A Weekly Summary of Development Academy News

Across the Academy - June 4, 2015

Across the Academy is a weekly summary of news that highlights the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, its clubs and players, as well as alumni and Youth National Team activity. Across the Academy will be available for the duration of the 2014-15 season.


Academy Alumni: Game Winners and Game Changers: Several Development Academy Alumni are currently making a strong impact in their respective teams. For example, abroad with the Men's National Team are Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls Academy), Aron Johannsson (IMG Academy), DeAndre Yedlin (Crossfire Premier & Seattle Sounders Academy) and Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy Academy), who are all prepping to face a pair of elite opponents in No.6-ranked Netherlands and 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany . The teams played in their final group game in Brazil last summer, with the Germans earning a 1-0 win. It's been nine years since the last meeting on German soil, when the hosts then led by former coach Jurgen Klinsmann, cruised to a 4-1 win in Dortmund. Also on the world stage, alumni Emerson Hyndman is (FC Dallas Academy) playing in the 2015 U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, and has scored two goals in two matches. Also in MLS, the Academy continues to demonstrate its value as several players continue to contribute valuable minutes.


U-23 MNT Advance to Placement Games at 2015 Toulon Tournament: The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team needed a lot of help to advance past the group stage at the 2015 Toulon Tournament. Fortunately, a 1-1 Qatar-Costa Rica tie, and a 4-0 victory by France over the Netherlands were exactly the results the USA needed to stay alive in the competition. The U-23's will find out their opponent tomorrow when Group B finalizes play.

U-20 MNT Punches Ticket to Knockout Stage: The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team rolled to a second straight Group A victory at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, shutting out tournament host New Zealand 4-0 at North Harbor Stadium in Auckland. Academy alumni Bradford Jamieson IV (Chivas USA Academy and LA Galaxy Academy), Emerson Hyndman (FC Dallas Academy), and Paul Arriola (Arsenal FC) all scored goals in the match.

U-16 BNT Travels to Florida for Training Camp: The U.S. Under-16 Boys' National Team is set to hold its first domestic training camp of the year from June 7-14 at Sunrise in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A 36-player roster will make its way to South Florida for the seven-day camp. The U-16 camp will be dually coached by Shaun Tsakiris and Luchi Gonzalez. There are 32 current Development Academy players on the roster.

U-15 BNT Roster Named for Training Camp in Argentina: The U-15 BNT will play hold camp and play a trio of friendlies against South American National Teams in Buenos Aires, Argentina from June 4-14. U-15 Boys' National Team head coach John Hackworth has called in 20 players for the U-15's second training camp of 2015, fifteen of whom helped the USA win the Tournament delle Nazioni back in April. Additionally, 16 players currently play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

For the latest Development Academy results, information and more, visit and the ussoccer Development Academy section . Follow the Academy on Twitter @ussoccer_acad ,Instagram and Facebook .


East Conference: In the East Conference, a pair of Florida teams went head-to-head over the weekend as Orlando City SC U-17/18s and Weston FC tied 3-3 as both continue their quest for a post season spot. Benjamin Michel scored an early goal for Orlando in the eight minute that would hold until the second half. Michel scored his second tally in the 51st for a 2-0 Orlando lead. That's when Maximiliano Stiegwardt began a comeback for Weston, notching his team's first goal of the day in the 54th minute. Gorka Aperribay, tried to shut down the rally attempt and added a goal for Orlando in the 78th, making it a 3-1 game. Weston furiously rallied however, and in a span of four minutes scored twice, thanks to another by Stiegwardt and one by Ricardo Oliveros, to even things up and come out with a tie. The result was a positive one for Orlando as it allowed them to remain in playoffs contention in the 19th spot with only one week left in the regular season.
The top two teams in the Atlantic Division faced off on Saturday, as both teams battled for that number one and two spot in the playoffs pool. New York Red Bulls U-15/16s defeated Philadelphia Union 2-1 to retain its first place hold on the playoffs pool. The Union attacked early, scoring only two minutes into the match, as Raheem Taylor-Parkes gave his team the 1-0 lead. Jeanpaul Marin (23rd) and Ryan Mingachos (52nd) however, made sure to bring the Red Bulls back into the top, helping seal the team's victory. With only one week left in the regular season, the Red Bulls have only lost one game, a 0-1 defeat to Continental FC DELCO back in Sept. 27, 2014.

