D.C. United Academy Update: April 29, 2009

U16 & U18 Academy Tryouts: In an effort to identify the best youth players in the Washington D.C. area, the D.C. United Academy will be holding tryouts for the U16 and U18 Academy teams in June. Players trying out for the U16 side must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1993, while the age cutoff date for the U18 squad is on or after Jan. 1, 1991. Tryout sessions will be held at RFK Stadium’s Auxiliary Turf Field and all players must complete the waiver and player registration forms.

Tryout dates are scheduled for June 8, 12, 15, and 19, with additional dates to be announced in the coming weeks. Registration for sessions will begin at 4:30 p.m. each day, with sessions going from 5-7 p.m. Further details are available at www.dcunited.com/academy .

Busy weekend: It was another challenging weekend for the D.C. United Academy teams as they faced two tough opponents in Oakwood SC and South Central Premier. Both teams enjoyed differing measures of success, as the U16s dropped their first game against Oakwood, while emerging victorious against South Central Premier on Sunday. The U18s grabbed a draw against Oakwood and win over South Central Premier.

“Our teams played very well this weekend,” said United Director of Youth Development John Maessner. “There were several players who needed to step up and perform, and everyone did just that. All players played an important role over the weekend, and there were some very good performances all around.”

U16 forward Yaw Amankwa managed the only goal against Oakwood, a penalty kick drawn by Nick Smirniotopoulos in the 23rd minute. They created a number of good chances, especially during the last 10 minutes, but lost 2-1. Amankwa found the net again on Sunday when the U16s faced South Central Premier, and his tally ended up being the difference in a 1-0 win.

“We needed to win on Sunday to lift the team’s spirit in preparation for next weekend’s games against two strong teams from our conference,” said U16 coach Roberto Dasilva. “The boys showed up strong with lots of energy against a team that defended well throughout the game.”

For the U18s, forward Chris Hegngi’s lone goal against Oakwood was enough to earn a 1-1 draw. The boys responded to Saturday’s result with one of their best performances of the season on Sunday, defeating South Central Premier by a 2-0 score line. John Ciampa scored the opener, latching onto a long ball and slotting past the keeper, and Ethan White grabbed the second goal off a corner kick.

“We wanted go out to break down the opposition,” said U18 Head Coach Judah Cooks. “Playing attractive soccer with no results is not our goal. We are looking for players that want to go the extra mile to achieve success.”

Upcoming matches: Two tough opponents are on the schedule for the U16s and U18s this weekend as they host PA Classics on Saturday, May 2 and F.C. Delco on Sunday, May 3 at the Maryland Soccerplex. Saturday kickoff for the U16s is 3 p.m. while the U18s follow at 5 p.m. Sunday, the U16s play at 2 p.m., while the U18s play at 4 p.m.

National Team: U-16 player Kennedy O’Shea has been recognized for his outstanding play with a call-up to the U.S. U-14 National Team camp that is scheduled to take place from May 2-9 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Summer Camps: The D.C. United Academy is offering a 12-camp schedule in different locations in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. throughout the 2009 summer. A variety of training opportunities will be available, with each tailored to provide a fun and rewarding experience, while also encouraging players to develop their full potential. Along with that, there will be an Elite Residential Soccer Camp that will take place at the Catholic University of America from July 30 - August 2. For full details including camp schedule, please visit www.dcunited.com/academy .

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