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Academy Weekend Preview: May 4-6

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: May 4, 2012

Action is coming thick and fast in the USSF Development Academy.

This weekend alone, 94 games in total will be played across the United States, as the battle for playoff spots in Frisco, Texas in late June intensifies. 

The month of May is going to be when a lot of these results are decided as the season slate continues this weekend.


Colorado Rapids' Shane O'NeillColorado Rapids' Shane O'Neill

East Conference

On Friday, a quartet of New York clubs meets with much at stake for those in the Liberty Division.

Albertson SC has taken the lead early in the division at both the U16 and U18 age groups – they’ll play Met Oval on Friday and New York Cosmos on Sunday. The Cosmos meanwhile, test themselves against FC Westchester before getting a shot at Met Oval. If Albertson U18 forward Jake Freeman can add to his goal tally of 13, his club is sure to have a good shot at doing well.

The other two clubs in the division also matchup this weekend, with the New York Red Bulls taking on PDA. It marks the opening of the division schedule for both teams as they look to keep up with the rest of the pack.

Action continues to heat up in the Mid-Atlantic Division as well. Baltimore Bays Chelsea gets a chance to extend their lead in the U18 age group against D.C. United. Michael Roman and Michael DeGraffenreidt lead the way for the Bays, while United’s talented group boasts Jalen Robinson, Patrick Foss and Collin Martin. D.C. also takes on Potomac this weekend.

Another team jockeying for position in that division is FC Delco. The Philadelphia Union youth affiliates are set for a stern test from New Jersey rivals Match Fit Chelsea and NJSA 04. The jersey pair is set to alternate between matches against Delco and PA Classics.


West Conference

Chivas USA’s U18s could have a chance to stake a claim on first place in the SoCal Division if things go their way. While Chivas play San Diego Surf, the Galaxy’s dangerous side, including Raul Mendiola, Nathan Smith, and Jose Villareal, play the division’s last place team, Nomads SC.

It may not be a division game, but there’s certainly going to be plenty of bragging rights to play for as Real Salt Lake-AZ hosts Seattle Sounders Academy on Sunday. More is at stake for Seattle’s U18s, as they need to boost their points per game in order to have a shot at the Wild Card.


South Conference

The Florida clubs head back into action against each other in the Southeast Division, all still aiming for a shot at the top spot. Right now, Kendall SC U18s have the best shot at catching the division leaders South Carolina United Battery, while Weston FC have the best shot at the younger age group against the Battery, which also hold the U16 top division spot.

That means there’s little margin for all those clubs this weekend, as Kendall and Weston host IMG Soccer Academy and Clearwater Chargers this weekend.

There’s also action taking place in the Carolinas as the Atlantic Division race continues to heat up. The North Carolina Fusion plays Charlotte Soccer Academy, and CASL Chelsea takes on North Meck SC.


Central Conference

Colorado Rapids face another Denver derby this weekend, as they take on Real Colorado. The Rapids U18s have been getting excellent play from Dillon Serna and Shane O’Neill of late, and if that continues, Real is going to find it difficult going this weekend. 

Meanwhile, Sporting KC’s Academy makes the trip to Denver for a pair of games against Real Colorado and the Colorado Rush. KC’s U18s currently sit second from bottom in the division and need a big weekend from Nat Opperman and Clay Stewart in order to start climbing up the standings. 

One of the best matchups of the weekend takes place in the Great Lakes Division, as the Chicago Fire and Crew Soccer Academy go toe-to-toe. The Fire’s strong U18 team has a firm grip on first place, and has U.S. U18 Men’s National Team midfielder Victor Pineda to call on. Meanwhile, the Crew’s U18s counter with Akron-bound defender Andrew Souders who will look to stifle the Fire.

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