Central Conference: Two playoffs-bound teams played on Saturday as Solar Chelsea SC U-17/18s defeated Colorado Rush 1-0. Solar Chelsea's lead scorer, Julio Vargas (10 goals in the season) was the sole goal scorer in the match. Colorado is in the third position of the wildcard pool and Solar Chelsea is in the sixth and despite both of their regular seasons being done now, both teams continue preparations as the start of the post season is around the corner.
Colorado Rush U-15/16s finished its season strong with a 2-2 tie over FC Dallas, who currently holds the third position in the playoffs pool. Despite being out of post season contention, Colorado stayed strong in front of a powerful opponent, scoring two late goals in the 62nd minute with a goal from Matthew Kintzle and 80th thanks to Phillip Gustafson to tie things up and end its season on a positive note.

West Conference: In a high-scoring match between Northwest Division rivals Crossfire Premier U-17/18s defeated Seattle Sounders FC 5-3 to take second place in the division and the ninth position on the playoffs pool, two ahead of 11 seed Seattle. Simon Lekressner tallied a hat trick to lead Crossfire Premier, with goals in the 16th, 28th and 90th minute. His teammate Christian Soto-Gonzales also had a multi-goal game with two to help the team stay ahead of its division foe.
Behind the game-winning goal from Ashot Veisyan in the 77th minute, Real So Cal U-15/16s defeated playoff-bound Arsenal FC 2-1 on Saturday. Wilson Harris added the other score for Real So Cal, while Christian Gutierrez had the only goal for Arsenal in the 58th minute. Real So Cal currently sits in the ninth position of the wildcard pool.


Player of the Week: Crossfire Premier forward Simon Lekressner earned Academy Player of the Week honors for his outstanding goal-scoring display against Seattle Sounders FC. The forward, currently the leading goal-scorer at the U-15/16 age group with a sensational 31 goals in only 27 games, played up with Crossfire's U-17/18 team with playoffs only two weeks away. In an exciting 5-3 home win, Lekressner managed to score three goals, sealing the hat-trick in the 90th minute. Entering the match, the in-state rivals had identical records. With the victory, Crossfire leads Sounders by three points in the Northwest Division with one match remaining. Both teams are playoffs-bound, ranked 9 and 11, respectively.

Academy Referee of the Week: Jesus Sosa, a 22-year old Grade 6 state referee from California, was named Academy Referee of the Week for receiving high marks during the U-13/14 Albion SC and Pateadores game. Sosa has worked Academy matches since 2014, in addition to National Teams, NPSL and United Soccer League games.

For all Development Academy results, standings and more visit or click on the following links:



Futures Camp: The very first Futures Camp came to a close on May 26th. Fifty eight players joined U.S. Soccer technical staff for a three-day camp that focused on identifying the most talented players in the '00 and '01 birth year that appear to be on a later physical development growth path and/or are born in the second half of the year, to reduce the impact of physical maturity and relative age effect on identification and evaluation of talent.

Four New Clubs Added for 2015-16 Season: Three east coast-based clubs and one west coast club will be joining the U.S. Soccer Development Academy to open the 2015-16 season. Baltimore Armour from Maryland and Sacramento Republic from California will field teams at all age groups, which include U-13/14s, U-15/16s and U-17/18s, to become full members beginning this fall. In addition, Florida-based club Boca United, who currently fields a team in the Academy at the U-13/14 age group, will play the 2015-16 Academy season at all three age groups adding teams to the U-15/16 and U-17/18 levels. New York City FC will be joining the U-13/14 age group at the beginning of next season and become part of the Academy for the first time.



