Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Final Day of D.A. Highlights

Enjoy them, they'll have to last you until Finals Week July 10-17. For another look at days one and two, check out U.S. Soccer's YouTube page

Any nominees for goal of the weekend?

Getting Back On Your Feet

Whether you've just finished giving your all during D.A. Playoffs in an attempt to get your team into Finals Week, or you're a parent just starting to work out again to be a little healthier, ussoccer.com has got a great feature for you today.

Loyal readers of the MNT blog might recognize the word "regeneration". It's often used in posts the day after a national team game to describe what some of the players will be doing instead of training for the day. While everyone would agree that rest is needed the day after a game, some people might not know that there's more you can do besides laying down all day to get your body back up to 100 percent.

Our video crew talked to U.S. Soccer technical advisors to learn more about the best exercises athletes can do to rehabilitate their tired muscles in the hours after a match. Take a look and figure out what you can do on your own, and let us know how you feel the next time you leave it all on the pitch!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Moving On

Congratulations to the sixteen teams that have advanced to Finals Week! After an exciting final matchday, the eight teams booking their flights to Carson, Calif. from each age group are as follows:

U-15/16 age group: Derby County Wolves, New York Red Bulls, Chicago Magic AS Monaco, FC Dallas, Cal Odyssey, Washington Premier FC, PDA and Greensboro Youth Soccer.

U-17/18 age group: Dallas Texans, FC Greater Boston, Carmel United SC, IMG Soccer Academy, CASL Chelsea FC Academy, Real Colorado, PDA and D.C. United.

Come back later this evening for plenty more pictures and video from the conclusion of this weekend, and begin packing your bags for California—Finals Week starts in ten days!

U-20 MNT Draws With Egypt

The U-20 MNT rounded out its foreign training camp with a 1-1 draw against Egypt. Tony Taylor, who assisted Mikkel Diskerud's game-winning goal in Saturday's 1-0 win, notched the equalizer on Monday when he converted a 52nd minute penalty kick.

The U-20s will return to their respective clubs/colleges/hometowns tomorrow with a better sense of what to expect when they return for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, scheduled for Sept. 14-Oct. 16 in Egypt.

Updated Finals Week Scenarios

Check this page out for winners and advancement scenarios that will be updated throughout the day. As of right now, congratulations to U-15/16 teams Chicago Magic AS Monaco and Washington Premier FC, as well as U-17/18 teams Dallas Texans, PDA and D.C. United for winning their groups and clinching a spot in 2009 Finals Week!

We'll also be tweeting about teams that advance as results come in, so if you can't stay near a computer, follow us on your phone @ussoccer.

10 a.m. games have just kicked off the second half, we'll be back around lunchtime with those results!

U-20 MNT Tops Egypt in Alexandria

Apologies for interrupting the Academy Playoff coverage here on the YNT Blog, but we wanted to make sure you saw that the U-20 MNT continued its impressive 2009 with a 1-0 win against Egypt in Alexandria, one of six venues for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be held from Sept. 24-Oct. 16.

Thomas Rongen and his team are in the midst of an eight-day tour of Egypt that includes one more friendly against their hosts on Monday evening. The team is also getting accustomed to the climate, weather and atmosphere of the FIFA U-20 World Cup which will take place from Sept. 24-Oct 16.

Mikkel Diskerud started the play that led to a goal by taking a restart to Tony Taylor. Jacksonville University's Taylor slipped the ball back to the Stabak midfilder and he was in alone on goal, finishing low past Mohamed Abou Gabal for the game's only goal.

Top-choice goalkeeper Brian Perk was called on to make eight saves in the match and has allowed only one goal this year in six international games. The lone goal allowed came in a 2-1 U.S. victory against CONCACAF Champion Costa Rica in Sarasota, Fla.

Check out the full match report here.

Culling The Herd

The final day of 2009 Development Academy Playoffs has begun, and there are still plenty of teams with a shot at joining Real Colorado's U17/18 squad in Finals Week. Here are the games where it's quite simple to figure out who advances on to California—it's winner take all.

U17/18 Age Group:
Albertson SC vs PDA (Alberston SC advances with a draw)
CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs Arsenal FC (CASL Chelsea FC advances with a draw)

FC Dallas vs South Charlotte SA (FC Dallas advances with a draw)
Derby County Wolves vs Columbus Crew (Derby County advances with a draw)
New York Red Bulls vs Chicago Fire (New York Red Bull advances with a draw)
FC Delco vs Cal Odyssey (Cal Odyssey advances with a draw)
Greensboro Youth Soccer vs Crossfire Premier (Crossfire Premier advances with a draw)

As for other groups, teams are still too close to know who will advance , as it will most likely hinge on not just who wins, but how many goals are scored as well. Follow along with us today as we let you know who's gone through to Finals Week as results come in!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two Teams Clinch Advancement to Finals Week

After two consecutive days of matches and in accordance to U.S. Soccer’s Best Practices, Academy Playoff participants have been resting today and return to the field on Monday for their final match. U17/18 teams Real Colorado and Carmel United SC from Indiana have won their groups with two games played so far in this weekend of DA Playoffs. We'll have clinching scenarios for you before games kickoff tomorrow so you can follow along as results come in, but there are quite a few groups that are still open for any team to win. It's sure to be a very busy Monday, so in the meantime catch up on Saturday's top ten goals. Or look to see if your team has a photo gallery from their match on ussoccer.com!

