KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July 8, 2018) - As the inaugural season of Girls' programming comes to a close at the 2018 Academy Championships, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy held its second awards banquet in two days, honoring the best of the best.
The Girls' side of the program honored its end of the year award winners, including Players and Coaches of the Year as well as Conference Best XI's at the Academy Awards Banquet.
The end-of-season awards event, which took place at the U.S. Soccer National Development Center (NDC), marks the beginning of the first Girls' Academy Championships. The top four clubs from the U-15 and U-16/17 age groups gathered at the NDC to celebrate their award-winning teammates while getting an early scope of their semifinal competition.
Academy Award recipients for the 2017-18 season represent some of the top youth players in the United States, with most receiving frequent call ups to U.S. Youth National Team camps and tournaments throughout the season.
The 2018 awards were determined for the three Conferences of the Boys' Development Academy: West, Central and East. A total of 29 awards per Conference, the honors included:
• Conference Best XI (U-15/16, U-17/18)
• Player of the Year (U-15/16, U-17/18)
• Coach of the Year (U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19)
• Community Award
• Administrator of the Year
The Coach of the Year award is presented to team leaders that best exemplify the U.S. Soccer key qualities of a coach. These include, but are not limited to: the ability to read, analyze and understand the game; create a game-like, reality based training environment; demonstrate a holistic approach; serve as a role model; show genuine interest in players; and actively listen and communicate openly.
The Community Award highlights a club that is the exemplary model and resource in its community and contributes to the development of all players and coaches in its area. These clubs are making a significant impact on the growth of the game in their respective communities.
The Administrator of the Year is awarded to an individual that manages the daily operations of their clubs and assists staff with creating the ideal environment for players.
The West Conference Coach of the Year was presented to San Jose's Andres Deza.
Steve Arneson of Legends FC was bestowed the West Conference's Administrator of the Year, while the conference's Community Award was given to LA Galaxy San Diego.
GOALKEEPER: Rachael Black (SC del Sol)
DEFENDERS: Kellie Pagador (Placer United Soccer Club), Andrea Kitahata (San Jose Earthquakes), Smith Hunter (Reign Academy), Sally Menti (Crossfire Premier)
MIDFIELDERS: Sophie Jones (San Jose Earthquakes), Zoe Burns (Crossfire Premier), Jaelyn Eisenhart (LAFC Slammers)
FORWARDS: Simone Jackson (LAFC Slammers), Abigail Borchers (San Jose Earthquakes), Mia Fontana (San Jose Earthquakes)
GOALKEEPER: Katie Meyer (Real So Cal)
DEFENDERS: Naomi Girma (California Thorns), Madelyn Desiano (So Cal Blues), Kate Wiesner (LAFC Slammers), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues)
MIDFIELDERS: Jenna Nighswonger (LAFC Slammers), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf)
FORWARDS: Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues), Brooke Wilson (San Diego Surf), Sophie Hurst (Crossfire Premier)
The Central Conference Coach of the Year honors went to Midwest United FC's Lewis Robinson.
Off the field, Leah Rennhack of Solar Soccer Club was presented Central's Administrator of the Year, while the conference's Community Award was given to Cincinnati DA.
GOALKEEPER: Halle Mackiewicz (Real Colorado)
DEFENDERS: Sydney Jones (Cincinnati Development Academy), Bria Schrotenboer (Midwest United), Samar Guidry (FC Dallas), Jane Lawson Willis (Colorado Rush)
MIDFIELDERS: Reyna Reyes (FC Dallas), Emily Matthews (Nationals), Abby Allen (Lonestar SC Academy)
FORWARDS: Jillian Martinez (Lonestar SC Academy), Kailyn Dudukovich (Cincinnati Development Academy), Diana Ordonez (FC Dallas)
GOALKEEPER: Maya Bellomo (Michigan Hawks)
DEFENDERS: Isabelle Verdugo (Michigan Hawks), Caitlin Haislip (Eclipse Select Soccer Club), Maycee Bell (SPORTING Blue Valley), Messiah Bright (Solar Soccer Club)
MIDFIELDERS: Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), Samantha Meza (Solar Soccer Club), Alexis Missimo (Solar Soccer Club)
FORWARDS: Kalyssa Van Zanten (Eclipse Select Soccer Club), Trinity Byars (Solar Soccer Club), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado)
Coach of the Year in the East Conference was awarded to Matt Cameron of Oakwood Soccer Club.
GOALKEEPER: Julia Dohle (New York City FC)
DEFENDERS: Natalia Staude (NTH Tophat), Alexis Theoret (FC Virginia), Nicole Chico (Sky Blue - PDA), Alyssa Bourgeois (Boston Breakers Academy)
MIDFIELDERS: Ellis Wheeler (FC Virginia), Rowan Lapi (Penn Fusion), Brianna Jablonowski (FC Fury)
FORWARDS: Lumi Kostmayer (Oakwood Soccer Club), Enzi Broussard (IMG Academy), Olufolasade Adamolekun (United Soccer Alliance)
GOALKEEPER: Ruthie Jones (Charlotte Soccer Academy)
DEFENDERS: Ella Shamburger (NTH Tophat), Tori Hansen (NC Courage), Lucy Cappadona (Boston Breakers Academy), Rebecca Fluchel (Sky Blue - PDA)
MIDFIELDERS: Nicole Payne (Concorde Fire), Emily Gray (Penn Fusion Soccer Academy), Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire)
FORWARDS: Victoria Powell (FC Virginia), Catherine Barry (Boston Breakers Academy), Rachel Jones (NTH Tophat)