Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today's Equalizer

In case you missed the game online, the U.S. U-18 MNT drew 1-1 against Germany this evening at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. Here is Ryan Finley's late equalizer:

Watch the U-18 MNT LIVE Against Germany!

BBC has confirmed that it will be streaming games from the Northern Ireland Milk Cup LIVE on its website. In what sounds like a pretty cool program called BBC Blast, young camera operators, directors and producers will be given the opportunity to hone their skills by doing a live event - in this case, Milk Cup games - much to the benefit of the rest of us who want to watch.

To watch the game, which starts at 2:45 pm ET (7:45 pm in Northern Ireland), click here:

It is currently the only match involving the U.S. team that is scheduled for webcast, so be sure to tune in!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Coming Full Circle

With their championship game win Thursday night, U-17/18 Carmel United SC completed a journey that started last November. Barely three weeks into the season, we decided to follow the team for one day of the Winter Showcase.

So take a look back at a team that had a goal in sight that was several months away and was still preparing for those early season games with the same mindset they've shown all week in Los Angeles.

Championship Game Highlights

Can be found in today's new Studio 90!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Derby County Completes Finals Week as U-15/16 Champions

In the final match of DA Finals Week, the Derby County Wolves defeated Cal Odyssey 1-0 at The Home Depot Center to become U-15/16 national champions. With a goal from Dzenan Catic in the 6th minute, the Wolves complete the postseason in the same way they entered it: as the No. 1 ranked team.
For the complete match story, check here. We'll have highlights up tomorrow, but for now, check out our video player for highlights from days 4 and 5 of Finals Week.

As for the other placement matches today, here's how things shook out:

7th place: New York Red Bulls vs. Greensboro Youth Soccer: 3-1

5th place: FC Dallas vs. Washington Premier FC: 3-4

3rd place: Chicago Magic AS Monaco vs. PDA: 2-1

Once again, congratulations to the Derby County Wolves, and we'll see you tomorrow as we wrap up the 2008-09 Development Academy season!

Time For The Younger Generation

After watching the older age group get to play their placement matches all day yesterday, it's time for the U-15/16 clubs to get their time to shine.

Today's list of placement matches:

7th place: Greensboro Youth Soccer vs. New York Red Bulls&mdash:1 pm PT
5th place: FC Dallas vs. Washington Premier FC—3 pm PT
3rd place: Chicago Magic AS Monaco vs. PDA—5 pm PT

Championship Match: Derby County Wolves vs. Cal Odyssey—7 pm PT, broadcast on ESPN Classic and

Some interesting notes:
—Cal Odyssey is on a seven-game unbeaten streak, during which they’ve only allowed three goals while scoring 17.

—Cal Odyssey’s 1-1 draw against Washington Premier was the first goal they conceded in all of finals week.

—FC Dallas' Bryan Leyva leads scorers in his age group as the only person to tally four goals through three games.

—There have been eight shutouts in twelve U-15/16 games so far during Finals Week, with three coming on Monday afternoon.

For more information on today's matchups as well as recaps of yesterday's U-17/18 placement matches, click here!

Paying Dividends

Hopefully, you'll all remember what Nike SPARQ testing is. Standing for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness, the battery of tests that Academy players underwent at the Winter Showcase and then again in the Spring Showcase help to measure each individual athlete's overall athletic ability. They can then train for specific weaknesses, helping to improve their ability over time.

Well, after last night's U-17/18 Development Academy championship game, we found out that Nikita Kotlov, the winning goal scorer for Carmel United, had the fastest 20-meter sprint time at the Spring Showcase. He also had the third highest overall SPARQ rating. So it would seem the training and testing works! Don't quite believe us yet?

Maybe it'd convince you if we told you that the Derby County Wolves, one of the teams playing in today's U-15/16 championship match, has the highest team speed in the Academy according to SPARQ testing. This means that after every player's 20-meter sprint time was taken, the team as a whole possesses the fastest average speed among players.

So in the heat of these summer months, if you're not one of the lucky few to still be playing in Finals Week, keep working hard. It will pay off!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The End Of The Road

From 74 teams down to 32, then 8, and now 2, the final day of the U-17/18 Development Academy finished today with four placement matches among all eight teams of Finals Week. The results are as follows:

7th place match: CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs. Dallas Texans—1-0

5th place match: PDA vs. FC Greater Boston—3-2

3rd place match: Real Colorado vs IMG Soccer Academy—0-1

Championship match: Carmel United SC vs D.C. United—1-0, congratulations to Carmel United SC for their second Development Academy title in a row!

Check back here tomorrow for highlights from today's placement matches, as well as interviews from players and coaches in the championship game!

