D.C. United Academy Update: March 26, 2009

Results: After two losses last week against the New York Red Bulls’ Academy teams, the D.C. United Academy teams looked to rebound this past weekend playing Alberston on Saturday, March 21 and Gottschee on Sunday, March 22.

The U16s defeated Albertson on Saturday, with a final score of 3-1 thanks to two goals from forward Yaw Amankwa and one from Noah Merlin. Sunday’s game saw the U16s tie against Gottschee 1-1, with a score from Myles McGinley.

“I was very happy with the team over the weekend,” said U16 Assistant Coach Roberto DaSilva. “We defended very well as a team and stayed organized for longer stretches of the game. The players gave a very good effort, worked hard for each other, were able to create lots of chances and were fortunate to convert several of those chances into goals. Overall, a very good weekend for our team.”

The U18s didn’t get the final tally in their favor, losing out to Albertson 1-2, but were uplifted by Michael Funes’ brilliant left-footed goal, scored from 20 yards out and struck well into the far corner. The U18s did get a win against Gottschee, by a score of 1-0 thanks to a great goal by Chris Hegngi, who received a cross from the 6-yard box from Funes.

“It was a great weekend, and we were unlucky to not get the six points for both games,” said U18 Head Coach Judah Cooks. “We played well during both games, showcasing our brand of soccer, and we’re very excited about the rest of the season. We were able to get playing time for many who don’t get to see that kind of opportunity on a regular basis and even some of the U16s played for us, and played well. It was a step forward for our group.”

“Another good weekend for our club as we continued to see improvement from many players,” said John Maessner, D.C. United’s Director of Youth Development. “We had U16 player Andy Najar, play with the U18s this weekend and show very well. Andy is one of the top players in our program and impressed all of us with his composure and skill. We were very pleased with several players from both teams and will continue to work hard this week in preparation for next week’s matches.”

Last weekend, D.C. United fell in both of their games against the New York Red Bulls Academy. The U16s saw Josh Ellis tie the match at 1-1 just before halftime but dropped another goal late in the match for the final score line of 2-1.

For the U18 team, the game against the Red Bulls proved difficult due to injury problems. Unable to get on the board, the United Academy fell 0-1 against their MLS rivals. Regardless, Maessner saw last week’s results as a way for our Academy players to gain experience and improve their level of play. “Playing against MLS clubs always brings added excitement and meaning to our matches which is very healthy for our club and for soccer in this country,” said Maessner. “We had two hard fought matches that demanded each player to raise their level of play. These are the games that are most important for the growth of our players. Games that challenge players to push themselves and grow during the match and while on the road. It gives the players a chance to get a feel for what it is like to be a professional player - to travel and live as a team with the goal of becoming a better player after each experience.”

The D.C. United Academy teams will be back in action next weekend, when they travel to New Jersey to take on PDA and Match Fit. On Saturday, the U16s will be on the field at 2:30 p.m., while the U18s will follow at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, the U16s will kickoff at 1 p.m. followed by the U18s at 3 p.m.

Tiffany International Tournament: From April 4-11, Washington, DC will play host to a number of youth teams from the biggest international and local clubs as they challenge for the third annual Tiffany Trophy Cup.

This invitation-only tournament, which pits youth teams from the best international clubs against local American talent, will be played in several Metro Washington DC venues including RFK Stadium, Georgetown University and Trinity College.

Featured in this year’s tournament are youth teams from the Blackburn Rovers (England), Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica), Chivas (Mexico), and Real Madrid (Spain). Joining them will be Maryland and Virginia teams Freestate (Bowie, Md.), Great Falls A ’91 Elite (Great Falls, Va.), Pachuca FC USA Internationals (Potomac, Md.), and the D.C. United Academy U16 team.

The Black-and-Red youth squad is scheduled to play its game against Real Madrid’s youth team on April 4, taking the field at RFK Stadium at 4:30 p.m., before the first team faces the Houston Dynamo. Tickets are now available though D.C. United (202-587-5000) and will allow access to both games.

For more information about this tournament, including updates on the team schedule, please visit InternationalAmateurSports.com 

Broadcasting and P.A. Request: When speaking of the organization, please refer to the team as either “D.C. United” or “United,” but not “the D.C. United” or “the United.” We appreciate your cooperation.

Doug Hicks, dhicks@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5448,
Boris Flores, bflores@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5452,
Kyle Sheldon, ksheldon@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5450 or
Cristina Cruz, ccruz@dcunited.com, (202) 587-5440