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.
Nathan SteinwascherNathan Steinwascher (Derby County Wolves) – was hung out to dry by his defense. Although if he could have made a few saves, it would have elevated his assessment demarking between average and superlative goalkeepers. In the first half, Steinwascher came off his line to dive and catch a cross by CJ Cerna (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro).
- Marcin Modzelewski (Sockers FC) – made a few early blocks on shots. He had difficulty marking 1v1 later in the game.
- Brian Bement (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro) – is an average target forward. He reads the game anticipating his runs and the ball movement which compensates for his lack of a top gear. He’s good in the air and I like how he finds the seams between the center backs. I expect that he’ll be moved back into a more defensive position in his college career.
- Billy Donovan (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro) – adequate passer and defender; nothing special.
- Thomas Arns (Sockers FC) – is a complimentary player, at best, in college.
- Colin Heffron (Albertson SC) – is a physical player who is good in the air.
Michael InnocenziMichael Innocenzi (New York Red Bulls) – scored the third goal finding space wide and calmly putting the shot away. He has missed most of this year battling an ankle injury. He seems to be recovering successfully. I liked how he checked back to get the ball.
- Matthias Sheeleigh (Players Development Academy) – was inserted into the game at center back after the defense had already given up 2 goals in 30 minutes. He’s a competent ball handler out of the back. He’s a smart player.
- Tom O’Brien (Sockers FC) – played the entire game, but he made no positive impressions.
- Andrew Mills (California Development Academy) – is a heady defender who leads the back five. Mills is strong and understands how to use his body. He received a soft second yellow and was ejected. I have high hopes for him, but his major obstacle will be overcoming his athletic challenges.
- Alex Wettermann (Sockers FC) –wasn’t effective stopping attacks through the middle against New York Red Bull
- Jake Scavetta (Albertson SC) – is aggressive defensively. He slotted a pass to Matthew Wendelken, but his shot was tipped over the cross-bar.
- Burak Can Ugur (Albertson SC) – lacks tactical acumen – in other words, clueless on how to attack which makes him a turn-over machine.
- Matthew Wendelken (Albertson SC) – is a hard, fast runner who can slice through defenses very effectively. He is good in the air and he served an early cross that found a teammate. Most impressively, he caught up to quick forward Monbo Bokar (CASL Chelsea FC) who was breaking. He hit a 35 yard shot in the first half that the goal-keeper tipped over the cross-bar.
- Austin Dunn (California Development Academy) – is going to be a professional if he continues to develop. He reminds me of Ethan White when he played for the DCU Academy team. His talent was obvious. He’s strong and he has good speed, but like White, he needs to continue to improve his foot skills.
- yan Herman (Seattle Sounders) – is a giant goalkeeper with a tremendous frame. He wasn’t challenged enough to form a valid opinion.
- David Romney (Irvine Strikers) – delivers early accurate crosses. Romney made a couple of mistakes including a poor header providing a Sporting KC corner kick and a misplay allowing Sporting KC Tom Adams (Oral Roberts) to steal the ball and send in a cross – but Garrett Pulliam was offside.
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