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FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps FC Set for U-17/18 Finals Week Championship

The 2011 runners up and Texas-based FC Dallas will face Development Academy neophytes Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the 2012 Development Academy championship of the U-17/18 age division at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET) Sunday, July 22, at BBVA Compass Stadium, the new home of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.

© U.S. Soccer

U.S. Soccer Development Academy

2012 Academy Finals Week Championship – U-17/18
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Dallas
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
July 22, 2012

VANCOUVER, FC DALLAS VYING FOR 2012 U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY CROWN: The 2011 runners up and Texas-based FC Dallas will face Development Academy neophytes Vancouver Whitecaps FC  in the 2012 Development Academy championship of the U-17/18 age division at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET) Sunday, July 22, at BBVA Compass Stadium, the new home of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo. The match will be streamed live on ussoccer.com, and fans can follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Dallas – 8 p.m. CT, Saturday, July 22 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
Broadcast: ussoccer.com
Game rules: U-17/18 games consist of two 45-minute halves and a 15-minute halftime. Teams can make a maximum of seven substitutions and no re-entry is permitted. The game day roster is capped at 18 players.
Overtime and Penalties:
Should the match be tied through regulation, the game moves to two 15-minute overtime periods. If the teams are still tied, it goes to penalty kicks.


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referee 1: Apolinar Mariscal
Assistant Referee 2: Ramon Bermudez Jr.
Fourth Official: Christopher Mercado

FC DALLAS                                                                  VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC ROSTER:
No.         Pos.       Name                                              No.         Pos.       Name
2              D             Mark Ashby                                    00           GK          Said Jalali
3              D             Michael Ambrose                            1              GK          Callum Irving
4              D             Alex Frankenfeld                             2              M            Bryce Alderson
5              D             Aaron Guillen                                 3              F              Wesley Cain
6              D             Nicholas Rochowski                         4              F              Caleb Clarke
8              M            Flavio Guzman                                 5              M            Tim Hickson
9              F              Jonathan Top                                 6              M            Carlos Marquez
11           F              Danny Garcia                                   7              F              Yassin Essa
13           F              Alonso Gallegos                               8              M            Ben McKendry
14           M            Kellyn Acosta                                    9              F              Adam Polakiewicz
17           M            David Robledo                                  10           F              Ben Fisk
21           M            Marco Carrizales                               11           M            Spencer DeBoice
22           GK          Eduardo Cortes                                 12           D             Declan Rodriguez
27           F              Jose de la Tejera                             13           M            Alex Rowley
28           D             Marco Ortiz                                     14           D             Daniel Stanese
39           F              Bobby Edet                                     15           D             Jason van Blerk
44           GK          Estevan Vasquez                               16           F              Carlos Patino
45           M            Fernando Laverde                             17           D             Sam Adekugbe 
                                                                                   30           GK          Marco Carducci
Head coach: Chris Hayden                                           Head coach: Craig Dalrymple



  • Monday, July 16: FC Dallas 1, Chivas USA 1: FC Dallas initially got off to a positive start to open Academy Finals Week with Nicholas Rochowski’s 15th-minute goal to take a 1-0 lead. But Chivas USA’s Marco Delgado found an equalizer in the 55th minute and FC Dallas settled for a draw and one point.
  • Wednesday, July 18: FC Dallas 2, Baltimore Bays Chelsea 1: FC Dallas’ postseason fate was hanging in the balance when the team fell behind early against Baltimore Bays Chelsea. Dallas needed a win to stay in contention for the championship match. Danny Garcia got one goal back in the 64th minute to even the score to set up the climatic conclusion. A little more than four minutes into second-half stoppage time, Jonathan Top scored a dramatic game-winning goal to stay within two points of group-leading Solar Chelsea SC.
  • Friday, July 20: FC Dallas 3, Solar Chelsea SC 2: In a must-win situation in the “Dallas Derby”, FC Dallas fell behind early in front of a large and boisterous crowd before Jonathan Top netted consecutive goals four minutes apart. Solar rallied to tie the match, and a draw would have been sufficient to see them through. FC Dallas defender Mark Ashby had a different idea, scoring a goal in the 69th minute for the game-winner that completed a season sweep against Solar.


  • Monday, July 16: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4, North Carolina Fusion 1: Whitecaps midfielder Ben Fisk scored the game’s first three goals and Ben McKendry added an 80th-minute tally to open Group 1 play. Vancouver held a 7-1 shots on goal advantage over the Fusion.
  • Wednesday, July 18: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4, De Anza Force 2: Vancouver’s Ben Fisk continued his scoring barrage with three of the team’s four goals in a dominant win against De Anza Force. The Whitecaps’ Bryce Alderson chipped in with a goal as Vancouver jumped out to a 4-0 lead through 58 minutes. De Anza Force found two late goals, but the damage had been done.
  • Friday, July 20: Vancouver Whitecaps 1, Colorado Rapids 1: Needing a draw or a win to assure itself a spot in the championship, Vancouver spotted Colorado a goal before Spencer DeBoice scored the equalizer in the 78th minute to gain a point and entrance into the final.

