Dallas pair earns top award

A pair of Dallas area players -- FC Dallas Juniors forward Ruben Luna and Andromeda midfielder Dillon Powers -- earned top honors as the 2008-09 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Players of the Year in voting by Development Academy clubs and U.S. Soccer national staff coaches and technical advisors.

The Mexican-born Luna scored 38 goals in 27 games, amounting to 48 percent of his team's total goals, during the Academy season. He had a goal and an assist for FCD in the first three games at Finals Week.

"Ruben has become much more responsible and much more fit this year," said FCD Dallas coach Oscar Pareja. "He's getting into good habits, the Academy is teaching him what he needs to do to succeed as he goes on in his career."

Powers, the 2008-09 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year, has spent time with the U.S. U-18 national team and was part of the squad that won the Australia Youth Olympic Festival in January. He also recently returned from a trip to Egypt with the U.S. U-20s and will attend Notre Dame in the fall.

Powers also earned 2008-09 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year honors before his whirlwind year came full circle with the Development Academy honor.

"There is something about his ease on the ball, his tactical awareness during the game," U-20 coach Thomas Rongen said. "He's got good soccer intelligence over 90 minutes, he's a good athlete, a strong player, and those are important components to succeed on the highest levels."

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