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Big East recruits on display at USSF event

Published: July 19, 2011

Dallas, TX – In the bristling heat with some days that had severe windy conditions at the US Development Academy playoffs and showcase, I assessed the incoming college freshmen grouped by conference and school for the games that I was able to attend. On each day, there were two groups for playoffs and I was able to attend a few of the showcase matches as well.

The level of parental participation and organization is vastly differently between clubs. For example, Irvine, Lonestar, and St. Louis Gallagher Missouri have a parent that hands out lineups of their teams and they are available to answer questions for both college coaches and media. These parents were extremely instrumental in helping me to fill any gaps that I had on their teams. I would suggest other clubs might want to copy this model to better inform/sell their players.

Big East


  • boys club soccer player cole denormandieCole Denormandie
    Cole DeNormandie (New England Revolution) – is a nice player who turns fabulously.  He needs to convert his chances more efficiently.  He scored a beautiful goal taking a Fabio Machado Junior drag pass that Denormandie ran onto, accelerating past the backs and he dribbled the keeper – pulling the goalkeeper in and stepping out to elude the goalkeeper before burying the shot into the back of the goal.  He keeps his head up in traffic. If he keeps refining his game, he could be very good.


  • Jake Douglas (Dallas Texans) – shows too much of the ball.  His poor pass was responsible for the sole Arsenal goal.  He plays good defense for an undersized center back.  Douglas enticed the Arsenal goalkeeper to come out on a long free kick, but VanCompernolle’s header was high.
  • David Selvaggi (Sockers FC) – scored the lone goal for his team. He earned a straight red card on a needlessly vicious tackle.  He needs to better control his emotions.  On the dribble, he’s very slick with soft feet.  Maturity would serve him well.


  • Brandon Allen (New York Red Bulls) – is graduating in 2012.  He scored a late goal from a Sean Davis through ball that Allen coolly slotted past the goalkeeper.  Allen is strong and he is difficult to knock off the ball.
  • Tomas Gomez (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri) – gets off his line quickly. He’s a good shot blocker, but I’d like for him to catch more balls rather than just block them.  My first impression is that he’s above average.


  • Shaquille Hamilton (Players Development Academy) – infused a spark when he entered the game midway through the second half.  He was able to get around the corner with his speed. He has a lot of promise.


  • Donald Schillinger (Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy) – is a passable defensive midfielder.  He is inconsistent with his passing, but he works hard to get back on defense. Schillinger made a perfect cross to Christian Blandon in the first half.


  • Brandon Adler (New York Red Bulls) – listens to the instructions of his goalkeeper.  His passing is a weakness.  Adler ended an attack after Brian Gallego gave up the ball on a weak pass.
  • Rishi Desai (Players Development Academy) – was removed in the first half after the second goal was scored against his team.  Desai was part of the Swiss cheese defense that allowed Constantine Kolokotronis (California Development Academy) to stroll in and score a goal that was too easy.


  • Nathan Bruccoleri (Players Development Academy) – is painful to listen to whine like an old spinster finding fault with everyone else’s play.  PDA, as a team, seems to do this more than other teams.  Bruccoleri needs to concentrate on improving his game, such as turning his head to be aware of defenders coming from behind, so he doesn’t get dispossessed.
  • Trey Leggett (Players Development Academy) – doesn’t get service, because he doesn’t show well.  He is reluctant to check back for the ball and provide an entry pass from the midfield. 

Saint John’s(m)

  • Khaliq McKenzie (Sockers FC) – is a talented goal-scoring threat with speed, guile and appreciable technical skills.  He made an accurate cross that led to the lone goal.  He is powerful on the ball.
  • Timothy Parker (Albertson SC) – is a huge center back who moves well.  He made several positive defensive plays primarily by cutting off the passing lanes.  He was ejected on a soft straight red.  He bumped Herbert Rivera (CASL Chelsea FC) but I don’t think the referee applied DOGSO (Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity) correctly.

Seton Hall

  • Oscar Gonzalez (New York Red Bulls) – has good technical skills, but he doesn’t move well.


  • Grant Chong (Derby County Wolves) – had a quiet 30 minutes in the second half not distinguishing his play in that time.
  • Jide Oluyedun (Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy) – drifted around the field without having an early feel of the game and he was unable to identify where the problems were going to occur.  As the game progressed, he became more involved in better attacking positions.  Oluyedun exploded out of turn, out-paced Matthew Keys (New England Revolution) and forced the goalkeeper, Ryan Simpson, to make a superior save.  Oluyedun buried a full volley into the center of the goal for the game-winning goal.  I like his technical skills and if he gets appreciable quality coaching (and he accepts that coaching), he could become pretty good.  If he is already too smart for coaching, he will never reach his full potential.  It’ll be interesting to watch his development.

West Virginia

  • Paul Ehrenworth (New York Red Bulls) – left the game midway through the first half apparently suffering from some form of heat exhaustion.  He struggled to stay in the game for at least 10 minutes, but he was unable to recover.  This was the second game in 2 days in oppressive heat.


  • Hayden Harr (Players Development Academy) – was the bright spot on this team.  He moves well, but needs to tighten his first touch.
  • Matthew Wiltse (Players Development Academy) – entered the game after the team had already surrendered 2 goals in the first 30 minutes.  He helped stopped the bleeding, but the other side of the defense still allowed another goal.  Wiltse served an early cross to the far post that Christopher Scott opted to use his foot rather than a diving header and the ball went harmlessly out of bounds.



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