. The squad accomplished that goal after a whirlwind run through the playoffs with a couple of upset victories.

But the glass slipper did not fully fit Cinderella last season, and CASL defeated the Southern California club in the title game in Denver, which left Real So Cal longing for a return to glory.

"Our goal is to win," Real So Cal U17 head coach Kristy Walker told TopDrawerSoccer.com with a lighthearted laugh. "Last year, the goal was to make it to the National Championship and we did. We got beat by a good team, and I am not one to make excuses. Our goal this year is to do the same."

Real SoCal players celebrate.Real So Cal currently sits fourth in the SoCal Conference with a 5-3-1 record, and it is 12th in the national standings with an 8-4-1 record. The team finished eighth in the national standings last year before surprising a few teams at the National Championship event.

This year might be more difficult for Real So Cal to duplicate that run to the title. A handful of players on the team are vying for spots on various national teams competing at the CONCACAF Qualifying event in May for the U17 World Cup.

"Arielle Ship is with the [U.S.] U17s right now and trying to make the roster for the World Cup, which is awesome," said Walker. "Maddie Kaplan and Carley McBeath have been in camp with Canada's U17 team. And I have two, Natalie Rivas and Rosalba Barbosa, trying to make the Mexico U17 team."

There are a few others on the team who have been in camp with the U.S. U18 team as well.

"It is just a phenomenal team," Walker said. "They work well together. They work hard and hold each other accountable."

The coach went on to say how much she enjoys training sessions with this team because all the players want to be there.

"It makes my life simpler as a coach; I can plan good practices because these girls will compete in them," Walker said. "I think that is the reason why we have accomplished so much because the level of talent on the team challenges them to be better."

It is a roster of players bound for the next level, as the coach said all of the seniors have already signed letters of intent and the juniors will be making verbal commitments soon.

She added that the local competition has really helped push this team to greatness as well.

"Another benefit of being in Southern California is you play competitive games all the time, so you have to stay up to par to keep up with these teams," Walker said. "Slammers and Surf are always big games for us. Also, Legends Breakaway is a very talent team and always a tough game for us."

Even though the goal is returning to the Championship game, the coach knows it is a journey that will take many steps before it can be achieved.

"The motto is to take it game by game," Walker said. "You want to make it to that National Championship, but you won't make it there if you look there before you look at the game right in front of you."

Categorías: Youth Articles

PDP Part One: Players go for it in Toledo

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/14/2012 - 3:01de la mañana

(Part One of a 3-part series)

TOLEDO, OHIO - If the weekend's event here is any indication, the ECNL Premier Development Program matches being held nationwide will be goal-scoring bonanzas.

The gathering, one of 10 going on nationally this spring as ECNL launches its Player ID program, featured 53 players from five clubs (Ohio Elite, Ohio Premier, Vardar, Michigan Hawks and Carmel United), spread out over four age groups. Games were played on Friday and Saturday at the University of Toledo's excellent indoor training center, with a training session featuring national staff curriculum and Nike Sparq Training sandwiched in between. USSF staff member Keri Sarver was on hand along with about 40 college coaches to watch the proceedings.

Tomorrow we'll talk about the actual program some more, and Thursday we'll get some comments from some of the coaches, but here's what I saw at the actual games.

Team One (2012s and 2013s)
Michigan Hawks: Caitlyn Clem, Taylore Peterson, Allyson Krause
Carmel United: Emma Schneider, Molly Pittman, Kayleigh Steigerwalt, Madi Oyer
Ohio Premier: Nicole Hopkins, Emily Geyer, Kaitlin Miller, Emily Byorth, Michaela Paradiso
Ohio Elite: Olivia Jester

Team Two (2012s and 2013s)
Michigan Hawks: Casey Conine, Rachel Marble, Leah Haidar, Madi Lewis
Carmel United: Ellen McGuffog, Morgan Proffitt

Ohio Premier:  Gabby Byorth, Melissa Bomberger, Bailey Wilson, Lindsay Agnew
Ohio Elite: Ayanna Parker, Claire Falknor

These teams played each other twice and the lineup was mixed up a bit for the 2nd day. Ohio Premier's Lindsay Agnew scored the first two goals on a pair of precise strikes. Madi Lewis added a third for her team on a long-range shot in the 2nd half. Madi Oyer cut the lead to 3-1 with a finish from a very wide angle, but Morgan Profitt restored the 3-goal cushion with a rebound of her own blocked shot. After Leah Haidar fired home after a quick turn to make it 5-2, Alison Krause ran onto a ball over the top, controlled it well and then slotted home for the final 5-2 margin.

On Saturday, Krause picked up where she left off, scoring from the left-hand side. Lewis and Emily Byorth played a terrific 1-2 with Lewis heading home Byorth's cross to level the match at 1-1. Agnew then made a surging run through the middle before finding Kayleigh Steigerwalt on the left, and the Carmel player's shot trickled in to make it 2-1.  Michaela Paradiso made a good run down the right and crossed for Rachel Marble to finish to bring the goal count to 2-2 Leah Haidar scored a classy goal to put her team back up 3-2, chesting down a ball and then volleying home from all of 35 yards. Agnew then equalized with a free kick from 25 yards to the left of goal, but the scoring wasn't quite over as Steigerwalt scored on a 1st-time strike from a setup by her club teammate Madi Oyer,who had made a strong run down the left.

