Happy National Signing Day!

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.

“It’s going to be a little bit more technical and even more physical. It’s going to help me improve as an overall player,” said Kershaw a midfielder bound for Marshall University.

With family in mind, future Nittany Lion Pilato added, “I’m excited to continue my family’s legacy at Penn State and play for a great soccer program.”

“I’m most excited about playing soccer for my school and being able to start my first year of college.” Monahan explained of his future at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“I’m really excited that I get to play with Jules for another four years. It’ll be great to have a familiar face in a competitive environment,” said Gandy, a future Cavalier who is heading to Charlottesville with DCU teammate Julian Cummings.

Cummings added, “Having Gandy there with me will be a lot of fun. UVA has a lot of great players and I know we’ll do well there.”

The D.C. United Academy aims to develop players from a young age and is very active in helping players through the college recruitment process. We asked the players how DCU helped them mature as players and gave them opportunities to be seen and recruited by colleges, and this is what they had to say:

Golob: “They have made me a lot better player both technically and mentally. D.C. United Academy is one of the top MLS academies in the country, and that draws a lot of college scouts out to games. My academy coaches also talked with Lafayette for hours about me and really supported me in my college soccer goals. They didn’t just coach me, they made sure that my goals were achieved.”

Hooper: “D.C. United has given me a winning mentality. I have had to play on behalf of the club and live up to the high standards set by previous players. That mentality is something I plan to take with me to George Mason.”

Kershaw: “D.C. United is a diverse organization. We have players from all kinds of backgrounds and that has really given me new insight about different playing styles. That diversity will help me adapt more quickly to my new teammates at Marshall.”

Julian Cummings—University of Virginia
DOB: 7-27-96
Hometown: Fredericksburg, Va.
Position: Forward
Tenure at D.C. United: 4 years

Steven Gandy—University of Virginia
DOB: 11-11-96
Hometown: Gainesville, Va.
Position: Defender
Tenure at D.C. United: 3 years
Previous Club: Prince William Soccer Inc.

Josh Golob—Lafayette College
DOB: 9-18-95
Hometown: Potomac, Md.
Position: Defender
Tenure at D.C. United: 4 years
Previous Club: Bethesda Soccer Club

Bashir Hooper—George Mason University
DOB: 12-2-95
Hometown: Gainesville, Va.
Position: Forward
Tenure at D.C. United: 5 years
Previous Club: McLean Youth Soccer Association

Christian Kershaw—Marshall University
DOB: 1-22-95
Hometown: Severna Park, Md.
Position: Midfielder/Defender
Tenure at D.C. United: 4 years
Previous Club: Baltimore Bays

Michael Monahan—New Jersey Institute of Technology
DOB: 3-16-96
Hometown: Falls Church, Va.
Position: Midfield/Forward
Tenure at D.C. United: 4 years
Previous Club: McLean Youth Soccer Association

Noah Pilato—Penn State University
DOB: 6-25-96
Hometown: Herndon, Va.
Position: Midfielder
Tenure at D.C. United: 4 years
Previous Club: Chantilly Soccer Club