Saturday ended with a U.S. Under-17 MNT intra-squad scrimmage as the team continues preparations for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held from Oct. 24 to Nov. 15 in Nigeria. The 30-player roster split into two squads, with U.S. U-17 MNT Red defeating U.S. U-17 MNT Blue 2-0 on goals from Carlos Martinez and Victor Chavez. We'll have highlights up from that game soon.

Finally, the YNT blog would be remiss in not congratulating the U.S. Men's National Team on their second-place finish in the 2009 Confederations Cup. To read about today's final against Brazil, head next door to the MNT blog, and thanks to all the players at the DA this weekend who supported the U.S.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Technical Support

As some of you have noticed, we're providing streaming coverage of some games this weekend through the D.A. page on ussoccer.com. But some of you have also noticed it wasn't working! With that in mind, we ask that you try it now--but be sure to install any and all plugins it may ask you to install. After the first time, it'll begin streaming immediately.

Here's the schedule of upcoming games that will be shown:

Saturday June 27
8 pm-U17/18 PDA vs Columbus Crew
10 pm-U15/16 LAFC Chelsea vs Texas SC

Sunday June 28
8 am-U17/18 Dallas Texans vs Derby County Wolves
10 am-U15/16 BW Gottschee vs Derby County Wolves
12 pm-U17/18 Miami FC Kendall vs CASL Chelsea Academy
2 pm-U15/16 PDA vs Sockers FC
4 pm-U17/18 Clearwater Chargers vs Carmel United SC
6 pm-U15/16 Texas SC vs Chicago Magic AS Monaco
8 pm-U17/18 Columbus Crew vs Albertson SC
10 pm-U15/16 FC Delco vs Arsenal FC


Top Ten Goals From Day One

You want 'em? We got 'em. (But only if you promise to cheer on the MNT tomorrow in the Confed Cup final!)

The Next Generation Speaks

You may have heard there's a game tomorrow. It's kind of a big one. In light of this notable occasion, we felt the need to ask the next generation of players what they think about the current Men's National Team that is PLAYING IN THE 2009 FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP FINAL AGAINST BRAZIL ON SUNDAY, JUNE 27 AT 2:30 PM ET, BROADCAST ON ESPN! (Sorry, the YNT blog couldn't hold in the excitement any longer)

Anyway, here's what they had to say about the U.S. MNT's upset of Spain in the semifinals last Wednesday:

Think any of these guys will one day see D.A. players talking about their performance in a FIFA tournament semifinal?

Drink It Up!

With temperatures soaring and a full, glaring sun beating down on the fields, dehydration has been the one constant challenge for teams to overcome this weekend. Obviously wanting to play as hard as possible to ensure advancement onto Finals Week takes a toll on the body, but it's important to take care of yourself to enable your body to recover as fast as possible. Luckily for us, here come the referees!

Focusing on the rules regarding in-game hyrdation (parents, pay particular attention!), this week's Referee Week in Review clip shows that even on the professional level, heat can take a toll. Take a look!

Day 1 Gets Booked

With the sound of thunder and rain on the athletes' lounge, it seemed like the soccer Gods were telling us to call it a day. There were 32 games today, and as you'd expect with that many matches, upsets were bound to happen. These pictures come from the Cal Odyssey-Arsenal FC matchup in the U-15/16 age group, where Cal (seeded 31st) defeated Arsenal FC (a #2 seed) 3-0 thanks to two goals from Jose Segura and one by Gregory Antognoli.

But because this is not March Madness, Arsenal is certainly nowhere near out of the running. If U.S. Soccer has learned anything recently, it's that you can never count yourself out.

Most results from day one can be found here (U15/16 and U17/18), while this (U15/16 and U17/18) will show you the standings for each group so you can follow your favorite team from home.

For more news and official updates on the weekend, be sure to read more here and check out the 2009 Development Academy Homepage.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just 15 More Minutes!

With day one of D.A. Playoffs about to conclude, we've had some unfortunate weather. Luckily it doesn't look too severe, so we should be able to finish up the active games. (Of course, just as we said that, it began pouring twice as hard).


And after...


So that's why there were so many spots open right next to the fields...

