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Charlotte U16 new coach, new players adjusting

Published: February 19, 2012

Heading into this year, a whole slew of new faces made their way to the Charlotte Soccer Academy U16 squad.

Last year’s head coach Jeremy Gunn was already going to take a step back to an assistant coach role, before he departed town altogether to take over as head coach at Stanford in December.

Enter Kevin Langan, who also took Gunn’s vacated job at UNC Charlotte. Langan took the coaching reigns with the Charlotte Soccer Academy U16 side in Gunn’s wake before the season, and he has been quite pleased with the Development Academy season so far.

boys club soccer charlotte saTomas Hilliard-Arce
“They’re doing fantastic,” Langan told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “We have quite a young team – we don’t have many players who have experience in the Academy before, probably have only four players who’ve played Academy before and the rest are all new to it. It’s been a great learning curve for them, getting used to playing the FIFA rules instead of the club soccer rules.”

Of course, with a young team, heading on long away trips are something new to adjust to, and this past weekend, Charlotte traveled to Virginia for its first league matches on the road this year.

Those two games were a resounding success, with Charlotte winning both games, a 2-0 win over the Richmond Kickers, and a 3-0 defeat of Virginia Rush, pushing its conference record to 6-0 on the year.

There is plenty of talent on the squad, as the results indicate so far. A pair of twin brothers – James and William Pyle – rotates in goal, along with Nickolas Gardner, and the central defensive partnership of Jared Odenbeck and Remington Frost have yet to concede a goal in conference play. Up top, Hans Honer has managed to provide a consistent scoring threat.

MORE ACADEMY NEWS: Superclasico ends in two draws | Academy rewind: Feb. 18-19

Despite the success, Langan isn’t piling any pressure on, instead making an effort to bring his team along slowly.

“We’re keeping it very clear and simple, just giving them jobs and roles they have to do as a player in their position and how to develop themselves,” he said. “Then also hold them accountable on it and focus on it down the road.”

But along that road to adjustment and development, Langan believes that his talented group can achieve results, as the team’s start to conference play clearly indicates.

“We have some great individual players, real talented great technical players, and the challenge for me is to get them all on the same page, playing defensively out of a system and offensively attacking out of a system as well,” Langan said.

The challenge continues next month, as Charlotte now gets almost a month break before its Development Academy schedule resumes on March 11 against the Clearwater Chargers.

Charlotte Soccer Academy U16 roster

Khalil Abderahman, Kipp Carriker, Giovanni Castro, Charles Coulson, Remington Frost, Nickolas Gardner, Luiz Hernandez, Tomas Hillard-Arce, Hans Honer, Eduardo Iturbide, Jared Kent, Daniel Khordehforosh, Nathan Marder, Brendan McDonough, Corey Michocki, Jack Miller, Jared Odenbeck, Klinton Parker, Jordi Poff, James Pyle, William Pyle, Axel Rojas, Jaric Spath

Travis Clark is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an email.
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