It’s barely 10 miles between RFK Stadium and Ludwig Field in College Park, Md.
In recent years, it has felt like even less between D.C. United and the University of Maryland, two soccer programs whose ties have been strengthened again this winter.
Seven D.C. United Academy players are going to play collegiate soccer in fall 2014. All seven have deep roots in the D.C. United Academy system and have been with the club for multiple years. Julian Cummings, Steven Gandy, Josh Golob, Bashir Hooper, Christian Kershaw, Michael Monahan, and Noah Pilato all started in the DCU Pre-Academy and moved up together through the system to eventually play on the U-18 US Developmental Academy team.
Ahead of tomorrow's Draft, D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper answered questions regarding the SuperDraft, scouting strategy, preseason and roster moves.
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.
Seven D.C. United Academy players will meet in the NCAA College Cup Semifinals on Friday, Dec. 13 in Philadelphia, Pa. at PPL Park. Maryland players Sulianman Dainkeh, Mikias Eticha, Cody Neidermeier and Michael Sauers will play against former D.C. United Academy teammates Patrick Foss, Kevin McBride and Marcus Salandy-Defour of Virginia.
The Maryland SoccerPlex was the place to be Friday night as both ACC Semi-Final matches were hosted at the venue. Top-seed, Notre Dame squared off against the number ten seed Virginia, while fourth-ranked Maryland battled the Clemson Tigers. But the real story was the tale of two D.C. United Academy alumni, Marcus Salandy-Defour (UVA) and Michael Sauers (Maryland), who each notched their respective game-winners.
RELATED: DCU Academy is on Twitter! Follow @DCUyouth
Seven D.C. United Academy alums featured in the Maryland v. Wake Forest matchup on Saturday, Oct. 19 in College Park, Md. This Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rivalry has always been a heated battle in which everyone is familiar with one another. For seven of those players, it’s not just familiarity, but a brotherhood. Four DCU alums, Mikias Eticha, Suli Dainkeh, Cody Niedermeier and Michale Sauers play for Maryland and three, Rafael Fagundo, Ian Harkes and Jalen Robinson play for Wake Forest.