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Niagara Falls all behind teen sensation Teibert
by Paul Kennedy, March 21st, 2011 7:41PM

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TAGS:  chivas usa, d.c. united, mls, vancouver whitecaps

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[HOMEGROWN WATCH] An early candidate for 2011 Homegrown Player of the Year is 18-year-old Russell Teibert. The two-time Canadian U-17 Player of the Year hails from Niagara Falls, Ont., and entered the Vancouver Whitecaps' residency program in the summer of 2008.

About the only thing slowing down the young midfielder is injuries. He was one of only two Canadians to start in the Caps' 4-2 win over Toronto FC and had a strong game before coming off in the second half with a knock. A quadriceps injury had bothered him for much of the last year.

Teibert hopes to be healthy June 29 for the rematch at BMO Field in Toronto. How many family and friends will be on hand? "I don't know, all of Niagara Falls?" Teibert told the Vancouver Sun with a laugh.

FIRST FOR AGUDELO. Juan Agudelo became just the third homegrown player to score in MLS when he had the winning goal in the New York Red Bulls' 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders.

Andy Najar, who started for D.C. United in its 3-1 win over Columbus, scored five league goals -- and a team-high seven goals in all competitions -- in 2010.

Tristan Bowen, who debuted for Chivas USA Saturday as a late sub against Sporting Kansas City, scored twice for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2010

RSL-AZ PIPELINE. Real Salt Lake's venture into Arizona paid dividends with its first homegrown signing: 18-year-old Donny Toia of Tucson. He has been part of the RSL academy team in Arizona for more than two years.

RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey downplayed the signing. "I think it's really critical that we not put big expectations on players that are this young," he told the Deseret News. "These players are multiple years away from contributing to our team."

D.C. PROSPECTS. Not only did three homegrown players -- goalie Bill Hamid, defender Evan White and midfielder Conor Shanosky -- get appearances in D.C. United's 3-2 win over Columbus in the opening game of the revived MLS Reserve League, but it brought on two academy players -- Cody Albrecht and Iyassu Bekele -- in the second half.

Albrecht, who has signed to play for St. John's, set a Maryland prep record with 31 assists for 24-0-0 DeMatha in 2010 and was named the Washington Post All-Metro Player of the Year. Bekele had three goals in two games for D.C. in the recent Charleston Cup U-18 competition.

Relaxed NCAA rules allow academy players to play alongside pros -- as long as they aren't paid -- giving MLS teams a chance to look at young players without jeopardizing their college eligibility.

ZAMORA CUT. Cesar Zamora holds the unfortunate distinction of being the first homegrown player to be cut. The 19-year-old midfielder was the first official homegrown player signed by Chivas USA in 2009 but he did not play an MLS game in two seasons. Zamora, who spent time with the U.S. U-20s in 2010, had not trained with the Goats in the last month.

2011 HOMEGROWN PLAYERS
GP-G PLAYER TEAM
1-1 Juan Agudelo (New York)
1-0 Tristan Bowen (Chivas USA)
1-0 Nizar Khalfan (Vancouver)
1-0 Ruben Luna (FC Dallas)
1-0 Keith Makubuya (Toronto FC)
1-0 Andy Najar (D.C. United)
1-0 Russell Teibert (Vancouver)



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