They’re at every D.C. United home game and even away games cheering on the Black-and-Red. Supporter Groups are a huge factor in creating an electric and intimidating atmosphere at RFK stadium. The District Ultras, La Norte and Club Echa Panza are regular attendees of D.C. United Academy home matches. They come out to these games with banners, flags, drums and an upbeat attitude to cheer on the Academy teams.
Seven D.C. United Academy players are going to play collegiate soccer in fall 2014. All seven have deep roots in the D.C. United Academy system and have been with the club for multiple years. Julian Cummings, Steven Gandy, Josh Golob, Bashir Hooper, Christian Kershaw, Michael Monahan, and Noah Pilato all started in the DCU Pre-Academy and moved up together through the system to eventually play on the U-18 US Developmental Academy team.
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.
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.