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United Academy on ESPN Classic tonight

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The D.C. United Academy U-18 team will play in the Development Academy championship match tonight against Carmel United at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.  The match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and ESPN360.com at 10 p.m. ET. 

U.S. Soccer Communications put together a ton of great notes on both teams, so if you're planning to watch the game tonight, you'll want to read up..

WINNERS TO BE CROWNED ON ESPN CLASSIC: D.C. United Academy and Carmel United are set for the U-17/18 Development Academy championship match on Thursday, July 16, at 7 p.m. PT. For the second consecutive year, the Development Academy season will finish on a high note during as the final will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and ESPN360.com from U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Soccer America’s Ridge Mahoney and U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen will be providing commentary for the game.

QUICK HITS (U-17/18):
  • A total of 10 out of the 20 players on this year’s U-17/18 Carmel United squad were on of the team that won the inaugural U-15/16 championship last year.
  • Midfielder AJ Corrado, who is still age-eligible for the U-15/16 age group, was part of that championship squad and netted the game winner in the 2008 final.
  • Andy Najar leads all scorers at Finals Week with four goals, while two other D.C. players have two each, Michael Funes and Chris Hegngi.
  • Born in 1993, Najar is also the youngest player in the U-17/18 age group of Finals Week.
  • Carmel has two players born in 1992 - Austin Oldham and Corrado – while D.C. has five – Julio Arjona, Samir Badr, Sam Bradley, Myles McGinley, Shaquille Phillips and Nicky Yin.
  • Every player playing in the U-17/18 division of the Development Academy Finals is age-eligible to participate in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
  • Hegngi entered the match against PDA in the 47th minute. By the 50th minute he had scored what would be the game winning goal and also added a 66th minute tally.
  • Until IMG notched a seventh-minute goal on Tuesday evening, Carmel United had not allowed a goal in 291 minute of Finals Week play.
  • Carmel United’s James and Jeremy Vollmer are the only siblings playing in the final.
  • D.C. United suffered only four losses during the regular season, with its 20-4-5 record earning them a No. 6 seed at Academy Playoffs.
  • D.C was one of three Major League Soccer Academies represented at Finals Week, along with FC Dallas U-15/16 and New York Red Bulls U-17/18.
  • Three D.C. players have experience as part of U.S. Soccer’s Under-17 Residency Program. Arjona, Badr and Phillips have each spent two semesters in Bradenton, Fla.
  • Two D.C. United Academy players – Paul Torres and Ethan White – will be enrolling at the University of Maryland in the fall.
  • The 40 goals scored at Finals Week in the U-17/18 age group were from 27 different goal scorers. 
D.C. UNITED’S RUN TO THE FINAL: Group 2 winner D.C. United Academy got off to a strong start in Finals Week with a 3-1 win against CASL Chelsea FC Academy. After a disappointing 1-0 loss to Real Colorado on July 12, D.C. needed a result against PDA to control its own destiny and the team rebounded in a big way, coming up with a 5-1 win. D.C. left its mark on this year’s Development Academy Playoffs in Greensboro, N.C., scoring 11 goals in three games while only allowing one.
 
D.C. United Academy U-17/18 Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): 0-Samir Badr, 1-Bill Hamid 

DEFENDERS (7): 17-Sam Bradley, 26-Alex Herrera, 12-Kevin McBride, 4-Shaquille Phillips, 21-Ryan Runion, 6-Ethan White, 3-Nicky Yin 

MIDFIELDERS(6): 33-Julio Arjona, 11-William Bioh, 8-Shane Cooke, 22-Michael Fuentes, 24-Myles McGinley, 19-Chris Perez, 10-Paul Torres 

FORWARDS (4): 20-Michael Burgos, 34-John Ciampa, 9-Chris Hegngi, 15-Andy Najar
 
A CLOSER LOOK AT CARMEL: With 10 players returning from the team that won the U-15/16 championship last year, Carmel United is looking to repeat its success from 2008 with another title run. This year, the Indiana-based club continued its streak of undefeated games at Finals Week, including a 3-0-1 record in 2008 and a 2-0-1 record in 2009 that led them the championship game. Carmel won its difficult Group 1 by taking seven points from 1-0 wins against FC Greater Boston and the Dallas Texans, and rounding out group play with a hard-fought 3-3 draw against IMG Academy.
Carmel United Finals Week Results
 
Carmel United U-17/18 Roster by Position: 

GOALKEEPERS (2): 35-Jon Dawson, 24-Keenan Johnson 

DEFENDERS (6): 4-Jarrett Baughman, 6-Jared Isanthal, 18-Tyrone Martin, 13-James Vollmer, 16-Tyler White, 23-Michael David Wignot 

MIDFIELDERS (9): 22-Brad Christie, 3-Patrick Courtney, 8-Ryan James Fier, 9-Corey Fundenberger, 29-Courtland Jackson, 5-Nikita Kotlov, 21-Harrison Petts, 19-Jeremy Vollmer, 10-AJ Corrado 

FORWARDS (3): 11-Blake Michael Leyden, 12-Matthew Hunter Sanner, 7-Austin Oldham