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U.S. Soccer Development Academy Awards
July 17th, 2008 7:01AM

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The eight conference starting XI squads and coaches of the year were announced for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Under-17/18 age groups. Among the recipients were former U.S. national team star Bruce Murray, selected as the Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year for his work with CASL. For all the awards ...

U-17/18 West Starting XI
GK: Trevor McManamon - De Anza  
D: Anthony Arena - Crossfire
D: Jared Cruz -  Cal Odyssey
D: Taylor Kemp - Real Colorado
D: Isaac Cowles - Real Colorado
M: Paolo DelPiccolo - Colorado Rush
M: Brandon Zimmerman - Crossfire
M: Alexsandor Tarnoczi - Colorado Rapids
M: Aaron Woodruff - Real Colorado
F: Zach Paul - Colorado Rapids
F: Jose Cuevas - Cal Odyssey

Coach of the Year: Bernie James - Crossfire

U-17/18 So Cal Starting XI
GK: Eric Shannon - LAFC
D: Omar Elmarsi - Chivas USA
D: Chris Cummings - Real So Cal
D: Kevin Orozco - LAFC
M: Steve Birnbaum - Pateadores
M: Richard Menjivar - LAFC
M: Jesse Parades - Chivas USA
M: Mario Ledezma - Chivas USA
M: Cesar Barajas - LAFC
F: John Fitzpatrick - San Diego Surf
F: Kevin Mejia - LAFC

Coach of the Year: Rafa Moran - LAFC

U-17/18 Great Lakes Starting XI
GK: Matt Lampson - Crew Soccer Academy
D: Michael Robinson - Michigan Wolves
D: Luke Norman - Vardar
D: Chad Barson - Crew Soccer Academy
M: Mike Green - Crew Soccer Academy
M:  Joshua Gatt- Michigan Wolves        
M: Ben Speas - Crew Soccer Academy
M: John Rogers - Vardar
F: Colin Rolfe - Michigan Wolves
F: Rubin Bega - Vardar
F: Nick Blevins - Crew Soccer Academy

Coach of the Year: Eric Nichols - Crew Soccer Academy

U-17/18 Mid-America Starting XI        
GK: David Meves - Sockers FC Chicago            
D: Tommy Meyer - Scott Gallagher            
D: Kyle McCrudden - Chicago Fire                
D: Ryan Bauer- Scott Gallagher                
M: Joe Radice -Scott Gallagher                
M: Ian Christianson - Chicago Fire                        
M: Christian Meza- Chicago Magic                
M: Jared Tejada - Metro United                
F: Will Bruin - Scott Gallagher                
F: Kevin Bick - Chicago Magic                
F: David Madison - Sockers FC Chicago     
        
Coach of the Year: David Richardson - Sockers        

U-17/18 Southeast Starting XI
GK: Larry Jackson - IMG Soccer Academy
D: Shawn Barry - Schulz Academy
D: Gale Agbossoumonde - IMG Soccer Academy
D: Julian Serrato - Schulz Academy
M: Pablo Punyed - Miami FC Kendall
M: Kevin George - Concorde Fire
M: Rudy Alvarez - Atlanta Fire United
M: Riley Sumpter - Concorde Fire
F: Nick Burton - Concorde Fire
F: Folabit Kingsley - Schulz Academy
F: Taylor White - Concorde Fire

Coach of the Year: Gregg Blasingame - Concorde Fire

U-17/18 Atlantic Starting XI
GK: Michael Watkins - North Meck
D: Austin King - CASL
D: Zane Tharakan - CASL
D: Andrew Bumgarner - South Charlotte SA
D: Ryan Bennet - CASL
M: Peyton Ford - Greensboro
M: Mike Davis - South Charlotte SA
M: Sean Hagland - CASL
F: Brian Ownby - Richmond Strikers
F: Will Bates - Richmond Strikers
F: Ronald Castellano - Greensboro

Coach of the Year: Bruce Murray - CASL
 
U-17/18 Northeast Starting XI
GK: Alex Naples - Met Oval
D: Mauricio Mora - BW Gottschee
D: Chris Holihan - FC Westchester
D: Scott Prozeller - FC Greater Boston
M: Jon Gallagher - FC Westchester
M: Steve Palumbo - Seacoast United
M: Damien Blackwood - FC Westchester
M: Conor Fitzpatrick - Oakwood SC
F: Brian Rogers Albertson - Oakwood SC
F: Ryan Ruffing - FC Greater Boston
F: Akheel Rodney - BW Gottschee
 
Coach of the Year: Rob Thompson - Seacoast United

U-17/18 Mid-Atlantic Starting XI
GK: Bill Hamid - D.C. United
D: Thomas Brandt - Baltimore Bays
D: Connor Lade - NYRB
D: Chris Lebo - Baltimore Bays
M: James Wenger - PA Classics
M: Cesar Blacido - NYRB
M: Neil Vranis - Baltimore Bays
M: Matt Kassell - NYRB
F: Chris Agorsor - Baltimore Bays
F: Kyle Bethel - Match Fit Academy
F: Johnny Exantus - NYRB
 
Coach of the Year:  Steve Klein - PA Classics




The first awards were unveiled as the fourth day of games during Finals Week concluded at The Home Depot Center, where PDA became the first team to advance to their respective championship match when their 2-0 victory against CASL clinched Group C. The top spot is still open in the other three groups, but both U-18 groups (Group A and B) will be decided on Wednesday. In Group A, the clash between the Baltimore Bays and Colorado Rush at 1 p.m. PT will decide who moves on to the championship, while Group B is a bit more muddled with LAFC, the Crew and the Concorde Fire all having a shot at first place.

While the action on the field gets critical, the players also continued to partake in educational seminars on Tuesday afternoon. Wake Forest head coach Jay Vidovich talked to all 160 Under-17/18 players about what to expect in the fall when they enter their college season.

Of the 62 teams that participated in the inaugural season of the Development Academy, 42 are represented in the eight Conference Starting XI squads and as many as seven different teams are honored in their respective regions.

Several Starting XI players from across the country not only represent their respective clubs but also various Youth National Teams. Three players - Larry Jackson (IMG), Tommy Meyer (Scott Gallagher) and Brandon Zimmerman (Crossfire Premier) - competed at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup held in South Korea last August, when the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16. DC United's Bill Hamid has made two international appearances with Thomas Rongen's Under-20 squad, while Chad Barson (Crew), Ben Speas (Crew) and Jesse Parades (Chivas) have all spent time in the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program.

Talent is distributed thoroughly in the North East Conference with seven teams contributing players to the Starting XI from Met Oval (Brooklyn, NY), B/W Gottschee (Rego Park, NY), FC Westchester (Scarsdale, NY), FC Greater Boston (Waban, MA), Seacoast United (Hampton, NH), Oakwood SC (Glastonbury, CT) and Albertson SC (Manhasset, NY).  

The Southeast and West Conferences' Starting XI teams each consist of players form six different clubs. Columbus Crew, Michigan Wolves, and Vardar predominately make up the Great Lakes Starting XI with four from the Crew and three each for the Wolves and Vardar. Mid-America, Atlantic, and Mid-Atlantic Conferences have five club teams represented each. Within Mid-America, Scott Gallagher contributes four of the Starting XI.

As the nine-month Development Academy season draws to a close, Finals Week is well underway at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. with 16 conference champions squaring off in group play. The purpose of U.S. Soccer's Development Academy is to encourage progress and motivate players to reach their potentials in a professional environment. The Academy provides young players opportunities to get scouted by national and college coaches as each Academy game is evaluated by scouts.



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