[FOUR THINGS TO NOW ABOUT ...]Real Salt Lake's Arizona-based academy team is perfect in the tough SoCal Division in the Development Academy's U-15/16 age group, and one of the stars is Jordan Allen, who moved from Rochester, N.Y., to enter the residency program. For four things to know about Allen ...
GREAT OPPORTUNITY.Allen had 16 goals as a sophomore at Aquinas Institute in 2010 but chose move to RSL's residency program in Casa Grande, Ariz., this fall. The players live in dorms and attend a local school. RSL AZ is Real Salt Lake's academy team so players are eligible to sign with the MLS club as homegrown players.
"This was a great opportunity for him and one that he could not pass up," father Howard Allentold MPNnow.
Howard came from Jamaica to attend Roberts Wesleyan College and settled in Rochester. He coaches at Aquinas and in the Empire United academy program and works for J.P. Morgan Chase.
BRADENTON PRODUCT.Living away from home wasn't a foreign concept to Jordan, though. He had spent the spring semester in 2011 at the U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla.
He played on the U.S. team that won the Concacaf U-17 Championship in Jamaica but didn't go to the world championships in Mexico.
FIRST IN SOCAL. The SoCal Division, dominated by clubs from Southern California, was one of two divisions to go "full-time" this season -- the rest of the Development Academy will operate 10 months beginning next season -- and RSL AZ is 6-0-0 in divisional play and 11-2-2 overall.
Allen, who is coming off a knee injury, has three goals in 13 games.
VIRGINIA VERBAL.With his pace, Allen is one of the top prospects in the Class of 2013.
His goal is to become a professional, but he is also a strong student and made a verbal commitment last fall to attend Virginia in 2013.