EXACT Sports to Monitor & Train the Psychological Readiness of Development Academy Players

 In an effort to continue to provide the elite youth soccer players in the Development Academy with unique opportunities to improve their development, U.S. Soccer has partnered with EXACT Sports, an expert in behavioral assessments and sport psychology tools.

During 2012, Exact Sports will monitor and train the more than 4,000 players and coaches across the 78 Development Academy clubs using the Mental Achievement Program (MAP). The MAP tool will provide a detailed behavioral profile to every athlete in the Academy and provide them with the tools to increase characteristics such as motivation, confidence, competitiveness, leadership and mental toughness.

“The MAP has been successfully utilized by our National Teams and will be another exclusive opportunity for the players in the Development Academy to improve their overall development,” said U.S. Development Academy Director of Scouting Tony Lepore. “Along with the physical and technical tools, mental preparation is an essential component for success in soccer. The MAP should help players better understand the mental attributes required of them to maximize performance on and off-field.” 

EXACT’s Mental Achievement Program was developed by a team of scientists that have expertise in the monitoring of athlete development.  Development Academy clubs join over 60 professional teams such as the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New York Red Bull, and more than 100 NCAA soccer teams including University of North Carolina, Wake Forest University, and Indiana University, in using the MAP to aid coaching staff and elevate player performance.  “There are many elements within soccer that are mental, such as managing adversity during a corner kick, being confident in goal, showing leadership on the field and interacting with coaches and teammates,” said Executive Director of EXACT Sports Barry Tarter.

Each Academy player will have the ability to annually update his MAP behavioral profile. The program will be utilized by his club coaches to assist in Academy training and preparation.  

“Development Academy clubs will get unrestricted access to EXACT’s team of mental experts,” said Tarter.  Our priority is to assist each club’s coaching staff in better preparing their team and players for success at the highest level.”

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Academy Schedule to Run from September through June Beginning in the Fall of 2012

CHICAGO (Feb. 10, 2012) – The U.S. Soccer Development Academy has announced it is moving to a 10-month season starting with the 2012-13 season.

After receiving overwhelming support from the Development Academy membership, the Academy is moving to a schedule beginning in the fall of 2012 that runs from September through June (or July based on postseason play). This creates a format that is similar to those followed by the elite soccer playing nations around the world as the Development Academy and U.S. Soccer continue their goal of closing the performance gap with the top soccer nations.

“If we want our players to someday compete against the best in the world, it is critical for their development that they train and play as much as possible and in the right environment,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “The Development Academy 10-month season is the right formula and provides a good balance between training time and playing competitive matches. This is the model that the best countries around the world use for their programs, and I think it makes perfect sense that we do as well.”

A number of clubs already have switched to the 10-month season and have seen substantial improvement (Western Conference, Texas Division). U.S. Soccer recognizes there might be challenges during the transition process and will work with individual clubs to make this swift transition as easy as possible.

Moving to a 10-month season means players can focus on training together three or four times per week and play meaningful games on the weekend nearly year-round. Fewer games and an extended season will allow for the addition of a substantial number of extra training sessions, which are the primary vehicle for player development.

The 10-month season allows for a greater opportunity to institute a style of play and implement a system according to U.S. Soccer’s Curriculum as well as build team chemistry. It also gives teams increased opportunities for younger kids in their club to “play up” against older players in both training and matches, thereby accelerating their development.

“Going to a 10-month season is an important step in the evolution of elite player development,” said U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna. “The format provides the ideal platform to place an increased emphasis on the value of training on a regular basis, and offers the opportunity to play in quality, competitive games throughout an extended season. This schedule puts our elite players in line with kids in their age group internationally, and places the appropriate physical demands at this stage in their development. 

“The addition of a significant number of training sessions per year will enhance the ability of players to develop,” said Reyna. “Along with the support of our membership, this move has been greeted with enthusiasm from leading soccer nations around the world.”

U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy in 2007 to improve the everyday environment for the elite youth player. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players.

US Soccer Development Academy Press Releases

For previous press releases please visit the US Soccer Academy website at: