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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


Crew Faces Solar Chelsea: A high-powered U-17/18 Crew Soccer Academy offense faces Solar Chelsea SC on Sunday. Crew Soccer Academy is 3-0-0 and is averaging four goals per game in the early going. Solar Chelsea is 12-4-3 and has scored 48 goals in 19 matches this season.

Texas Division’s Top Sides Meet: Two top Texas Division teams square off with the Dallas Texans U-15/16 team facing Texans SC Houston on Sunday. The Dallas Texans are in first place with a 10-0-4 record and Texans SC Houston now sits in second place at 7-5-3, having previously been in fourth place in the division heading into last weekend.

Central Conference:

  • Cooper Whitfield’s late 80th-minute goal helped the Dallas Texans maintain their unbeaten Texas Division record to earn a 1-1 draw against Solar Chelsea SC, despite Toryima Asom’s goal in the 34rth minute. The Dallas Texans lead the division with a 10-0-4 record and 34 points, while Solar Chelsea is in a three-way tie for second with Texans SC Houston and FC Dallas with 24 points apiece.

South Conference:

  • The Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers split their local derby on Saturday, Feb. 25, with the U-17/18 Kickers winning 2-1 and the U-15/16 Strikers earning a 1-0 victory. Ryan Clapman netted the game-winning goal for the Kickers U-17/18 team in the 80th minute, scoring just two minutes after the Strikers’ Michael Kibler tallied an equalizer. In the U-15/16 match, Gil Topaz of the Richmond Strikers netted the game’s lone goal in the 45th minute for the 1-0 victory.

West Conference:

  • California Development Academy’s U-17/18 team garnered its first Northwest Division victory of the season, topping Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 on Tanner Thompson’s 84th-minute goal. Seattle is second in the division behind De Anza Force.
  • The LA Galaxy swept its two matches against Pateadores, with Jamie Villarreal netting both goals during the Galaxy U-17/18 team’s 2-0 win to move into first place in the SoCal Division. Kevin Labastida and Justin Dhillon each netted a goal within the first 20 minutes to lead the LA Galaxy U-15/16 team to a 2-0 victory. The U-15/16 team is in second place in the division, only one point behind Real Salt Lake AZ.


Week 23 Player of the Week: Christian Duarte, Midfielder, Texans SC Houston

Christian Duarte of the Texans SC Houston U-17/18 team scored a 61st-minute goal as his side defeated Classics Elite 5-0 on Feb. 25. Duarte ranks second on his team with 12 goals, and he has started in 19 of 20 games this season. He also has been involved with the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team. Texans SC Houston is 11-2-7 overall and in second place in the Texas Division with an 8-2-5 record.

Referee of the Week: Enea Zhonga

Enea Zhonga earns Referee of the Week honors for his performance in the U-17/18 matchup between Texans SC Houston and Classics Elite. Zhonga is a 24-year-old Grade 6 referee from South Texas. The up-and-coming Zhonga has worked U-17/18 Academy matches since joining the program last April. On Feb. 20, Zhonga was an assistant referee during a friendly between Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and the U-17/18 Academy club.


U.S. U-23 MNT Blanks Mexico 2-0: Development Academy alumni Juan Agudelo and Bill Hamid both vital played a part in the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team’s 2-0 victory against Mexico’s U-23 side on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Agudelo scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 35th minute and Hamid played the first half in goal to contribute toward the shutout. Former Academy players Zarek Valentin and Joe Corona played the full 90 minutes, with Valentin stationed at left back and Corona in the midfield.

Bijev, U.S. U-20s Draw FC Dallas Reserves: Former Cal Odyssey player Villyan Bijev gave the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team a 2-0 lead in the 24th minute before the FC Dallas Reserves scored two unanswered goals en route to a 2-2 draw last Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla.


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