Published: December 8, 2011
SHOWCASE ENDS AFTER 234 GAMES AT PREMIER SPORTS CAMPUS: The 2011 Development Academy wrapped up Dec. 6 after five days of continuous non-league action, with each of the teams playing three games during the event. The most action was on Saturday, Dec. 3, with 78 Development Academy games and two Select Team games, which were composed of Under-17 and Under-15 players chosen by U.S. Soccer technical advisors, scouting directors and Youth National Team coaches. The clubs go back to their respective league campaigns with the 2012 Academy Playoffs on the horizon in next summer.
PLAYING UP: In order to increase player development and challenge their more talented players, many Academy clubs are now moving players up an age group. By playing up an age group, the players get an opportunity to develop their skills against greater competition while improving their cerebral understanding of the game.
GRADING THE ACADEMY: U.S. Soccer technical advisors and national team coaches are evaluating each of the 78 Development Academy clubs year-round. The grades were made public for the first time following the 2010-11 season, and now the end-of-year evaluations will be made public every year. The ultimate goal of the grades is to create a platform on which the coaches and evaluators can discuss what the clubs can do to improve while also focusing on player development and style of play. Read more at ussoccer.com.
U.S. WINS NIKE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES WITH 3-1 VICTORY AGAINST BRAZIL: The U.S. won the Nike International Friendlies after a thrilling 3-1 win against Brazil. All four goals were scored in the first half, and the U.S. did well to hold off the Brazil attack to maintain its lead [highlights]. Meanwhile, France held Turkey to an exciting back and forth tie that ended 3-3 thanks in part to a red card and a last-second tally [highlights]. The U-17 Men's National Teams of the U.S., Brazil, France and Turkey played a six-game round-robin format after the tournament kicked off on Nov. 30, and this was the first time that the U.S. was crowned champion.
YNT BLOG IN FOCUS - U-17 SPOTLIGHT:
U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team captain Tyler Turner
and midfield playmaker Junior Flores both helped to seal the champion spot in the Nike International Friendlies. Tuner scored two goals and Flores added one goal plus three assists, one in each game, over the course of the tournament. ussoccer.com spoke to both former Development Academy players about their experience in the Friendlies and their goals for the future.