Development Academy in the News

We're not the only ones writing about Finals Week; around the country several papers have been covering their local teams and players throughout the week. Here are a few links to get you started:

From Tacoma, Wash.—The News Tribune

From Fresno, Calif.—The Fresno Bee

Indianapolis, Ind.—The Indianapolis Star

Nashua, N.H.—The Nashua Telegraph

Detroit, Michigam—Detroit Free Press

Raleigh-Durham, N.C.&mdash:The News and Observer

If any of you coaches, players, parents and fans catch something in your own paper about the Academy or Finals Week, let us know!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2009-09 Development Academy Award Winners

Over the past two days of games, the U.S. Development Academy has announced the Coach and Player of the Year honorees for both age groups. The awards were voted on by Development Academy clubs and U.S. Soccer National Staff coaches and technical advisors.

Derby County Wolves U-15/16 head coach Lars Richters and FC Dallas Juniors U-17/18 head coach Oscar Pareja have been named Coaches of the Year for the 2008-09 season. Coach Richters has led his U-15/16 Derby County Wolves to a berth in the championship match, while Pareja led his FC Dallas club to a 15-5-8 regular season record and second place in their conference.

As for the Development Academy Player of the Year awards, FC Dallas Juniors forward Ruben Luna has been named U-15/16 Player of the Year, while Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year winner and Andromeda midfielder Dillon Powers has added to his award-winning season with Development Academy Player of the Year honors for the U-17/18 age group. Powers recently returned from a trip to Egypt with the U-20 Men’s National Team, where he helped the team earn a win and a draw against the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup hosts.

Congratulations to all four award recipients on a great 2008-09 season!

Day Six Match Reports

The final day of U-15/16 Development Academy Finals Week group play has concluded!

With group 1 already claimed by the Derby County Wolves, Chicago Magic AS Monaco, FC Dallas and and the New York Red Bulls fought it out for the third, fifth, and seventh place games. The scores and resulting table positions:

Derby County Wolves vs. New York Red Bulls: 0-2, Derby County remains on top of the group and New York stays in 4th place.

Chicago Magic AS Monaco vs. FC Dallas: 2-2, Chicago Magic AS Monaco finishes 2nd in the group, while FC Dallas finishes third.

Group 2 results:

Cal Odyssey vs. Washington Premier FC: 1-1Cal Odyssey has won group 2 and will play the Derby County Wolves in the U-15/16 championship match!

PDA vs. Greensboro Youth Soccer: 2-0—PDA finishes second in the group now, and will play in the third place match.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Placement Matches For U-17/18s

Group 2

CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs. Real Colorado: 2-0

PDA vs. D.C. United: 1-5

D.C. United and Carmel United SC will meet for the U-17/18 Development Academy national championship!

Group 1

Dallas Texans vs. FC Greater Boston—2-4

Carmel United SC vs IMG Soccer Academy—3-3

To see how the rest of the teams shook out, check here.

The third place match will see IMG Soccer Academy and Real Colorado face off, while the fifth place game will be a battle between FC Greater Boston and PDA. Rounding out the U-17/18s will be a fixture for seventh place between the Dallas Texans and CASL Chelsea Chelsea FC Academy.

Click on the scores for full match reports and check back with the YNT blog later today for photos and highlights from matchday 3 for the U-17/18s!

New Studio 90!

With highlights!

LA On The Small Screen

While waiting for departure to The HDC today, a few U-15/16 FC Dallas players were in the lobby and the YNT blog decided to ask about their favorite TV shows that have taken place in LA and the surrounding So Cal area.

Reality TV shows peppered the conversation, with The Hills and Cribs being mentioned, alongside dramas 24 and The O.C.

Someone got a little mocked for liking Keeping Up With the Kardashians (we won't say who to protect the guilty party), but the awkward silence after we asked about Saved By The Bell quickly turned the laughter on us. We didn't get it until we remembered that the show's last episodes aired when these guys were still infants.

It's never a good morning to realize you're old, but thanks for the reminder, boys!

Individual Game Highlights

For those of you who can't be in LA with us ('tis a shame, because the weather truly is beautiful, and we do wish you were here) or missed the broadcast of a specific game, we're going to be posting individual game highlights on YouTube over the next few days. First up are Day 1 U-17/18 games:

Texans vs. IMG Academy

CASL vs D.C. United

FC Greater Boston vs Carmel United SC

Real Colorado vs PDA


Monday, July 13, 2009

Derby County Wolves Clinch Group 1

With a 1-0 victory against the Chicago Magic AS Monaco this afternoon, the U-15/16 Derby County Wolves have clinched group 1 of Finals Week and a spot in the U-15/16 First Place Placement Match--simply put, they're in the title game!

