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Across the Academy

Across the Academy is a weekly summary of news related to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, highlighting Academy clubs, current and former players, youth national team activity and media coverage of the Academy. Across the Academy will be available for the duration of the 2011-12 season.

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U.S. Soccer Development Academy

NJSA 04 Founder Tab Ramos Named U.S. U-20 MNT Head Coach: U.S. Soccer has hired former U.S. international and three-time World Cup veteran Tab Ramos to coach the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team. Ramos brings a wealth of professional and international experience to the U.S. National Team programs. The 1990 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, Ramos had a storied career with the U.S. National Team. He earned 81 caps and was a part of three World Cups. He tallied eight career goals and is the only U.S. player to score at least one goal in World Cup qualifying in three different decades. With experience playing in Spain and Mexico, Ramos became the first player signed to Major League Soccer in 1995, completing seven seasons with the NY/NJ MetroStars. Akron’s Caleb Porter was named U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team head coach and will guide the team in qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games.

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Finishes Second in Spain: The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team earned two victories and two ties to finish in second place at the 2011 AGS Cup in Spain. The team started off the tournament with a 1-1 tie against Mexico with a goal from Chris Lema (New York Red Bulls) before playing the United Arab Emirates to the same scoreline, courtesy of an Herber Mejia-Flores (McLean Youth Soccer) goal. In its next game, the team defeated Russia 2-0 with two goals from New York Red Bulls Academy’s Wesley Wade. Wade scored another brace in the team’s final game, a 5-0 win against a regional team from Valencia. Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes), Conor Donovan and Rubio Rubin joined Wade on the scoresheet. Wade was awarded the tournament’s Golden Boot with four goals.

U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team Continues Training Camp: Under the direction of U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore, the U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team is currently in a week-long training camp until Sunday, Oct. 23, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Lepore has called 36 players into camp, which began last Sunday, Oct. 16. A total of 18 players are from Development Academy clubs. New York Red Bulls sent three players to Carson, while San Jose Earthquakes and Minnesota Thunder Academy sent two each.

Featured Fixtures: The seventh week of Development Academy play will feature several exciting matches, including cross-conference games between MLS Academy teams San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake AZ. Also in the Western Conference, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will host Real So Cal in Seattle, Wash., while across the country, Kendall SC U-15/16 will put its undefeated divisional record to the test when it faces Concorde Fire. FC Dallas (5-0-0) will take the field against Texans SC Houston (3-0-2) in a battle between undefeated U-17/18 divisional foes.

National Notes:

  • A total of 140 goals were scored in 44 games this weekend, including two hat tricks. 
  • Almost half the games ended with a shutout, and 10 clubs went undefeated.

West Conference:

  • Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake AZ and the Vancouver Whitecaps all went undefeated. Chivas and Vancouver both tallied two victories, one in each age group, while Real Salt Lake AZ, posted four wins, two in each age group.

Central Conference:

  • In Houston, the crosstown derby between the Houston Dynamo and Texans SC Houston ended with the Dynamo earning a 1-0 win in the U-15/16 age group, while the older teams played to a 1-1 tie. 
  • FC Dallas remains undefeated after winning 3-2 against Solar Chelsea FC U-15/16 and 4-0 against the U-17/18 team. Both FC Dallas and Solar Chelsea FC were undefeated going into the weekend.

South Conference:

  • Atlanta also had a crosstown rivalry as Concorde Fire defeated Georgia United U-15/16 2-0, while the U-17/18 teams tied 0-0. 
  • The South Conference was witness to both hat tricks scored during the weekend: Andrew Mattek scored three times in Kendall SC U-17/18’s 6-2 win against the Richmond Strikers and Travis Jehs scored all three goals for the Clearwater Chargers U-17/18 in the 3-3 tie against Virginia Rush.

Week 6 Player of the Week: Dakotah Millard – Midfielder, South Carolina United Battery

Dakotah Millard was an instrumental part of the South Carolina United Battery U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams this weekend, going the full 80 minutes in the 3-1 win against division rival Concorde Fire for the U-15/16 team. Millard played up with the U-17/18 team for the first time this season, going the entire 90 minutes in the 2-2 tie against Birmingham United. The young midfielder has been a key contributor to the U-15/16 team, helping to lead the team to a 6-0-1 overall record and to the top of the Southeast Division with a 4-0-1 record. Millard has started all seven games and has scored twice this season.

Referee of the Week: Howard Ash
Ash has been named Referee of the Week after officiating a draw between Southeast Division U-17/18 opponents South Carolina United Battery and Concorde Fire. The 30-year-old, grade 6 referee from South Carolina has both collegiate and professional playing experience. He officiates predominantly Development Academy and USL matches in his home state and covered MLS preseason and Open Cup matches this professional season.

Eriq Zavaleta Named Big Ten Player of the Week:
Indiana freshman forward Eriq Zavaleta, who was a part of Chivas USA Academy, was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after scoring three times last week. Zavaleta’s 85th-minute goal gave the Hoosiers a 1-0 win against Butler on Wednesday, Oct. 12, while his two goals against Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 15, erased a Wolverine lead and paved the way for a 4-1 victory.

Kyle Soroka Tallies for Villanova: Kyle Soroka, who played for FC DELCO in 2009, led Villanova to a 3-1 win against St. John’s on Wednesday, Oct. 19, with two goals. Other Academy Alumni who scored include Eriq Zavaleta and Dylan Renna, who also had the assist on Soroka’s second goal.

Will Bates Thrives at the University of Virginia: Former Richmond Strikers player Will Bates continues to make waves at Virginia. Bates, now a junior, was named National Freshman of the Year by Soccer America and continues to lead the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers are currently 9-5-0, and face Virginia Tech on Friday, Oct. 21.


  • Crew Soccer Academy named its U-15/16 and U-17/18 Players of the Year – thecrew.com 
  • Indiana United defender Mason Webber verbally commits to Butler – ESPN RISE 
  • The Charlottesville News Arts profiles Development Academy alumni Will Bates and his time with Richmond Kickers – Charlottesville News Arts 
  • Sporting Kansas City Juniors’ Nate Opperman received the 2011 Bob Gansler Award – The Junior Way 
  • Several Development Academy alumni are named to College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week – College Soccer News 
  • Academy alumni Eriq Zavaleta was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season – Indiana Hoosiers


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