Here is the Players To Watch Team of the Month in August for the Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Virginia, DC, Delaware, West Virginia).
Remember, this feature is to honor top performers in their region over the past month or so and across the span of age groups. There will be a boys' list and a girls' list, and a new region will be covered every weekday, Tuesday through Friday of each month. You can submit nominations at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Following is the Boys List, in no particular order.
Derek Chan, Baltimore Bays Academy, U16, Defender: Derek recently returned from London, England where he played as a member of the 2011 U16 Disney Showcase All Star Team. Derek, a physical and strong tackler, provided the All Stars with a dominant presence in the back going toe to toe physically with top Academy players from Leicester City, Reading, Charlton FC and Leatherhead FC.
Romy Hernandez, Baltimore Bays Academy, U16, Midfielder/Forward: Romy recently returned from London, England where he played as a member of the 2011 U16 Disney Showcase All Star Team. Romy, one of the younger players on the trip, proved to be one of the most dangerous players providing four goals and drawing two PK’s. Romy’s composure on the ball, aggressive moves toward goal, and standout game against Reading earned him positive attention from several academy coaches.
Michael Gamble, Baltimore Bays Chelsea Academy, U18, Forward: Bays Academy forward Michael Gamble showed great tenacity and composure scoring four second-half goals as Baltimore Bays Chelsea downed New York Red Bulls 4-1 to capture fifth place at 2011 Development Academy Finals Week in the U-17/18 age group.
Jalen Robinson, D.C. United Academy, U18 Defender/Midfielder: Wake Forest recruit Jalen Robinson scored late in the first half Wednesday to help the U.S. U18 men's National Team to a 1-1 tie against rival Mexico in the second group game of the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland this July.
Herbert Mejia-Flores, Great Falls Athletic Association, Midfielder: Mejia-Flores was recently named to the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida. Interest in Mejia-Flores has expanded beyond the United States. The El Salvador National Team has checked out Mejia-Flores, whose father is from the Central America country. When El Salvador was in the Washington D.C. area last month to prepare for its Gold Cup game against Panama June 19 at RFK Stadium, the team invited Mejia-Flores to train with them.
Jorge Calix, Team America FC, U16, Forward: Jorge, a veteran youth National Team forward who traveled to Croatia with the U.S. Soccer Under-15 National Team this season, was recently named to the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida. He is a three-year Virginia ODP participant and lives in Alexandria, Va.
Jordan Porch, Kirkwood SC Ajax, U18, Midfielder: Jordan, a member of the Region I ’93 player pool and the Kirkwood SC rising U18 Ajax squad, completed a great 2010-2011 season. This fast and attacking minded midfielder has been getting a lot of college interest given his travels with the Region I ‘93’s to Croatia in June and his efforts with the Ajax winning win the Delaware State cup and advancing to the Region I tournament where they went 1-1-1 in strong pool play.
Alexis Ayala, Kirkwood SC, U12, Center Midfielder: Alexis is a standout with Kirkwood’s U12’s who is training up with Kirkwood’s older age groups and showing great promise. He possesses field vision, technical ability and a leadership in the midfield that is well beyond his years.
Nashon Little, Kirkwood SC, U13, Forward: Nashon is a big, explosive, and athletically gifted striker. He’s only been with Kirkwood for two years, though he is showing great potential and a natural two-footedness and technical skill.
R.J. Arnold, FASA Hotspur 98 Elite, U13, Defender: R.J. is a tireless defender who doesn’t give up and is very hard to beat. This past season, this athletic defender showed great skill in 1v1 situations, was dominant in the air, and made smart decisions knowing when to make runs out of the back and when to contain.
Jake Gallello, FASA Hotspur 98 Elite, U13, Center Midfielder: Jake worked extremely hard this season to raise his level of play for the 98 Hotspur Elite. This dynamic and creative attacking midfielder has great field vision and soccer intelligence well beyond his years. From the midfield he orchestrates the offense with an instinctual ability to see the game two or three plays ahead of the opposition.
Nolan Marine, FASA Hotspur 98 Elite, U13, Forward: Nolan plays the role of a ‘target forward’ for the FASA Hotspur 98 Elite U13’s. He is a dedicated young man who spends a lot of time working on his own to perfect his game. This aggressive and physical athlete excels playing with his back to the goal and can score from distance or short range.
