D.C. United and Freestate Soccer Alliance – in conjunction with adidas – today announced a historic affiliate agreement, the first of its kind for both clubs. Under the agreement, Freestate will be one of D.C. United’s primary sources in identifying and developing the top youth talent in Maryland. United will share its coaching resources and will work with Freestate to follow its training curriculum and system of play. Top players in the Freestate system, identified by both D.C.
Three U-18 D.C. United Academy players – Suliaman Dainkeh (Reston, Va.; Reston Soccer), Ian Harkes (Fairfax, Va.; Herndon Youth Soccer) and Michael Sauers (Glen Arm, Md.; Baltimore Bays Chelsea) – were selected to 2012 NSCAA All-America Teams, with Harkes and Sauers named to the High School Boys Team and Dainkeh named to the Youth Boys Team. Additionally, former Academy player Collin Martin is in Sunrise, Fla., through Dec. 22 for a U-20 U.S. Men’s National Team training camp.
With the recent news that the D.C. United U-16's are No. 1 in the nation among teams in its age division, we’ve got Academy on the brain. So, we thought it would be fun to look at Homegrown Player contributions to first teams around the League and see how United stacks up against other clubs (Hint: We’re tops).
WHAT WE EXAMINED
Former D.C. United Academy player Tyler Rudy and the Georgetown University men’s soccer team ended a historic run with a 1-0 loss to Indiana in the NCAA National Championship game.
Rudy – who was in the starting XI – had the first golden opportunity of the game in the 17th minute when he sent in a laser toward goal, but Hoosier goalkeeper Luis Soffner made the save. Indiana would find the game-winner in the 63rd minute off of a rebound.
A gaggle of talented young Nigerian players has traveled across the Atlantic for an extended visit to the Washington, D.C. area in search of exposure to college scouts and other Stateside soccer opportunities.
Two of the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association’s top teams are going hunting for national hardware in Florida this weekend.
Almost exactly a year and a half ago – June 7, 2011 – sophomores Mikias Eticha (University of Maryland; Falls Church, Va.; Arlington Soccer Association) and Tyler Rudy (Georgetown University; Olney, Md.; Olney Boys and Girls Club) impressed as Academy players in a D.C. United Reserve match, a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution. Tomorrow (Friday, December 7; 5:00 p.m. ET), they are set to square off on opposite sides of the pitch, Eticha with the storied Terrapins program and Rudy with an emerging Hoyas side.
Congratulations to the D.C. United U-16 Development Academy who will go into their winter break as the number one team in the nation. The Academy is the only division leader who boasts an undefeated record over the first 13 matches. With a 2.69 points per game average, they also lead their age-group in goals. 15 year old Gerson Umana, sits atop the individual standings with 11 goals on the season.
D.C. United’s U-18 and U-16 squads returned home from Bradenton, Fla., after strong Development Academy Winter Showcase performances from an extended weekend trip, going 2-1-0 and 2-0-1, respectively.