Out of breath? I know how you feel as this was just the 1st half. The 2nd half saw a somewhat slower tempo and a bit more possession. The only goal came from Alison Krause as the Michigan State recruit tallied her 3rd score of the weekend for a 4-4 result.

Among the top performers over the two matches, Kaitlin Miller and Morgan Proffitt (2013s committed to Kentucky and Marquette respectively) were strong in midfield. Miami of Ohio recruit Emma Schneider was composed in the back with good distribution (and the 9-a-side format played at the event made it a tough environment for defenders). Ayanna Parker of Ohio Elite showed me a lot in goal. She tracks curving, difficult shots quite well, has strong hands and a definite ability to pull off the gee-whiz save.

On offense, Krause showed a real nose for goal, while Michigan recruit Leah Haidar combines explosiveness and creativity on the ball. Agnew scored three goals on the weekend and never seemed to tire of looking for opportunities to score. The Columbus, Ohio resident will be playing college soccer at Ohio State and is already involved with the Canadian youth international setup as we discussed after the Saturday match.

Team Three (2014s and 2015s)
Michigan Hawks:  Ashton Miller, Courtney Peterson, Michelle Manning, Alexis Warner, Morgan McKerchie
Carmel United: Kirsten Timmer, Sam Kokoska
Ohio Elite: Brooke Mauro, Darby Schwarz, Sydney Dudley, Sara Robertson
Vardar: Madison Hirsch, Bella Habuda

Team Four (2014s and 2015)
Michigan Hawks: Ally Haran, Cassie Phillips, Rubina Veerakone, Jamie Cheslik
Carmel United: Elizabeth James, Katy Keen, Mckenzie Muchow
Ohio Premier: Samantha Edwards
Ohio Elite: Kaitlyn Ennis, Megan Niebuhr, Maddie Huster, Andi Felix
Vardar: Emma Grofsky, Taylor Timko

The scoreline got out of hand in the Friday night match for the youngers, with Team Three taking an 8-2 result. The match was played at breakneck speed for much of its duration, and in all honesty I never saw a lot of good, flowing, combining soccer, although there clearly was a lot of individual talent on display.

Goalscorers for the match-winners included Alexis Warner, Sara Robertson, Courtney Peterson and Ashton Miller, and oh yeah, Michigan Hawks forward Michelle Manning with four, yes four, goals. Cassie Phillips scored twice for Team Four, including one on a nice setup from  Jamie Cheslik.

Manning has a predator's attitude in front of goal and really recognizes opportunities,even when she's hanging around the midfield stripe with the ball in her team's end, well. We learned from one of her club coaches, Doug Landefeld, who was a great help to us all weekend as the event coordinator, that Manning (they call her Mini) is also a top-notch hockey player. We talked about it with her after her goal-scoring expoits Friday.

The soccer in the 2nd game was better, even though the scoreline only changed by one in a 7-3 result. Goalscorers for the winning team included Taylor Timko (2), Rubina Veerakone (2), McKenzie Muchow, Samantha Edwards and Jamie Cheslik. For the losing side, Manning, Belia Habuda and Courtney Peterson scored.

Besides the obviously-prolific Manning, Courtney Peterson, one of the youngest players here, was perhaps the biggest standout with her composed midfield play. Others who showed well included Sam Kokoska of Carmel United, Ohio Elite defender Megan Niebuhr and Hawks midfielder Ashton Miller.

Wednesday and Thursday - More of the program of PDP and what college coaches had to say about the event.

Categorías: Youth Articles

Academy changes are all about training

Top Drawer Soccer - Tue, 02/14/2012 - 2:58de la mañana
Last week, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced plans to shift the Development Academy schedule to a ten-month schedule starting in the fall of 2012.

As the never-ending quest for improving youth development in the United States continues, the change to a new calendar has a strong central focus - increasing the number of training sessions throughout a year, which in turn will ideally create a higher caliber player.

"That's what we really want to emphasize, that there will now be more time for training sessions," U.S. Soccer Technical Director Claudio Reyna told reporters in a conference call. "I think it's hard to argue that's not important for players at this age to make sure they understand the value of training."

Taking that step could alienate some, as the ten-month requirement means no high school soccer for some of the best of the best.

Claudio Reyna But, as Reyna points out, that stipulation may only impact one percent of those playing boys high school soccer, and the decision was made with a majority of Development Academy clubs advocating it.

"The support of our clubs was huge throughout this process of going ten months and following it," he said. "It was a lot to do with them and what we heard in terms of an overwhelming amount of [clubs] having the players with them more often and going to a ten-month season."

In a way, the move is similar to what the U.S. men's senior national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann is trying to do with his players.

While a discussed schedule change was already in the works before the German was appointed head coach last summer, since Klinsmann took the reins of the national team, he's preached the need of how important training is in a player's development, exactly what Reyna hopes to pull off with this schedule change.

