Two D.C. United Academy alumni, Suliaman Dainkeh (Maryland; Reston, Va.) and Ian Harkes (Wake Forest; Fairfax, Va.), have been invited into the U-20 National Team Camp from Jan. 3-12 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. They sat down during their afternoon break at camp to answer a few questions about their time with the National Team.
D.C. United U-16 Academy midfielder Jose Carranza has joined the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Carranza is one of seven players to be added to the program by U-17 National Team Head Coach Richie Williamson, and as one of two players born in 1999, he is now the second youngest player to be accepted into the residency program this semester.
What goes on when you have 20 talented youth soccer players, a competitive soccer weekend, and one video camera? You get a behind the scenes look at D.C. United's U14 Developmental Academy team at the U.S. Soccer Eastern Regional Event in North Carolina.
Day five. It doesn’t sound like very many days, but they sure do add up when you play, watch, coach and write about six different soccer games. Games fluctuate with a flick of a ball or a shot on goal and emotions dip and rise with goals, cards, fouls, wins and losses. Dramatic victories, unbelievable saves, and clutch performances from players made for an exciting and intense Winter Showcase.
Everyone was ready for a day to sleep in, except the coaches. Coaches Tom Torres and Nolan Sheldon and Academy Manager Steve Olivarez went to a meeting to listen to U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Meanwhile, the U-18s took the day off, and the U-16s didn’t have a game until 1 p.m. It was a cool morning and a lot of guys slept in or took walks on the beach. The U-16s departed for the field as the temperature began to rise.
The day started before the sun came up for the U-18s. The day was dreary and overcast, but the U-18s ignored the weather and were prepared for the day's game.
The first day of the Developmental Academy Winter Showcase started out early. Both teams woke up at 7:30 a.m. They ate breakfast, picked up their kits, had a pregame meeting, and then left for the Lakewood Ranch complex by 8:30 a.m. Twenty-two fields with hundreds of soccer players, coaches, fans, referees and staff stretched across the green fields. Players commented on how everything back home was covered in snow and then preceded to enjoy the warm, breezy weather.
The D.C. United U-18 team grab breakfast before kicking off the tournament.
The bus ride to the 22-field complex.
The 18's starting XI against the Carolina Railhawks.