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Academy officially announces 2012 university commitments

10 players announce intentions to attend eight Division I programs

D.C. United Academy today announced that ten of its U-18 players have committed to play soccer at eight different universities for the 2012 fall season. The list includes commitments to perennial collegiate powerhouses Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia, among others.

"We're proud to announce the ten university commitments our Academy players have made for the coming fall season," said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. "Playing soccer at the collegiate level is a great accomplishment and a major goal that we pride ourselves in helping our players achieve. We look forward to following their collegiate careers and wish each the very best of luck."

"We're excited for each of these individuals and are proud of the success they have had, both on the field and in the classroom," said D.C. United U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. "This achievement is a culmination of many years of hard work and dedication and we're confident each of them will have terrific collegiate careers."

The following players today announced their official university commitment:

Damilola Adetola – Villanova University
Date of birth: May 31, 1994
Position: M/F
Tenure at D.C. United: Two years
Previous youth clubs: Potomac Academy, Olney Rangers, Freestate Bravehearts
Honors/awards: ESPN Rise mention 2011; captain of high school Maryland State Champion (2011); three-year varsity player.

Jannik Eckenrode – Radford University
Date of birth: December 13, 1993
Position: Forward
Tenure at D.C. United: One year
Previous youth clubs: Annandale United and McLean
Honors/awards: Captained Annandale United to back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011; 2011 Patriot District Player of the Year; 2011 First Team All-Met selection.

Ryan Harmouche – George Mason University
Date of birth: November 15, 1993
Position: Midfielder
Tenure at D.C. United: Two years
Previous youth clubs: Annandale United, Arlington Venom, BRYC Boca
Honors/awards: 2010 All-Met honorable mention; Two-year member of Virginia ODP team; 2010 State Cup regional semifinalist.

Peter Lee – United States Military Academy at West Point
Date of birth: August 30, 1994
Position: Defender
Tenure at D.C. United: Three years
Previous youth clubs: Waldorf MD United

Sam Legg – Radford University
Date of birth: June 11, 1994
Position: Goalkeeper
Tenure at D.C. United: Two years
Previous youth clubs: Herndon FC, Mclean Premier Soccer, Loudoun Soccer
Honors/awards: Member of Virginia ODP team; District and Regional Championship winner in high school.

Robert Maffei – Manhattan College
Date of birth: January 16, 1994
Position: Goalkeeper
Tenure at D.C. United: One year
Previous youth clubs: Team America '93
Honors/awards: 1st Team All-Liberty District

Jalen Robinson – Wake Forest University
Date of birth: May 8, 1994
Position: D/M
Tenure at D.C. United: Three years
Previous youth clubs: Bethesda Arsenal
Honors/awards: Member of U.S. Youth National Teams at U-14, U-15 and U-20 level.

Marcus Salandy-Defour – University of Virginia
Date of birth: December 13, 1993
Position: M/F
Tenure at D.C. United: Three years
Previous youth clubs: MSC Dragons, Crystal Palace USA, Potomac Cougars
Honors/awards: Four caps with U.S. U-18 Men's National Team; MLS SUM Cup winner; U.S. Development Academy select team; three-time IAC first team; two-time First Team All-Gazette; All-Met honorable mention; three-year member of Maryland ODP team; two-time Region I ODP team.

Michael D. Russo – University of Central Florida
Date of birth: April 5, 1994
Position: Midfielder
Tenure at D.C. United: Three years
Previous youth clubs: McLean Premier Soccer, Olney Rangers
Honors/awards: Four-year letter winner at McLean High School (Liberty District champions, 2010 state qualifier); two-time team captain; Member of Maryland ODP team at District, State, Regional level; member of U.S. U-14 and U-15 Men's National Team.

Edgar Zepeda – George Mason University
Date of birth: March 3, 1994
Position: Defender
Tenure at D.C. United: Two years
Previous youth clubs: Team America 93
Honors/awards: All-district, all-region, all-area player; U.S. club nationals winner.

WEEKEND SCRIMMAGE RECAPS: D.C. United's academy teams were also active this past weekend, as the U-18s defeated McLean Academy 3-0 (goals by Jannik Eckenrode, Edgar Zepeda and OJ Porteria) on Saturday. The U-16s played two scrimmages on the weekend, falling to Vienna 4-0 on Saturday, before beating McLean Academy 3-0 (goals from Chrysthian Najar [2] and Graydon Hester) on Sunday. Both teams are preparing for the upcoming Development Academy season, which begins March 10, in conjunction with the beginning of the MLS regular season. Both the U-16 and U-18 teams will face the New England Revolution in their first games.