FC Dallas: Jonathan Top (3), Mark Ashby, Danny Garcia, Nicholas Rochowski
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Ben Fisk (6), Bryce Alderson, Spencer Deboice, Ben McKendry


FC Dallas: The Texas squad’s U-17/18 team has appeared in three straight Academy Finals Weeks and the U-15/16 team advanced to the 2008-09 Academy Finals Week.

  • 2010-11 FC Dallas U-17/18 team: To date, the FC Dallas U-17/18 team of last season has had the most success, advancing to the championship game against Pateadores in Milwaukee, Wis. In the title match on July 15, 2011, Bryan Leyva scored a game-tying goal for FC Dallas in the 62nd minute. Only four minutes earlier, FC Dallas’ Danny Garcia picked up his second yellow card in the 58th minute, forcing his team to play shorthanded the rest of the way. The team managed to keep the score even for nearly 20 minutes, but Pateadores’ Jose Villareal scored his second goal of the match in the 81st minute for the 2-1 victory.
  • 2009-10 FC Dallas U-17/18 team: FC Dallas advanced to the fifth-place game on July 17, 2010, in Carson, Calif., but suffered a 1-0 loss to Baltimore Bays and settled for sixth place in the event. During the game’s lone goal, FC Dallas goalkeeper Zachary Downes attempted to handle a Bays cross but the ball popped free and Bays’ Jeremy Kirkwood capitalized with the game-winner in the 77th minute.
  • 2008-09 FC Dallas U-15/16 team: FC Dallas let a 3-1 lead slip away against Washington Premier FC in the fifth-place match, finishing in sixth after a 4-3 loss. FC Dallas gave up a goal within the first 10 minutes, but Jonathan Top scored the next two and Moises Hernandez added a third as FC Dallas went into halftime with a 3-1 lead. Washington would score the next two to tie the score at 3-3, and Dallas gave up an own goal in the 79th minute – the closing minutes as U-15/16 teams play 80-minute matches – and Washington earned fifth place.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: This is the team’s first appearance in Academy Finals Week.


  • The FC Dallas Academy has signed several players to the first team in MLS: goalkeeper Richard Sanchez, forward Jonathan Top, defender Kellyn Acosta, midfielder Victor Ulloa, defender Moises Hernandez, forward Ruben Luna and midfielder Bryan Leyva all signed contracts as Homegrown players through its Academy team since 2009.
  • FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez became the first American-born player to earn a FIFA men’s title last year when he won the 2011 U-17 FIFA World Cup title with Mexico. Sanchez played every minute of every game for the host country.

Overall Record (including Academy Playoffs and Finals Week) : 29-4-4
Head Coach: Chris Hayden
Texas Division: 21-3-1, 64 points (First place)
Finals Week Record : 2-0-1 (6 GF, 4 GA)

Development Academy Playoffs, Group 5*: 3-0-0, 9 points (7 GF, 0 GA)
*Won Group 5 by three points; didn’t concede a goal in three games
Goal Scoring Leader : Danny Garcia (20 goals in 29 appearances)
Haven’t lost since : May 19, 2-1 against Texans SC Houston in Texas Division play
2011-12 Record vs. Whitecaps FC : 0-0-1 (2-2 draw on Dec. 2, 2011 at Lakewood Ranch, Fla.)


  • Whitecaps FC signed Caleb Clarke as a Homegrown player on April 24. Clarke recently spent two weeks on trial with Rot-Weiss Erfurt of Germany’s third division.
  • Clarke was the Whitecaps’ leading scorer during the 2011-12 regular season with 24 goals.
  • Ben McKendry led Vancouver with three goals during the Academy Playoffs in Frisco, Texas.
  • Vancouver assistant coach Martin Nash is a former member of the Canada Men’s National Team and is the younger brother of NBA star Steve Nash.

Overall Record (including Academy Playoffs and Finals Week): 22-6-4
Head Coach: Craig Dalrymple
Northwest Division: 11-2-2, 35 points (First place)
Finals Week Record : 2-0-1 (9 GF, 4 GA)
Development Academy Playoffs, Group 2*: 2-1-0, 6 points (8 GF, 3 GA)
*Won Group2  based on goal differential against Weston FC
Goal Scoring Leader: Caleb Clarke (24 goals in 27 appearances)
Haven’t lost since: June 25, 3-2 against Pateadores in the first game of Academy Playoffs group play
2011-12 Record vs. FC Dallas: 0-0-1 (2-2 draw on Dec. 2, 2011 at Lakewood Ranch, Fla.)


Overview: Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy’s programming philosophy of increased training, less total games and more competitive games is based on U.S. Soccer’s Best Practices utilized by the U-17 U.S. National Team Residency program.

The Academy also connects National Team coaches directly with the Academy clubs to develop and identify players and coaches for future Youth National Teams. Each Academy team is evaluated by a National Team coach at least 10 times each year and each Academy club receives two formal evaluations in over 100 categories each year from National Team staff. The Development Academy is also focused on identifying and developing the next generation of elite referees. U.S. Soccer assigns up-and-coming officials to participate in Academy games at the local level and at national events.