"At the senior level, he's been pretty strong and adamant about the importance of training regarding a professional player," Reyna said of Klinsmann. "In a few different ways he wants to keep the players training and developing, highlighting some of the younger players, the Brek Sheas, the [Juan] Agudelos to get them training offseason.

"[It's] nothing that hasn't been done before, but he's been adamant about that, the training that they've done out in Arizona, I think represents the same focus - that we need to train more and better. He's clearly seeing it more from an elite level, a professional level, we're sort of in the same way supporting that in a youth level in these age groups that become critical in their development."

At this stage in the switch, there is plenty of work ahead, as U.S. Soccer and the 78 Development Academy sides try to come up with a schedule for the 2012-13 schedule.

One of the keys to that will be to determine how a team fills out its schedule, dependent of course, on where the club lies within the country and what kind of winter weather it might face.

While it's too early in the process to know how those schedules will function - teams in Southern California and Texas already experimented with the ten-month schedule - Reyna speculated a little bit as to what a schedule might look like.

"Many of them will have non-competitive periods where they'll be training a little bit more, and if they can schedule a game, which for some of them will be a showcase event that we do in the winter months, and then they can layer in games however they can during that period," he said.

The challenges that lie ahead over the coming months are many as U.S. Soccer implements these changes. But as they try to set a new course, the belief is clear - that higher-level training sessions, conducted with greater frequency, will continue to move U.S. player development in the right direction.
Categorías: Youth Articles

Sneak Peek at TopDrawerSoccer.com 5.0

Top Drawer Soccer - Mon, 02/13/2012 - 4:53de la mañana

Every year, we plan new features and improvements to make TopDrawerSoccer.com more robust, user-friendly, and valuable to you. Well, this year is no different - and marks the biggest change to the site since we launched the revamped version in April of 2008.
For the last six months, we have been rebuilding our site from the ground up on a faster, more stable, and more dynamic platform that will allow us to release new features and respond to feedback quicker. This also means our users will experience improved browsing with fewer crashes and errors. (For those techies out there who are interested, our new platform is Java based instead of PHP).
And not only have we revamped our entire backend (ie. the engine that powers our site), but we have given almost every element of our site a facelift leaving no stone unturned. Here is a rundown of the new features you can expect to see soon.
Improved navigationRather than having many nested menus that were often difficult to use, we are putting all the pages of our site in one, easy to read menu for each section. Additionally, we have created separate sections that will default to men's/boys' or women's/girls' content. Click here for a sneak peek.
New HomepageWe've made some graphic enhancements to our homepage to put the features you most enjoy right at your fingertips. Want to see it?
New RankingsNot only are our rankings getting a complete overhaul, but we've introduced new rankings. We have expanded our Top 100 lists to 150 and are now including four graduation classes. We will still continue to have Regional Rankings, but we are also introducing Position rankings, which will only be available to our Premier Members. Additionally, TeamRank will now consist of the top 50 teams in each age group across the nation.
Enhanced SearchHave you ever been looking for a player and then wanted to quickly see a list of commitments or even other articles? With our new search module we are putting all of our databases in the same place for easy access. No more searching for the correct search area, they are all in one place. Check it out.
New User ProfilesA brand new feature to TopDrawerSoccer.com is our new User Profile area. Now, once you have become a registered user, you can control all your settings from our User Profile area. Have a subscription? Change the subscription type, credit card info, or renewal options from within this new account settings area.
New Players To Watch FeaturesWe have finally made it easy to update your profile. As a player, you will now have control over your profile like never before. No longer will you have to wait for updates to take affect (unless you are uploading a new photo) as any changes to your profile will be immediate. And you will be able to access your profile information from within the same User Profile interface as all of your account settings. See it now.
We have also added some exciting new features for our subscribers:
  • Add links to videos that showcase your skills and abilities as an elite player without having to upload them to our site.
  • Add your Academic Honors such as GPA and test scores.
  • College Submissions - Send your direct profile link to the TopDrawerSoccer.com inbox of all the NCAA coaches. (Limit of 25 submissions for the life of the player. We do not guarantee a response or recruitment from college coaches or college programs.)
  • Add links to articles in which you have appeared that are not on TopDrawerSoccer.com.
  • Event Calendar - Let college coaches know where you will be performing by adding all your events for the entire year.
 MobileDuring college season we debuted our mobile site in addition to our Android application. Currently, our mobile site only contains college content. But in 2012 we plan on creating a fully functional mobile site that contains all the same great content you currently find on the desktop version of TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Club Scoreboard2011 saw the rebirth of the Official NSCAA College Scoreboard. In 2012 we plan to introduce the Official Club Scoreboard. We will start modestly, including data from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and ECNL, but plan on expanding to include all major leagues and tournaments.
And don't worry, if you happen to land on a page that doesn't exist, you will be met with one of the most respected people in the soccer community... Find out who it is.
We thank you for your continued support as we improve the #1 College and Club Soccer Destination. Please send comments or feedback to  ' ); document.write( addy_text24674 ); 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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