The other afternoon match that helped them clinch it was a 3-0 win for FC Dallas against the New York Red Bulls.

It is still possible for either FC Dallas or the Chicago Magic to end up with six points, which would tie Derby County if they lose in their third game, but the first tiebreaker is head-to-head match-up. Because Derby County has beaten both of those teams already, they're through.

As for the rest of the day's results, Washington Premier FC beat Greensboro Youth Soccer 2-1 and Cal Odyssey defeated PDA 1-0.

And just to round out the day, here's a new episode of Studio 90!

Day Four Reading Material

While action is already underway in the first game of the day (U-15/16 NY Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas), take a few minutes to read today's notes.

You might also want to see who made the D.A. Starting XI.

Other U-15/16 matches today include:

Chicago Magic AS Monago vs Derby County Wolves in a battle for first place in the group; both teams enter the match with hefty undefeated streaks. Kickoff is slated for 4 pm PT.

Last but not least, Greensboro Youth Soccer will face off against Washington Premier FC at 6 pm PT, while PDA and Cal Odyssey close out the day at 7 pm PT.

As always, we'll be back later this evening with scores and match reports!

A Look at the Players Lounge

The Players' Lounge at Academy Finals Week is more popular than ever as it's located, conveniently, right in the teams' hotel. Before and after meals especially, you can always find a line for EA Sports FIFA 2009 games, the fussball table and computers. When players return from their games, you will surely find a crowded Gatorade bar. Take a look...

Players hanging out at the tables in the lounge

D.C. United players take their turn on FIFA '09

The Dallas Texans controlling the fussball table

Highlights from the day before are looped on a giant projected screen so players can check themselves out

World Championships!

As much as we might like to think US Soccer's Development Academy is the biggest draw in town, in a place like LA, we know that sometimes that's just not the case.

But little did we know that this week, we'd really be facing a true competitor. A competition attracting the biggest and the brightest from around the world. A competition...of performing arts.

In our fantastic hotel this week are performers from around the world, competing in the World Championships of the Performing Arts. According to everyone's favorite encyclopedia, the WCOPA is:

"An 'Olympics-style' competition in which singers compete against other singers, dance groups compete against other dance groups, actors against other actors. Industry heavy-weights, talent agents, record execs and television producers judge the talent to determine who moves onto the finals. Once at the finals, a champion is selected by 16 celebrity judges from among the top 3-4 performers in each category and both age groups. Of the eight category winners, a Junior and Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World is selected."

No word yet on a jazz hands event.

We've seen teams from Sweden, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Jamaica, Moldova, and there could be a few others we haven't caught. So to those from overseas, (especially South Africa, who just hosted the MNT team so kindly)...welcome!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 2 Highlights

All the best action from yesterday's games can now be found on the video player.

Scores are also in from today's group 1 games: IMG Soccer Academy defeated FC Greater Boston 2-1, while Carmel United SC stayed perfect with a 1-0 victory against the Dallas Texans.

In the later games, Real Colorado defeated D.C. United 1-0 and PDA won 3-1 against CASL Chelsea Academy FC.

Full match reports can be found here!

Today's Schedule

Movie hotels aside, we can't forget the real reason we're all here. With that in mind, here's who's playing today in the U-17/18 age group:

IMG Soccer Academy vs. FC Greater Boston at 3 pm PT
Carmel United SC vs Dallas Texans at 4 pm PT
D.C. United vs Real Colorado at 6 pm PT
PDA vs CASL Chelsea FC at 7 pm PT

Get a full recap of yesterday's action while games are underway, and as always, check back here later tonight for highlights and match reports.

"Hi, I'm the Westin Bonaventure...

You may remember me from such films as True Lies, starring (Governor and USA 2018/2022 Board of Directors member!) Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis."

One of the cooler aspects of staying in Los Angeles is the obvious Hollywood connection. It's not hard to throw a stone in any direction here and hit something that was used in a movie, and this landmark hotel has filled up many a big screen—This is Spinal Tap, In the Line of Fire, Nick of Time, Rain Man and Heat, to name a few. For those of you more a fan of the interactive small screen, pick up a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and find a hotel called the Atrium. That's it too!

(Unfortunately, you'll have to fill it with 16 soccer teams, scouts, and other US Soccer staff to get the full experience)

The most unique twist in this hotel is the elevators; four of them on the outsides of the building have little lights in them (red, blue, yellow, green) and are glass-walled—so you can see all around downtown LA while taking the ride to your room. Truth be told, they seem a bit small to fit a motorcycle or a horse in them, but that's movie magic for ya!


