Futsal Regionals Wrap: The third weekend of Academy futsal regionals for the U-13/14 age group wrapped during the Feb. 7-8 weekend in New England, North Carolina and New Jersey. The showcases, which are part of the Academy’s futsal period (December-February), featured a minimum of four futsal matches over the two-day stretch. Here are the futsal top performers from the three most recent regionals:
- Eric Calvillo (Prince William Courage): Calvillo was technically one the most creative players at the event. He showed a good understanding of the game of futsal and extraordinary comfort on the ball in high-pressure situations. Calvillo used his awareness, technical ability and passing intelligence to carve out chances going forward and was consistently a threat for the opposing defenses.
- Matteo Rittacio (BW Gottschee): Matteo was a clever, intelligent, technical player at the regionals. He was good at finding and creating space to receive the ball and positioned himself in threatening spots offensively. He was good in tight spaces, had good awareness and was a difference maker in the games. Rittacio was also dangerous in 1-vs.-1 opportunities, had scoring prowess and distributed well in the final third.
- Kevin Vang (New England Revolution): Vang showed great consistency across the two days of the futsal event. He helped dictate tempo of the games, consistently broke pressure and also scored a number of goals. The Revolution had a successful run at the event and had good results in addition to displaying a sound style of play.
Academy Playoffs, Showcases Return to Grand Park: The Development Academy’s U-13/14 Showcase and the Academy Playoffs for the older-age groups return to Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana. The younger-age showcase runs June 19-22. The U-16 and U-18 Showcases take place June 22-25, and the Academy Playoffs are set for June 23-26. Additionally, the Academy Championships will be held July 16 and 18 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.
For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit academy.demosphere.com and ussoccer.com’s Academy section. Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad, Instagram and Facebook.
ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Feb. 7-8):
- West Conference: The LA Galaxy earned a pair of 2-0 victories against Real Salt Lake AZ at the older age groups. Ethan Zubak and Andrew Perez scored first-half goals to pace the LA Galaxy U-16s, while Adonia Amaya and Elijah Martin each scored a goal for the Galaxy U-18s. RSL’s U-18 team still is atop the Southwest Division (16-3-3, 2.32 points per game), but the Galaxy is close behind in second place (13-4-3, 2.10 points per game). The LA Galaxy U-16 team leads the division at 14-2-4 and 2.30 points per game while touting an eight-game unbeaten streak (7-0-1).
- Central Conference: The FC Dallas U-16s held off Texans SC Houston for a 3-2 victory. FC Dallas looked to have the game wrapped up as Jommar Reyes, Hector Montalvo and Isaac Albaradei each scored a goal to build a 3-0 lead. Texans SC Houston made a game of it, though, as Alex Reyes and Kareem Facey scored in the closing minutes to cut the lead to one. FC Dallas is atop the Frontier Division at 10-1-2 (2.46 points per game).
- East Conference: Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL’s U-16s moved into second place in the Southeast Division with a 2-1 victory against the Carolina Rapids. Samuel Millikan scored a goal in the opening minute and Colby Agu’s 45th-minute score proved to be the game-winner. CASL is now 12-6-3 (1.86 points per game) and trails only Orlando City (13-2-2, 2.41 points per game).
Academy Referee of the Week: Matthew Jackson, a 36-year-old Grade 5 referee from Georgia, was named Academy Referee of the Week for his work during the U-16 and U-18 Academy matches between the Concorde Fire and Kendall SC on Sunday at East Point, Georgia. He participated in the 2014 Academy Winter Showcase and the U-14 regional showcase in at BB&T Soccer Park in Advance, North Carolina. Jackson also has worked matches in USL PRO, the North American Soccer League and National Premier Soccer League.
For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:
Llanez Brace Lifts U-14 BNT Past Real Madrid: The U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team defeated Real Madrid’s U-14s 2-0 on Tuesday at Ciudad Deportiva. Uylsses Llanez, representing the Chivas USA U-14 Academy side, scored both goals in the 61st and 71st minutes to lead the way for the USA. Gabe Segal, who plays for Bethesda-Olney, assisted Llanez’s second tally on the breakaway.
U-20 MNT Drawn into Group A for World Cup: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, which took third place at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, has been drawn into Group A for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup with host New Zealand, Ukraine and Myanmar. The draw took place Tuesday in Auckland. The USA opens the tournament on May 30 against Myanmar in Whangarei. ussoccer.com caught up with U-20 head coach Tab Ramos about the draw, qualifying and some challenging camps set for England and Austria in March and April, respectively.
Zardes Impresses in First MNT Start: Former LA Galaxy Academy forward Gyasi Zardes played a big role with an assist on Clint Dempsey’s goal during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 victory against Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center in Carson, California. It was Zardes’ first start and second cap this year, making the most of his opportunity under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “It’s a big dream to play in my home stadium, but to play in my hometown, in front of friends, in front of my family who had been there with me the whole time and have seen me grow,” Zardes said. “It’s a dream come true. I’m just thankful Jurgen gave me the opportunity to perform on the field.”
- Quote Sheet: MNT vs. Panama
- Photo Gallery: Retrospective of MNT’s 2015 January Camp
- Photo Gallery: MNT Cruises to Win against Panama
- MNT vs. Panama: Highlights – Feb. 8, 2015
- American Soccer Now: Yomba, Canouse Discuss U-20 Draw
- Soccer By Ives: Ramos Not Taking Group Draw for Granted
- Columbus Crew SC: Swanson Learning Ropes in First Preseason
- LA Galaxy: Fujii Becomes Third Academy Player to Sign with LA Galaxy II
- LA Galaxy: Pioneering Youth Development with LA Galaxy II
- Philadelphia Union: Wilson, Fuller Provide Academy Insight
- Real Salt Lake: Saucedo Returns After Five Matches with U.S. U-18 MNT
- Sporting Kansas City: Academy U-16s and U-18s Hit Season Highs in Victories at Swope