Development Academy Recap: May 24-28

Development Academy Recap:  May 24-28
by J.R. Eskilson
May 29, 2012

It was a light weekend for the USSF Development Academy with many clubs avoiding the hectic travel that typically accompanies Memorial Day Weekend.

Drew MurphyLA Galaxy's Drew Murphy

For the few that did take the field between Thursday and Monday, there were some meaningful games including an MLS Academy clinching a spot in the playoffs for the U18 age group.’s USSF Development Academy Team of the Week
GK: Jefferson Caldwell, North Carolina Fusion U18
D: Oscar Soto, LA Galaxy U18
D: Philip Piper, Texas Rush U18
D: Rafael Sanchez, Crossfire Premier U18
M: Jose Garcia, Arsenal FC U16
M: Drew Murphy, LA Galaxy U18
M: Evan Deycaza, CASL Chelsea FC U16
M: Sebastian Cabrera, Vancouver Whitecaps U16
F: Ricardo Lopez-Espin, Shattuck-Saint Mary’s U18
F: Cole Stevenson, Sporting Kansas City U16
F: Alec Rotunda, North Carolina Fusion U18


Crossfire Premier U18 beat Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 on Thursday in the final game of the season for the Washington club. Rafael Sanchez, Jacob Hallgrimson, Conner Pichette, and David Gebert scored in the shutout victory for Crossfire.

The Washington club finished the season 4-0-1 in its last five and holds the last spot in the Wild Card Race due to the run of positive results to end the regular season.

In the U16 game between the two sides, Whitecaps emerged victorious 4-1 behind goals from Mitch Piraux, Said Jalali, and a brace from Sebastian Cabrera. Brett Butler scored for Crossfire U16.

Whitecaps already sealed their spot in the postseason from the Northwest Division alongside Seattle Sounders U16.

In Southern California, LA Galaxy U18 sealed its spot in the playoffs with a 5-1 win over Arsenal FC. UC Santa Barbara(m)-bound midfielder Drew Murphy scored twice in Saturday’s clash.

Mario Rodriguez, Jaime Villarreal, and Oscar Sorto also added tallies for the MLS Academy. Ricardo Hernandez had the consolation goal for Arsenal U18.

Chivas USA and Galaxy have secured the automatic bids from the SoCal Division, as the top two teams in the league. But Real Salt Lake-Arizona and Pateadores are both still in the hunt for one of the 16 wild card spots.

Arsenal U16 drew 2-2 with LA Galaxy in the later game at the Home Depot Center. Martin Arrieta and Matthew Perez scored for Galaxy in the first 15 minutes to give the LA Academy the early lead.

California-bound midfielder Jose Garcia and Brian Charles responded with goals in the second half for the draw on the road. LA Galaxy already secured a playoff spot from the SoCal Division, and it looks like Arsenal will join them as a Wild Card in the postseason. Arsenal holds an impressive 2.04 points per game average, which is good for second in the nation.



Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy U18 withstood a late rally from Sporting Kansas City and held on to a 2-1 win in Frontier Division play. SMU-bound John Lujano and Ricardo Espin-Lopez scored for SSM. Nate Opperman found the back of the net for Sporting.

SSM has been nearly perfect in division play this year with an 8-1-2 record and only 6 goals conceded through the weekend. The Minnesota club is one win away (with three games remaining) from clinching the division and qualifying for the postseason.

In the U16 game, SSM scored twice in the last 15 minutes to overcome a two-goal deficit and grab a point on the road. Cole Stevenson and David Leichty put SKC up 2-0 before Karl Frisk and Lucas Stauffer responded for SSM.

The younger SSM side is top of the division with a 7-2-2 record, but may need to win out with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri, Real Colorado, and Colorado Rush nipping on their heels.

In Texas, Edgardo Mira and Philip Piper scored for Texas Rush U18 in a 2-0 victory over Andromeda FC. Neither side is in contention for a playoff spot, as FC Dallas locked up one in April and Texans SC Houston and Solar Chelsea SC are battling for the other one.

For the younger game, three first half goals from Texas Rush were enough for Rush to notch their seventh win of the season. Abraham Puga, Rami Najeebe, and Chris Berrios scored for Rush.

In the other Texas fixture of the extended weekend, Lonestar SC Academy U16 overcame an early strike from Solar Chelsea SC’s Toryima Asom and won 2-1 thanks to goals from Andrew Lopez and Zachary Wright.



North Carolina Fusion U18 ended May on a high note with a 3-0 win over CASL Chelsea FC Academy on Thursday. Fusion previously only claimed one point from three games in May before Thursday’s clash, which has the team on the outside looking in for the division crown. But the victory against CASL does put Fusion back in the race for a Wild Card spot with a 1.62 points per game average.

Hassan Kouyateh, Alec Rotunda, and Andrew Sotak scored second half goals for Fusion in the shutout victory, which was only CASL’s second divisional loss of the season.

For the U16 game, Evan Deycaza scored in the final five minutes to give CASL Chelsea FC Academy U16 a 2-1 win over North Carolina Fusion. Eric O’Brien scored midway through the first half to give CASL the early lead, but Donovan Japp netted the equalizer seven minutes later and the two North Carolina clubs look set on splitting the points before Deycaza’s game-winning tally.

CASL U16 is 8-0-2 in division play this season and could clinch the division title with six points from next weekend’s two contests.



NJSA 04 U18 played to a scoreless draw with Match Fit Chelsea on Saturday. Stephen Donato (NJSA 04) and David Greczek (Match Fit Chelsea) recorded the shutouts in goal for their respective clubs. 

Alex Ramos and Conor Nichols scored for NJSA 04 U16 in the later game, which was enough for NJSA to retake the top spot in the division with a 2-1 victory over Match Fit Chelsea. Ramos, son of U.S. U20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos, scored his first goal of the season in the 13th minute.

Nichols netted his eighth of the year 14 minutes after half time. Match Fit cut the deficit to one with only two minutes left when Nicholas Williams scored. But NJSA held on at the end to all three points.

In Maryland, Baltimore Bays Chelsea U16 topped Potomac 1-0 behind a goal from Babatunji Osifeso.

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