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12 Development Academy Select Team Players Chosen to Train with Under-17 Men’s National Team

U-17 Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera Chose 12 Players for Mini-Camp in Bradenton, Fla.

© John Dorton/isiphotos.com

Wilmer Cabrera

IN THE IMAGE: U.S. U-17 MNT head coach Wilmer Cabrera invited 14 players to a mini-camp in Bradenton, Fla.

CHICAGO (Dec. 15, 2011)—Twelve players from the Under-15/16 Development Academy Select Teams that competed at the 2011 Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., were invited to train with the Under-17 Men’s National Team at a mini-camp which wrapped up on Dec. 11 in Bradenton, Fla.

U-17 MNT head coach Wilmer Cabrera chose the players based on their performance during the Dec. 5 game. All 12 players from the Select Teams came from Development Academy clubs, each representing a different team. An additional two players were invited from regional training camps, which the Development Academy technical advisors hold throughout the year.

“Players were selected for the mini-camp through the scouting process, which includes evaluation and assessment by U.S. Soccer Staff Coaches, Technical Advisors, Development Academy Scouts and each of our extended networks,” Cabrera said. “Players are monitored and discussed over time and, if they are good enough, either receive an invitation to a mini-camp or a chance to play in a Select Game in front of staff coaches.”

The purpose of the mini-camp, which began on Dec. 6 following the end of the 2011 Development Academy Winter Showcase, was to give club players identified through the scouting network an opportunity to compete for a spot in the Residency program.

“It’s our hope that improving player development is the goal of every club in the country,” Cabrera said. “Opportunities for their players to compete for a spot in Residency should be considered a significant and positive reflection of their efforts.”

The Academy Select Games took place at the Premier Sports Campus on Dec. 3 during an off day from the Nike International Friendlies. The Red and Blue U-15/16 teams took to the field at 5 p.m., the Red Team emerging victorious with a scoreline of 2-1.

Caleb Duvernay, Jorge Miranda, Rolando Munoz, Brian Pacheco and Sam Tweeton played for Red, with Pacheco opening scoring on a 19th minute penalty conversion. The Blue Team contributed seven players to the camp: Bryce Cregan, Carlos Encina, Zach Jackson, Marius Heislicz, Aaron Meyer, Michael Seaton and Alan Winn. Jackson tallied a second-half point to pull one back for Blue, while Winn played with a broken right arm.

Lawrence Taiwo and Rolando Velazquez were the two players identified through training centers.

All 78 players who were named to the four Select Teams – including two Under-17/18 teams – were chosen by the Development Academy scouting network, technical advisors and Youth National Team coaches, many of whom were also in attendance to watch the games.

The Winter Showcase was the first time in the 2011-12 season that all 78 Development Academy clubs met at the same time. Each club played three games over the course of the showcase, and the Select Games and Nike International Friendlies, which the U.S. won for the first time, took place during that time.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (1): Marius Heislicz (Georgia United; Cumming, Ga.)
DEFENDERS (4): Bryce Cregan (PA Classics; Dallastown, Pa.), Carlos Encina (FC Westchester; White Plains, N.Y.), Jorge Miranda (Pateadores; Van Nuys, Calif.), Sam Tweeton (Real Colorado; Fort Collins, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Caleb Duvernay (CASL Chelsea FC; Cary, N.C.), Zach Jackson (Texans SC Houston; Cypress, Texas), Aaron Meyer (FC Dallas; Carrollton, Texas), Rolando Munoz (LA Galaxy; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea; Garland, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Pacheco (Pateadores; Anaheim, Calif.), Michael Seaton (D.C. United; Hyattsville, Md.), Lawerence Taiwo (NC Alliance; Raleigh, N.C.), Rolando Velazquez (Westside Metros; Junction City, Ore.)

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