This afternoon (3:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2) The US Men's National Team faces off against Scotland in an international friendly. One face on the USMNT squad stands out for DCU fans, as Homegrown keeper Bill Hamid was recently called into National Team camp and will be joining his countrymen in Glasgow.
This weekend marked the start of the offseason for D.C. United players. Each spent their downtime in a different way, some traveled, others enjoyed quiet time at home. Bill Hamid, United's Homegrown goalkeeper, spent Saturday cheering on DeMatha High School in the WCAC championship match. Before signing with DCU, Hamid attended DeMatha for the 2005-06 school year, during which he earned First-Team All-Maryland honors, First-Team All-Prince George’s County, First-Team All-WCAC and Second-Team Washington Post All-Met honors.
The Stags defeated rival Gonzaga High School 1-0, finishing their season with a winning record (15-4) and a championship to celebrate. After the Match, Hamid congratulated the team, and joined the locker room celebration. Despite a disappointing season for the Black-and-Red, Hamid and DCU had their own locker room celebration after this year's Open Cup victory.
As an affiliate club, Arlington Soccer Association (ASA) is one of the primary soccer clubs D.C. United looks to for identifying and developing top youth talent in the region. Not only are ASA players scouted and brought in to play for D.C. United, but all levels of ASA teams benefit from the quality and consistency of the affiliate program. In this young relationship, D.C. United wants to share coaching and training resources with ASA that will improve players, coaches and teams.
Arlington Soccer Association has three players on the D.C. United Academy U-16 roster this season. Patrick Jean-Gilles, Hamza Monawer and Christophe Gerlach are all current D.C. United players, but they all come from the same ASA roots.
“ASA helped us get recognized by D.C. United,” said Jean-Gilles. “We now have opportunities we wouldn’t have had without this connection.”
The Arlington Impact Red U16 boys and Arlington Strikers Red U17 boys have also had success alongside Jean-Gilles, Monawer and Gerlach. Both teams were crowned Virginia State Cup Champions after winning in a competitive finals weekend on Oct. 27.
“I’m really proud of them,” said Gerlach. “The three of us here at D.C. United just want to say congratulations. It’s a big accomplishment.”
The affiliation between the Arlington Soccer Association and D.C. United could be a shining example for other soccer communities,” said ASA Director of Travel Coaching German Peri. “The relationship allows ASA access to D.C. United’s professional coaching curricula and methodologies, while allowing D.C. United to benefit from ASA’s talented player pool and youth developmental program."
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D.C. United’s Jose Carranza (Manassas, Va.; North Virginia Soccer Club) has been called up to the U-15 Boys National Team (BNT) Camp to be held in Carson, Ca. from Oct. 26-Nov. 3. While he’s there, Carranza will train and play games alongside 29 others selected from other clubs and Developmental Academy teams across the United States. Carranza has become a mainstay with the BNT since attending the U-14 camps; this is his second time being invited up to the U-15 camp.
“We are happy that Jose has stayed consistent in his development path into the next age group cycle,” said D.C. United’s U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “He has been super committed and despite playing up with U-16’s, he has never shied away from the challenges that he is presented with.”
Carranza has been playing up an age division in the D.C. United Developmental Academy system and has thrived under the increased pressure of competing with older, more physical players.
“He is a true playmaker with a gift of clean technical ability and understanding of rhythm in possession,” said Torres. “We wish him all the best.”
Seven D.C. United Academy alums featured in the Maryland v. Wake Forest matchup on Saturday, Oct. 19 in College Park, Md. This Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rivalry has always been a heated battle in which everyone is familiar with one another. For seven of those players, it’s not just familiarity, but a brotherhood. Four DCU alums, Mikias Eticha, Suli Dainkeh, Cody Niedermeier and Michale Sauers play for Maryland and three, Rafael Fagundo, Ian Harkes and Jalen Robinson play for Wake Forest.