U-17 MNT Training Photos

Along with 64 teams from the D.A., the U-17 Men's National Team is also in Greensboro, N.C. for the week to wrap up the last half of a camp that started last week in N.J. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera has brought 30 players along for the trip, four of whom are not part of the residency program in Florida but were invited after playing the U-17s as part of two Academy Select squads at the Spring Showcase. The team is continuing to stay sharp in their preparations for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, slated to be held in Nigeria from October 24-November 15.

Getting the Ball Rolling

Games are offically underway at the 2009 Development Academy Playoffs as each team looks forward to their first match in round-robin play.

Welcoming the aspiring finalists to the Athletes' Lounge are banners displaying their team's group and seed, as well as a place for the group winners.

And welcoming the athletes inside the lounge itself is the Gatorade Bar! With the temperatures reaching 90 degrees fahrenheit in sunny and humid Greensboro, it's important that players, coaches and spectators stay well hydrated. Drink up!

2009 Development Academy Playoffs Begin

After a full second season of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, 32 clubs in each age group have earned the right to play in Greensboro, N.C. for the first annual D.A. Playoffs. Teams have been separated into eight groups of four, with the group winners advancing to Finals Week in Los Angeles next month. Check out which clubs made the cut, and stay tuned to the YNT blog all weekend as we bring you updates on the matches. This is it for 64 teams from around the country—the culmination of an entire season's work. The door to L.A. is open, but only for a few days. Will your team seize the opportunity to play for a national championship?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Busy is an Understatement

There is a LOT of YNT action happening this week, so let's get caught up ...

  • The U-20 MNT has arrived in Cairo, where they are preparing for two friendlies against U-20 World Cup host Egypt on Saturday (June 27) and Monday (June 29) before returning on the 30th. If you need a refresher, you can click here for Thomas Rongen's roster. Check back for updates of some sightseeing and adventures as the team gets accustomed to its surroundings.
  • Meanwhile, the U-17 MNT is also continuing World Cup preparations and are in their second-consecutive week of training camp. Last week, 40 players trained in Zarephath, N.J. - home of Development Academy club PDA. This week, 30 players are training at the site of DA Playoffs in Greensboro, N.C. They will play four scrimmages throughout the week against local club sides and a college all-star team. We will have much more from Bryan Park as the week goes on, but in the mean time, you can check out Wilmer Cabrera's squad by clicking here.
  • Since the U-17s (and U-15s) left last weekend, the U-14 Boy's National Developmental Program has taken over the PDA training grounds as head coach Manny Schellscheidt has brought in 36 players for the final U-14 event for players born in 1995. In existence since 1997, the U.S. Under-14 National Team program is a major reason for the increasing quantity and quality of young players vying for spots in the U.S. Youth National Teams program. If you want to meet potential future YNT stars, you can click here for a full list of Schellscheidt's players. The team will be training each morning and scrimmaging local club and ODP teams in the afternoons throughout the week.

And as a reminder, Development Academy Playoffs are also kicking off this Friday, June 26 - Be sure to stay tuned to the YNT Blog for updates and Finals Weeks Scenarios as we come to you live from Bryan Park in Greensboro.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Milk Cup Draw Finalized

Though it's still seven weeks away, the draw for the annual Northern Ireland Milk Cup is set. The U-18 MNT will take on Denmark on Monday, July 27 and Sudan on Wednesday, July 29. The games will take place after the famous parade that travels through the town of Coleraine on July 26.

Israel, Bulgaria and Northern Ireland (of course) will also be participating in the Elite Division of the prestigious tournament, said to be one of the favorites of YNT veterans. Stay tuned to ussoccer.com for the USA's roster in the coming weeks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

SPARQ Scores Are In

We told you about the SPARQ (Strength, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) testing happening down at the Development Academy Spring Showcase over Memorial Day weekend, and the results are in.

ESPN Rise has published the best scores from the weekend, which was higlighted by 14-year-old Caleb Richardson from the U-15/16 Dallas Texans. He turned in the best overall score on the weekend - across BOTH age groups - including the top score in the vertical jump and the sixth-best score in the 20-yard sprint.

For a comprehensive look at all of the SPARQ scores, you can click here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Congrats to the National Gatorade Player of the Year Dillon Powers!

The Gatorade Company, in parternship with ESPN Rise has announced U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team midfielder Dillon Powers as the 2008-09 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Powers, who plays for Andromeda SC of the Development Academy, recently returned from the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal, where he appeared in all three U.S. games to help the team to a 1-1-1 record. Powers was also part of the U-18 MNT that finished first at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January.

Powers joins Lee Nguyen and Nick Garcia as the only other high school boys soccer players from the state of Texas to earn Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year honors.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Powers as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player.

Powers is not only a standout on the field, but he also holds an A average, has served as a member of the Student Council at Plano High and has completed multiple community-service initiatives in association with the National Honor Society, including peer tutoring. He has also volunteered on behalf of his local church youth group... Powers is a busy senior!

A national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Powers from more than 383,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. Powers is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.