A look back on D.C. United's Academy Teams' successful seasons
Ahead of D.C. United Youth Academy’s last regular season game, we take a look back at both the U-16s’ and U-18s’ successful seasons. Both teams are headed to Frisco, Texas for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in June.
The U-16s approach its last game of the regular season 3rd in the Atlantic Division and will enter the playoffs as the 12th seed overall. With a record of 15-4-5, the talented Academy found the net 56 times and only allowed 26 goals against. Leading the offense is Gerson Umana with 16 goals on the season thus far. Umana is currently tied for 5th most goals in the East Conference, while midfielder Graydon Hester is tied for 1st in start percentage (100%).
The U-16 Academy split games against rival Baltimore Bays Chelsea this season, beating the U-16 side 1-0 in October, courtesy of a goal from United’s Jean-Christophe Koffi. In March, however, the U-16s dropped the match 4-1, with the Black-and-Red’s lone goal coming from Umana in the 19th minute.
D.C. United’s U-18s are also currently 3rd in the Atlantic Division, but will enter the playoffs as the 11th seed overall (16-6-2). With one game left, the talented squad has notched an outstanding 71 goals – tied for 3rd most goals in all of USSDA. Top Drawer Soccer ranked the Academy as the 3rd best offense in its age group, with Ian Harkes leading the pack in goals scored (9). Harkes notched his first hat trick over Potomac’s U-18s on April 14. The talented midfielder, heading to Wake Forest University in the Fall, tallied the first goal in the run of play and converted two penalty kicks to round out the hat trick.
The U-18s also have a perfect record against local rival Baltimore Bays Chelsea—beating the Bays 3-0 and 3-2. On October 13, Abdi Yusuf found the net twice while Michael Seaton tallied once. Later in the season, on March 2, Lars Eckenrode, committed to the University of Michigan, Kennedy O’Shea, committed to Costal Carolina University, and Ian Harkes all notched goals in the 3-2 victory.
The U-18s take on McLean Youth Soccer this Saturday, June 1 at Spring Hill Park at 4:00 p.m., while the U-16s play McLean’s U-16 side at 6:30 p.m.
Noteworthy: Collin Martin
Former D.C. United Academy player and current Wake Forest Demon Deacon Collin Martin notched a start for the U-20 United Sates Men’s National Team on May 28 in the first game of the U-21 Toulon Tournament. The U-20s lost 4-1 to host France, but Martin played 61 minutes of the match.