Last Wednesday, the U-18 and U-16 D.C. United Academy teams underwent extensive eye evaluations, providing yet another example of the elite physical tests that United’s youth players receive.
Dr. Keith Smithson of Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry conducted the exams, which evaluated the following beyond the standard eye health test: visual reaction/decision-making speed, internal macular pigment density, glare-recovery speed, hand-eye coordination (goalkeepers), foot-eye coordination (field players) and depth perception. The purpose of these exams was to analyze each player’s visual peak in order to maximize their potential in that area of play.
The D.C. United Academy is among the League’s best, with its Homegrown players contributing the most First Team minutes of any club in MLS. The U-16s currently sit atop the East Conference’s Atlantic Division in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League with a 13-1-3 record, while the U-18s are holding strong in fourth place with a 11-5-1 mark.