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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

U.S. U-17 Residency Program Finalized:
A total of 31 players have been selected to join the U-17 Residency Program for the 2012 Spring Semester in Bradenton, Fla. There are 26 players representing 19 Development Academy clubs, with the New York Red Bulls sending six players and Chivas USA and Concorde Fire providing two each. The players are in the second semester of the two-year cycle in preparation for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

Central Conference:

  • The U-15/16 Dallas Texans continued their unbeaten 2011-2012 season with a 2-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at the University of Texas at Dallas. Jason Machado and Brandon Aubrey netted goals in the sixth and 35th minutes as the Texans improved to 10-0-6 overall.
  • The Solar Chelsea U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams posted two wins over the weekend during a sweep of Andromeda FC. The U-17/18 side posted a 6-1 victory on Saturday, with Jesse Miralrio Toledo and Hayden Partain each netting two goals. Mitchell LaGroe tallied two goals as the Solar Chelsea U-15/16 team posted a 5-1 victory against Andromeda FC.
  • Lonestar SC Academy U-17/18 player Kekuta Manneh has moved into a first-place tie for the Development Academy scoring lead with his 20th goal over the weekend during a 3-2 loss to the Texas Rush. Manneh has played in 15 matches in 2011-12 (a 1.3 goals-per-game average). He shares the goal-scoring lead with James Carlin of the South Carolina United Battery U-15/16 team.

West Conference:

  • Drew Murphy of the LA Galaxy U-17/18 team tallied three goals in a 28-minute span to lead the Galaxy past the California Development Academy on Saturday.
  • De Anza Force and Pateadores both posted two-game sweeps over the weekend. De Anza Force also did not allow a goal as the U-15/16 side posted a 2-0 win against Cal Odyssey and the U-17/18 squad earned a 1-0 victory against Cal Odyssey. The Pateadores’ U-15/16 team had a 1-0 victory against Strikers FC, and the older group topped the Strikers 2-1.


Week 18 Player of the Week: John Chronopoulos, Forward, Santa Cruz Breakers Academy

John Chronopoulos scored three goals to lead the U-17/18 Santa Cruz Breakers Academy to a 4-2 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes. He is the first Breakers player to earn Player of the Week honors this season. Chronopoulos netted goals in the eighth, 37th and 60th minutes, and for the season, he has notched 12 goals in 15 games. Santa Cruz earned its first Northwest Division victory of the season.

Referee of the Week: Chris Mercado

Chris Mercado earns Referee of the Week honors for his performance in the U-17/18 Texas Division matchup between the Houston Dynamo and host Dallas Texans. Mercado is a grade 5, national candidate referee from Texas-South. He has worked more than 30 Academy matches and has attended the 2010 and 2011 Winter Showcases. Mercado was one of 50 referees to receive their first invitation to the Professional Referee Preseason Camp and hopes to work MLS games in the upcoming 2012 season. Mercado works during PDL and MLS Reserves matches.


Williams Named U.S. U-17 MNT Head Coach: Former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Richie Williams was named by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati to take over as head coach of the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team . Williams previously was the head coach of the U-18 MNT and the Mid-Atlantic Region technical advisor for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, but he will leave both positions to manage the Residency Program full-time in Bradenton, Fla.

Hamid Earns First U.S. MNT Cap: Development Academy alum Bill Hamid earned his first cap as the starting goalkeeper during the USA’s 1-0 win against Guatemala on Sunday. He needed to make only one save to become the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to collect a shutout in his first game.

Eight Academy Alumni at USL PRO Combine:
The USL Pro is holding its combine this Thursday through Sunday at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. Eight Development Academy alumni are participating: J.J. Bilyeu (St. Louis Gallagher Missouri), Drew Russell (Crossfire Premier), Daniel Villegas (Kendall FC), Mark Lavery (Concorde Fire), Adrian Avila (Nomads SC), Juan Jose Nino (Texas Rush), Thomas Garner (CASL Chelsea FC Academy) and Travis Wall (Crew Soccer Academy).


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