LAKEWOOD RANCH, Florida – The 2012 Winter Showcase wrapped up on Tuesday, after providing a chance for some of the future stars of U.S. Soccer to show what they can do.
In all, 240 games were played, featuring roughly 3,000 players, competing in front of hundreds of college scouts and coaches in the sunshine of Florida.
Here’s a look at some of the standout performances from the week. Note that this isn’t a comprehensive list, rather a small sample of some of the best on display:
MF Bryan Salazar, Houston Dynamo: A dynamic attacking winger/forward, Salazar was locked in and was almost unstoppable this past week, especially against the Portland Timbers, scoring a brace in a 4-1 win, finishing the week with five goals in total.
D Joseph McCreary, McLean Youth Soccer: The defender was a super sub this past week for his side. After starting the first game and came in as a sub in the second and third games, scoring a goal for McLean in each one, including a game winning goal against FC Milwaukee.
MF Romilio Hernandez, Baltimore Bays Chelsea: The classy and creative midfielder sandwiched in a pair of goal scoring performances to go with his strong shift in the Showcase Select game.
F Leandro Lemache, PDA: An influential midfielder, Lemache put on a good display in the Showcase Select game, following that up with a hat trick against PDA as they picked up a 4-2 win against the Colorado Rapids in the final game of the Showcase.
D Erik Palmer-Brown, Sporting KC: Along with appearing in the select game on Saturday, Palmer-Brown, one of the most promising center backs in his age group (he’s a 97), played two games with the U18s, helping the defense limit the opposition to just a single goal. To note his impact on Sporting KC, when he wasn't in the starting lineup, the 18s conceded four goals in a loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
MF Brian Iloski, San Diego Surf: A lot of hype surrounds Iloski given his success with Nike’s ‘The Chance’ program, and the midfielder more than lived up to it at the Showcase, demonstrating why he’s attracted so much interest.
F Alex Muyl, New York Red Bulls: A Georgetown-bound striker, Muyl responded from a quiet game against FC Dallas to score a pair of goals against LA Galaxy in a matchup of two of the best teams in the country.
D Willis Griffith, New England Revolution: The defender started and played all 270 possible minutes in the Revolution’s games, all wins against opposition that included Crew Soccer Academy and Chivas USA.
F Robert Kerby, Virginia Rush: Prior to this week, Kerby had scored zero goals as the Rush lost some lopsided results. So what does he go and do at the showcase? Score a whopping eight goals in three games, including dropping four on St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
MF Rece Buckmaster, Indiana Fire: Despite being a 2015 graduate, Buckmaster played up with the U18s this past week, showing well, including a 90-minute effort in a 2-0 win against NJSA 04.
F Richard Prestridge, Orlando City Youth Soccer: Prestridge is an efficient forward, who scored a hat trick on the final day of the Showcase to take his goal total up to six in three games. Also added an assist, and was a handful each and every time he took to the field.
MF Anthony Flores, San Diego Surf: Any number of his teammates could have been honored in this fashion, as the Surf demonstrated quality in several spots on the field. Flores generated the most offense in his playing time, with his surging runs making a real difference to the Surf attack.
MF Nate Hall, Baltimore Bays Chelsea: The tricky midfielder scored a goal against his Solar Chelsea rivals, and was one of the best players on the field, executing a number of clever moves.
F Harry Swartz, FC Bolts Celtic: Scored a hat trick on Tuesday, taking his total of goals for the event to six, among the leaders in his age group.
GK Arie Ammann, D.C. United: The netminder made a number of nifty saves as D.C. United topped arguably the best team in the age group, FC Dallas. Down to 10 men, Amman faced a siege in goal and hardly put a foot wrong in securing the 1-0 win. Conceded only two goals in three games in total.
F Denis Kalamar, Seattle Sounders FC: The goal scorer was in lethal form, hovering in and around the six-yard box in every game. He scored a goal in every game, including a hat trick against the Montreal Impact, finishing with a total of five on the week.
MF Bryson Asher, Solar Chelsea: A winger who made a number of dangerous runs during the Showcase, Asher posed a handful for opposing defenders, and even got on the score sheet in one of his games as Solar picked up three wins in Florida.
D Wilfred Williams, FC Dallas: The outside back put in a good shift in the Select game, following that up with two solid stints for FCD.
MF Christian Pulisic, PA Classics: Having only recently turned 14, Pulisic put in a couple of impressive performances, scoring three goals in three games in a win and two losses. Continues to show a lot of promise.
D Kevin Pollitz, New York Red Bulls: The former U17 MNT residency player was a standout in the Select Showcase, and put in a couple of steady shifts for the Red Bulls, including a 2-1 win against LA Galaxy.