Following is the Girls List, in no particular order:
Regan Lehman, Hockessin Academy Blast, U15, Center Midfielder: As defensive center midfielder, Regan was part of a defensive unit that earned three consecutive shutouts in the JAGS Championship Division where the team won the title after finishing runner up a year ago. Regan is team captain and has had to move from her regular position of defensive center mid to center back as a result of a teammate's injury. Her quick re-start on a direct free kick in the JAGS final helped propel the team to their first lead in the game and the eventual championship.
Natalie Rinschler, Hockessin Academy Blast, U15, Defender: Outside back Natalie played superbly at the Region 1 Championships in Lancaster, PA. The team held eventual champion, PDA Slammers, to a scoreless first half in the opening match thanks in large part to Natalie's strong individual defending. Throughout the tournament teams had to adjust their attacking strategies as top players were struggling to win 1 vs. 1 battles vs. Natalie.
Megan Frailer, Hockessin Academy Blast, U15, Forward: Megan is a lightning fast striker that has shifted back and forth from outside right midfield to left forward. Her pace and ability to attack the flanks and get into space behind the defense has made her a legitimate and dangerous threat on net. During the JAGS tournament, she kept teams off balance with penetrating runs from the midfield and 1v1 skill in the attacking third. She was key in defeats of two top-10 regional teams (PDA Warriors and MatchFit Chelsea Lightning) before winning the championship.
Imani Dorsey, SAC United Premier MD, U15, Forward: Imani Dorsey was named to the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships Best 11 at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Phoenix this July. Imani is a unique mix of athletic and technical skill and tactical savvy. She is left footed is versatile enough to play any position. In SAC’s run to the National Championship final, Imani produced several key assists as an attacking midfielder.
Margaret Purce SAC United Premier MD, U15, Forward: Striker Margaret Purce was named to the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships Best 11 at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Phoenix. “Midge” netted a tournament-leading six goals overall of SAC’s nine in four games. She is an incredibly athletic natural goal scorer who makes things happen. During the National Championships in Phoenix she showcased her great 1v1 skill and prolific goal scoring ability with a tournament-leading six goals of SAC’s nine scored in four games.
Annie Wysong, Premier Cobras 98, U13, Midfielder: Annie is a very talented right mid that can bring the attack to the opposition in many ways and change the game for her team. She has consistently taken the attack to her opponents with a great mix of speed and foot skill.
Alex Adams, Premier Cobras 98, U13, Defender: Alex is a versatile and athletic which allows her to play in many positions but as of late she has been holding down the left side of the flat back four. Alex does a tremendous job closing out attacking players. Alex is a true attacking defender as she has the ability to come forward and join the attack.
Emily Caldarelli, Premier Cobras, U13, Forward: Emily, a striker for the Cobras, brings intensity, hustle, and an ability to find the back of the net game after game. Emily is very strong on the ball and consistently puts defenders on their heels with her quick touch and "forward with power" mentality. Emily's biggest attribute is her hustle and she can be found pressuring the ball all over the pitch as she checks and works to the ball to gain possession.
Kiersten Williams, Kirkwood SC, U17, Goalkeeper: Kirsten was one of the newest players on the Kirkwood SC U17 girl’s squad this season and it didn’t take her long to show her value to this talented squad as a keeper and a goal scorer. In Kirkwood’s final group game at the President’s Cup, Kirsten scored in the final minutes off of a punt that advanced her team to the semi-finals.
Amanda Tourk, Kirkwood SC, U17, Forward: Amanda’s great pace, tireless work rate to win the ball and skill 1v1 contribute to her prolific goal scoring ability. During a friendly with the United Arab Emirates at United Soccer Training Center in Downingtown, PA, Amanda scored a hat-trick in a hard fought 4-3 loss.
Rachel Owens, Kirkwood SC, U17, Center Midfielder: Rachel plays up two years with the Kirkwood SC U17’s in the central midfield roll. Despite her youth, she is an aggressive and dominant force in the midfield. She has great vision, ball distribution skill, pace and a contagious passion for the game. During their recent friendly with a team from the United Arab Emirates, Rachel provided her team with a key assist.
PLAYERS TO WATCH RANKINGS:
You can also track our 192 regional and 12 national standings for TeamRank, our one of a kind seasonal rankings competition.