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.
Brett Habermehl (center)Brett Habermehl (Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy) – was a second-half substitution that immediately got involved by unleashing a toothless shot. He’s a tall, thin midfielder who will need to increase his work rate if he hopes not to be so far down on Coach Todd West’s bench that he’ll watch the games in the maintenance area adjacent to Reeves field. Habermehl made a good decision to not pass to a teammate that was offside.
- Christopher Campbell (Albertson SC) – serves accurate corner kicks. His passing while accurate isn’t well weighted.
- Liam Stapleton (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro) – let the ball go between his legs on a header from a corner kick.
- Paul West (CASL Chelsea FC) – is a tall goalkeeper but he wasn’t challenged enough to evaluate critically.
College of Charleston
- Troy Peterson (Seattle Sounders) – scored a goal after feinting his shot several times, he found space and buried his shot. He’s not a quick player. Also, he needs to release his shot quicker – he won’t have that much time in college.
- Herbet Rivera (CASL Chelsea FC) – played the last 30 minutes of the game. In this time, he pressured the goalkeeper on a 50/50; was right there to finish the second goal if it didn’t go in; and during a break-away was fouled resulting in a soft straight red-card for Timothy Parker (Albertson SC).
- John Pace (CASL Chelsea FC) – embraces the physical side of the game. He cruises along the sidelines with ease and confidence.
- Clint Ritter (Dallas Texans) – was involved in some of the better attacks and he directly contributed to the Texans goal by shanking his shot that fell to Brandon Perez who put the ball into the far post side netting. Dallas had double digit corner kicks but many were just poorly taken. Ritter took a corner kick that while Dallas is a tall team – they aren’t that tall!
- Eric Steber (CASL Chelsea FC) – is accurate with long balls. He lacks the physical strength against stronger opponents. I like his foot speed. He needs to get stronger.
Nick PetolickTom Adams (Sporting KC) – didn’t provide many positive moments in his 69 minutes of participation. He stole a ball from David Romney (Irvine Strikers) but his teammate was offside on the ensuing cross.
- Paul Oliver (Sporting KC) – served several diagonals across the field accurately initiating a long Sporting KC possession that included Jordan Rideout, Taylor Walter, Andrew Brown, Walter, and finally to William Witherspoon. Oliver tracks the ball well in the air.
- Nicholas Petolick (Dallas Texans) – distributes ball effectively with his throws. He allowed the tying goal to get over his head.
- Konner Knoll (Sporting KC) – jump-started the team with strong, well-timed tackles when he entered the game in the 46th minute. He’s invested in defending. This kind of dedication and determination projects well for his future. However, he missed his mark that led to William Delphin (Irvine Strikers) chipping the goalkeeper, but Delphin was offside. Knoll can’t rely on the referee to bail him out, because his man got behind him and his teammate pushed forward at the right second. With his team up 1-0, Knoll made a terrific defensive header ending a play by Garrett Pulliam (Irvine Strikers) and David Romney (Irvine Strikers).
- Jordan Rideout (Sporting KC) – Makes many tactical mistakes, but he has tons of confidence in his adequate technical skills. He and teammate, William Witherspoon (Virginia Tech) kept getting in each other’s way. In the second half, Witherspoon was trying to turn and shoot in a single motion, but the shot was weak and Rideout first-timed it into the goal for the first goal of the game. Later in the second half, Rideout headed an Andrew Mobberley cross that the Irvine Strikers goalkeeper Cyrus Mohseni made a sensational save to stop. I question some of Rideout’s decisions. In the first half, he had a 1v4 and he dribbled into the traffic and he was dispossessed. He should have been more patient and waited for assistance. In the waning seconds of the game, he headed a Raymond Lee (Saint Louis) corner kick into the goal for the third goal of the game. 2 goals – not too bad. He needs to learn to play better.
- Matthew Scooter-Oliver (CASL Chelsea FC) – is good in the air and he is a battler.
- Sean Baumann (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro) – made a critical defensive stop on Gabe Mateo (Derby County Wolves) in the first half. But, Baumann plays negatively. He had an illegal throw – unacceptable at this level. Baumann had an accurate corner kick finding Brian Bement’s head.
- Daniel Alvarado (Lonestar SC) – is tall goalkeeper who made several key stops in the first half.
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