One of the bonuses of playing at the Home Depot Center is the fact that it's the home of both the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. With Finals Week going on for, well, a week, the odds were always pretty good that we'd be there for one of their games.

Turns out tonight we were there for both of their games! Chivas USA hosted the second leg of this season's Los Angeles derby, but fell to the "visitors" 1-0. Edson Buddle scored for the Galaxy in the 30th minute, extending LA's winning streak to three games.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 2 Kicking Off...Now!

Wrapping up yesterday's games, check out today's new Studio 90 for a preview of tonight's MNT game against Haiti, an interview with former FC Greater Boston player Charlie Davies, and highlights from the first day of action at The Home Depot Center.

You can look at photo galleries of each game to find your favorite players, and remember all of yesterday's games will be streamed today in their entirety here.

The schedule for today's games in the U-15/16 age group:

Washington Premier FC vs. PDA at 3 pm PT 0-1
Cal Odyssey vs. Greensboro Youth Soccer at 4 pm PT 1-0
New York Red Bulls vs Chicago Magic AS Monaco at 6 pm PT 1-4
Derby County Wolves vs FC Dallas at 7 pm PT 3-1

Read up on the eight finalists before results start coming in!

Check back throughout the evening for score updates as matches finish, and kill the time in-between by watching the U.S. Men's National Team as they take on Haiti in Foxborough, Mass. in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup at 7 pm ET, live on FSC and TeleFutura. Stuck at the computer? Follow the game on the here! Have to leave your computer and your TV? We've still got you covered.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy an oh-so-alliterative summer soccer Saturday!

Reporting on the Day

Day 1 Results and Reports:

PDA-Real Colorado- 2:2

D.C. United-CASL Chelsea FC Academy: 3-1

Carmel United SC-FC Greater Boston: 1-0

Dallas Texans-IMG Soccer Academy: 1-1

Friday, July 10, 2009

UPDATED-Day 1 Scores

Real Colorado scored a late goal to earn a draw against PDA in the first match of Finals Week, while on field two D.C. United scored a goal in the first minute and ran with it on the way to a 3-1 victory against CASL Chelsea FC Academy.

The evening's matches saw Carmel United SC score an early goal that stood up for a 1-0 victory against FC Greater Boston, and the Dallas Texans managed to draw IMG Soccer Academy 1-1 despite playing a man down for the final 22 minutes.

We'll have full match reports later tonight, along with photos and highlights. For those of you on the east coast, you can look forward to waking up tomorrow with a full day of soccer to enjoy—catch up on tonight's games right here, follow the MNT as they play Haiti in the CONCACAF Gold Cup at 7 pm ET here, and come right back to the Blog to find out Day 2's results!

There might be better ways to spend a Saturday, but we certainly can't think of any...

New Studio 90!

Right here!

We're off to watch the first match of Finals Week kick off as U-15/16 teams PDA and Real Colorado face off, followed quickly after by CASL Chelsea FC Academy and D.C. United meeting at 4 pm PT.

Check back throughout the evening for match reports, photos and highlights!

Let The Games Begin!

The U-17/18 age group gets Finals Week started today with four games this afternoon:

3 pm-PDA v. Real Colorado
4 pm-CASL Chelsea FC Academy v. D.C. United
6 pm-FC Greater Boston v. Carmel United SC
7 pm-Dallas Texans v. IMG Soccer Academy

We'll have match reports up shortly after each game, but for those of you looking to watch the games, you can find them online here. Today's games will be streamed tomorrow, July 11 at these times:

2 pm-PDA v. Real Colorado
4 pm-CASL Chelsea FC Academy v. D.C. United
6 pm-FC Greater Boston v. Carmel United SC
8 pm-Dallas Texans v. IMG Soccer Academy

Finally, kill the last few hours until kick off by reading up on some of the stars of the entire Development Academy season with the U-15/16 and U-17/18 Conference Starting XI rosters!

The Final Countdown

After a brief week and a half off, the D.A. is back for the final event of the year—Finals Week!

Eight teams from each age group remain after the entire season, and they'll face each other in two round-robin groups over the next week to determine a national champion. For a full explanation of the postseason process that got us here, check this out.

Along the way, the Development Academy will give an education to the players the likes of which they've most likely never seen. Nutrition experts will have tips on what top athletes need to eat to perform at their best, while media staff will teach them a bit about handling press coverage as they go on in their soccer careers.

We'll be in Los Angeles all week long giving you results, top performances, and highlights as the top 16 teams in the country compete at the Home Depot Center. Games kick off tomorrow at 3 pm PT for the U-17/18 age group, so go ahead and find out a little about each team before the games begin!