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D.C. United Academy Update: May 28, 2009

Season Update: The D.C. United youth teams spent their Memorial Day weekend on the road, as the U16 and U18 squads traveled to Sarasota, FL to participate in the 2009 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Spring Showcase. The U18s found great success during the three-game trip, conceding just one goal while compiling a 3-0-0 record. The U16s, however, could not carry the momentum from an opening game victory, dropping the next two contests en route to a 1-2-0 mark.

Paced by strikes from Coleman O’Neill, Iyassu Bekele and Andy Najar, the U16s’ lone win came in a 3-1 triumph against South Charlotte SA. The U18s also kicked off the showcase with a two-goal victory, beating South Charlotte 2-0 thanks to an Eliseo Fraga goal and a Chris Hegngi penalty kick.

The U18s continued their winning ways on Sunday with a convincing 4-0 win against FC Dallas Academy, but a Luis Cartagena brace was not enough to save the U16s from a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Hoops youth team.

“The team really played attractive soccer while meeting a team goal of nine points,” said U18 Head Coach Judah Cooks. “The game against FC Dallas was the highlight of the weekend, scoring four goals and conceding zero against one of the best teams we have played all year. At times we were really clicking as a group on a very high level and that's what we want to do heading into playoffs. Overall, it was a great step for our 18s.”

Both sides capped off the event on Monday with a holiday clash against Sockers FC. Although the U16s struggled in a 4-1 loss, the U18s kept their record unblemished, using goals from Matt Oduaran and Michael Burgos to down Sockers 2-1.

“Overall, it was a very good trip for our program,” said United’s Director of Youth Development John Maessner. “We believe our teams will be even stronger for the upcoming 2009/2010 Academy year and we have been working to supplement our current group with the area’s top players.”

Season finishing: The Academy teams will look to prepare for the Academy playoffs next month, from June 25-29 in Greensboro, NC, with the finals being held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA from July 10-17. Before the finals, however, the teams will look to compete in this year’s MLS U17 Cup on July 3-8 in Denver, CO.

U16 and 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. Tryout dates are scheduled for June 8, 12, 15, and 19, July 28-30, and August 11-13. Sessions will be held at RFK Stadium’s Auxiliary Turf Field. Further details are available at www.dcunited.com/academy .

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 .

U20 Call-Up: D.C. United U18 player and University of Maryland freshman Matt Oduaran has been called-up by the Nigeria U20 National Team. Oduaran will be attending Nigeria’s training camp from May 28 to June 15 as they prepare for the Intercontinental U20 Championship in Malaysia and the 2009 World Youth Championship in Egypt.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Matt and we wish him all the best,” Maessner said. “He will be training with some of the top players in the world and will prove to be a special time for his development.”

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