2011-12 Development Academy Season: The 2011-12 Academy season consisted of 78 teams, competing in four conferences and 10 divisions. Each Academy club plays approximately 30 league games, including six games played at Showcases. The season begins in September and commences with Finals Week in July.

10-Month Season Format Starts in 2012-13: In February, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy announced it is moving to a 10-month season starting with the 2012-13 season. After receiving overwhelming support from the Development Academy membership, the Academy is moving to a schedule beginning in the fall of 2012 that runs from September through June (or July based on postseason play). This creates a format that is similar to those followed by the elite soccer playing nations around the world as the Development Academy and U.S. Soccer continue their goal of closing the performance gap with the top soccer nations.

Training, Playing Up Advantages: Moving to a 10-month season means players can focus on training together three or four times per week and play meaningful games on the weekend nearly year-round. Fewer games and an extended season will allow for the addition of a substantial number of extra training sessions, which are the primary vehicle for player development. The 10-month season allows for a greater opportunity to institute a style of play and implement a system according to U.S. Soccer’s Curriculum as well as build team chemistry. It also gives teams increased opportunities for younger kids in their club to “play up” against older players in both training and matches, thereby accelerating their development.

Academy Postseason Qualification Process: Following a 10-month Academy season, the top two teams (based on divisional points per game) from each of the Academy’s 10 geographically-based divisions, plus 12 wild card squads (based on overall points per game), are seeded from 1-32 and placed into eight groups of four. The teams that qualify for the event compete for four days and group winners earn the right for one of eight spots to the Academy’s Finals Week.


Approximately five years ago, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy kicked off its inaugural Finals Week at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with 32 games and more than 350 players, coaches and referees taking part in the excitement and emergence of the Development Academy. This week’s fifth installment of Academy Finals Week kicks off in Houston as eight teams from each age group square off for the right to be named a Development Academy champion.

Here is a look at the previous champions from the last four seasons:

2007-2008:THE BEGINNING: Carmel United took home the inaugural U-15/16 championship on a goal from A.J. Corrado, who is now entering his junior season at Indiana University. The Indiana-based club was unbeaten for 16 games entering 2007-08 Finals Week and continued the hot streak all the way through to the championship match. A day before the U-15/16 final, 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year Chris Agorsor, who now plays professionally for the Richmond Kickers of USL PRO, came off the bench to lead Baltimore Bays (now called Baltimore Bays Chelsea) to a thrilling 4-2 overtime victory against LAFC in the U-17/18 final.

2008-09: CARMEL UNITED DOES IT AGAIN: The boys from Indiana continued their success the following season at 2008-09 Finals Week with the U-17/18 team beating a D.C. United side that featured Homegrown players Bill Hamid, Andy Najar and Ethan White 1-0 on a goal from Nikita Kotlov. Like Corrado, Kotlov is also entering his junior season at IU. Carmel United’s team carried over 10 players from its U-15/16 championship team to the U-17/18 title-winning side, including Corrado and Kotlov.

In the U-15/16 final, an early strike by Dzenan Catic helped guide the Derby County Wolves (now called Crew Soccer Academy Wolves) to the title with a 1-0 win against Cal Odyssey at The Home Depot Center. The Wolves, whose U-15/16 team qualified for the 2011-12 Finals Week, were headlined by Sean Cunningham, now a defender for Molde FK in Norway.

2009-10: CHICAGO FIRE GETS MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER ON THE BOARD: Two years ago, an MLS-affiliated club finally claimed the first Development Academy trophy for the country’s top professional league as the Chicago Fire U-15/16 side defeated Cal Odyssey 5-3 on penalty kicks to decide the 2009-10 championship. It was the Fire’s second trip to Finals Week after appearing in the inaugural edition in 2007-08. The Chicago Fire U-15/16 team also qualified for the 2011-12 Finals Week.

In 2009-10, Cornell- boundGregory Antognoli knotted the score at 1-1 with an equalizer for Cal Odyssey in the 56th minute, but Sam Euler (North Carolina) came up with a big save during penalty kicks to help lead the Fire to its first title.

Vardar SC Freiburg took home its first U-17/18 Academy title after a 3-1 win against Crossfire Premier of Kirkland, Wash. Vardar, a Michigan-based club, benefited from two second-half goals by Derek Schrauben (Western Michigan) to help offset an early Crossfire goal.

2010-11: PATEADORES, LA GALAXY BRING SILVERWARE HOME TO CALIFORNIA: Jose Villarreal, a 2011 Homegrown player signing for the LA Galaxy, came up big for Pateadores in the U-17/18 championship match last year at Valley Fields in Milwaukee. Villarreal scored both goals, including the 81st-minute game-winner in a 2-1 victory against a loaded FC Dallas squad. Pateadores became the first team from Southern California to win an Academy championship.

A second Southern California team quickly followed suit as the LA Galaxy scored three unanswered goals in a 4-1 championship win against PA Classics in the U-15/16 age division last year. With the score tied at 1-1 in the 49th minute, the Galaxy then bagged three straight goals between the 60th and 75th minutes for the club’s first Academy championship. William Raygoza, Justin Dhillon and Drew Murphy scored the consecutive goals for LA in the win. 

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