These seven standouts used to spend a lot of time together practicing, traveling and playing on D.C. United’s Developmental Academy teams only a few short years or even months ago. The score ended 4-3 in favor of Wake, but there were still handshakes and genuine smiles after the game. Every player mentioned how awesome it is to see each other progress as players and to compete on such a high level.
“D.C. United definitely prepared me to play in big ACC matchups like tonight,” Robinson said. “Getting to play against 11 other players that eventually went on to DI colleges, the (MLS) reserves and the first team helped me gain a competitive drive and the technical skill to get me where I am today.”
When asked to give advice to current D.C. United Academy players, all seven had similar messages. Sauers said, “I know its cliché, but always go after your dream. We’re all out here pursuing our dreams and still working on others. Work hard and put in the time, and you’ll get there.” D.C. United Academy not only produces topnotch talent, it also produces a brotherhood of soccer players. Robinson said, “You know, we all could be back playing together somewhere down the line.”
D.C. United Academy's Jose Carranza spoke with U.S. Soccer while at National Team Camp, says playing at Camp and at the Academy level will help his development as a player.
United Builds brought ten D.C. United staff members, representing six different departments, to serve lunch today in an effort to assist So Others Might Eat. The staff members prepared plates, set tables, ran beverage service and staffed the dish room throughout three different shifts. SOME served over 230 homeless individuals lunch today and serves over 240,000 meals in the dining room alone, annually.
Collin Martin, former D.C. United Academy standout and current Wake Forest Demon Deacon, was called into the United States U-20 Training Camp in Carson, Calif., from April 22-29 in preparation for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The freshman midfielder/forward hails from Chevy Chase, Md., and has trained with Manchester United in 2008 and German side Hoffenheim in 2011. The young midfielder has made an impact with both United’s Academy and professional level— scoring a game-tying goal for United’s reserve team against the New England Revolution. Furthermore, Martin impressed coaches and players alike at several practices with United’s First Team in 2012.
Martin— named First Team All-Met by the Washington Post— helped the U-18s reach the USSDA National Championship in Texas and was named an Eastern Conference starting XI midfielder at the end of the 2012 season.
The 18-year-old graduated early from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and went on to feature in 20 games for Wake Forest, starting 15 of them. The young standout tallied one goal and registered six assists in the 2012 season, helping the Demon Deacons reach the first round of the NCAA tournament. Martin was then called into the U-20 camp in December of 2012.
"Collin being called into camp is important for D.C. United," said D.C. United Director of Youth Development Sonny Silooy. "He is still 18, still very young. When someone is already selected at just 17, you know he already has a lot of talent. He has potential to make the First Team for D.C and maybe the United States National Team someday."
Collin will join 23 other players in California, including current Major League Soccer standouts Will Trap and Jose Villarreal.
Traveling with his father, D.C. United legend John Harkes to the UK, Black-and-Red Academy standout Ian Harkes met and took a picture with Chelsea FC superstar Frank Lampard. Harkes and Lampard are posing for the camera at Stamford Bridge, the Blues' storied stadium in central London. Lampard recently tallied his 200th goal for Chelsea against former team West Ham United on March 18.
Currently featuring for the United U-18s, Harkes will be headed to Wake Forest University to play collegiate soccer in the fall.
Last Wednesday, the U-18 and U-16 D.C. United Academy teams underwent extensive eye evaluations, providing yet another example of the elite physical tests that United’s youth players receive.
Dr. Keith Smithson of Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry conducted the exams, which evaluated the following beyond the standard eye health test: visual reaction/decision-making speed, internal macular pigment density, glare-recovery speed, hand-eye coordination (goalkeepers), foot-eye coordination (field players) and depth perception. The purpose of these exams was to analyze each player’s visual peak in order to maximize their potential in that area of play.
The D.C. United Academy is among the League’s best, with its Homegrown players contributing the most First Team minutes of any club in MLS. The U-16s currently sit atop the East Conference’s Atlantic Division in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League with a 13-1-3 record, while the U-18s are holding strong in fourth place with a 11-5-1 mark.