It’s not too soon to start thinking about spring break plans. There may still be snow on the ground, but you can go ahead and start daydreaming of warm spring break plans with D.C. United. The month of April has several opportunities for players to begin training and playing soccer outside again. D.C. United Spring Training Programs begin on April 6th, and the Spring Break Camp runs April 14th-18th.
All three D.C. United Academy teams won their season openers against the Richmond Strikers this past weekend. The D.C. United U-18 and U-16s begin the second half of the season with (7-3-4) records, while the U-14s continue have tallied a (9-2-1) record.
The D.C. United Academy has several affiliate clubs that actively help identify, develop and monitor players in the Maryland, Virginia and D.C. area. These affiliate clubs assist D.C. United in developing high quality players that are ready to perform at premier college programs and potentially play for D.C. United’s first team. Six clubs are affiliate members with the D.C. United Academy including, Annandale Boys and Girls Soccer Club, Arlington Soccer Association, Beach FC, Maryland United, Northern Virginia Soccer Club and Stafford Soccer.
D.C. United Academy players Jose Carranza (Manassas, Va.; Northern Virginia Soccer Club) and Chandler Vaughn (Woodbridge, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) have both been called in to U.S. Soccer National Team camps. Carranza has been invited to the U-15 Boys National Team Camp to be held Jan. 31-Feb. 9 in Dubai, United Arab Emirate. Vaughn has been invited to the U-14 Boys National Team training camp Feb. 1-9 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
What goes on when you have 20 talented youth soccer players, a competitive soccer weekend, and one video camera? You get a behind the scenes look at D.C. United's U14 Developmental Academy team at the U.S. Soccer Eastern Regional Event in North Carolina.
Day five. It doesn’t sound like very many days, but they sure do add up when you play, watch, coach and write about six different soccer games. Games fluctuate with a flick of a ball or a shot on goal and emotions dip and rise with goals, cards, fouls, wins and losses. Dramatic victories, unbelievable saves, and clutch performances from players made for an exciting and intense Winter Showcase.
Everyone was ready for a day to sleep in, except the coaches. Coaches Tom Torres and Nolan Sheldon and Academy Manager Steve Olivarez went to a meeting to listen to U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Meanwhile, the U-18s took the day off, and the U-16s didn’t have a game until 1 p.m. It was a cool morning and a lot of guys slept in or took walks on the beach. The U-16s departed for the field as the temperature began to rise.
The day started before the sun came up for the U-18s. The day was dreary and overcast, but the U-18s ignored the weather and were prepared for the day's game.
The first day of the Developmental Academy Winter Showcase started out early. Both teams woke up at 7:30 a.m. They ate breakfast, picked up their kits, had a pregame meeting, and then left for the Lakewood Ranch complex by 8:30 a.m. Twenty-two fields with hundreds of soccer players, coaches, fans, referees and staff stretched across the green fields. Players commented on how everything back home was covered in snow and then preceded to enjoy the warm, breezy weather.
The D.C. United U-18 team grab breakfast before kicking off the tournament.
The bus ride to the 22-field complex.
The 18's starting XI against the Carolina Railhawks.