Home Grown Hopefuls: Up and Down Weekend for Dev Academy Clubs

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 20: Soccer balls on the field during practice for the MLS Cup between FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids at BMO Field on November 20 2010 in Toronto Canada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

During their trip to the Connecticut area this past weekend, FC Delco and PA Classics each earned similar results, but not all were positive.

The two Union affiliates, who each participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, both took on Oakwood SC of Bridgeport, CT and South Central Premier of Portland, CT. Each team had nearly identical results, as Oakwood dominated the PA clubs while South Central Premier were a much easier opponent.

Players Development Academy, the Union's New Jersey affiliate, hosted two Boston area clubs in FC Greater Boston and the New England Revolution.

After the jump, we'll take a look at the individual game results for these three Union affiliates, and where they are in the overall league standings. 

First, let's start with the results from Saturday. FC Delco's two teams took on Oakwood. The U18 game wasn't pretty, as Delco went down 4-2. Union U18 captain Jimmy McLaughlin did score one of the two goals, though. Besides McLaughlin, the midfield duo of Ryan Dodds and Mike Gonzalez also participated, along with defender Colin O'Neill and goalkeeper Zach Steffen.

The Delco U16s fared slightly better, taking a point off of Oakwood in a 1-1 draw. Connor Ryan was the only Union Academy player that played, as Nick Hutchinson sat this one out.

PA Classics played South Central Premier on Saturday. The U18s thoroughly controlled their match in a 3-0 win with Ryan Bertrando as part of the starting lineup. Union Academy defenders Troy Barr and Jonathan Kumher missed out due to injury. The Classics U16s completed the daily double against South Central, winning 2-0. As always, Jonathan Wenger and Christian Kaschak led the way as Union-affiliated players.

Players Development Academy (PDA) were in action as well. Their U18s beat the New England Revolution U18s by a 2-1 score, although this game didn't feature any Union Academy members that I'm aware of. (I'm trying to get an updated list of the players that are getting called into the new Union U18 camps, and some of them may be from PDA, but that's still a work in progress.) This game did however feature Revolution homegrown player Diego Fagundez, who started before being subbed out in the 60th minute. The PDA U16s were also in action, and earned a scoreless draw with the Revs' U16 team.

On Sunday, the results were nearly mirror images as Delco and Classics swapped opponents. FC Delco's U18s heaped more misery on South Central with a 2-1 win. McLaughlin, Dodds, Gonzalez, Steffen, and O'Neill all featured in the starting lineup. The Delco U16s got their own 2-1 win, with the only Union involvement being a substitute appearance by Connor Ryan. That capped an impressive 12 points out of 12 for the Union affiliates against South Central Premier.

PA Classics' U18 team struggled against Oakwood, just as their Delco counterparts had the day before. They were thrashed 4-0, as Union defenders Jonathan Kumher and Troy Barr missed the game due to injury but midfielder Ryan Bertrando did go the first 60 minutes. Later on, the Classics U16s finally broke Oakwood's undefeated run for the weekend with a solid 3-1 win; Kaschak and Wenger both played again, although Kaschak didn't start the game. In stark contrast to Delco and Classics' 12 out of 12 points taken off South Central, the two clubs only took 4 points out of 12 against Oakwood.

PDA were in action too, this time against FC Greater Boston, the former club of Union defender Sheanon Williams. The U18s got a nice 2-1 win, while the U16s earned a 1-1 draw. Union Academy goalkeeper Jacob Schenk went the distance for the PDA U16s, although he plays up an age level when with the Union.

That wraps up the action this weekend in the Development Academy. The results leave Delco in 3rd and Classics in 4th in the 7-team Mid-Atlantic division of the U17/18 league, while PDA are in 3rd in the 6-team Liberty Division, right behind Cosmos Academy East and the New York Red Bulls.

In the U15/16 league, Classics are in 3rd while Delco are in 5th in the MId-Atlantic. PDA are in 4th in the Liberty. Click here for the full standings.

In other related news, Vancouver Whitecaps FC's famous Residency Program has been admitted to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, beginning in the 2011-12 season. This decision came after the USSF debated whether or not the Canadian team could compete in the American youth soccer league that is run by the USSF itself. 

And finally, don't forget that the Union will be hosting the 2011 edition of Sueño MLS at YSC Sports in Wayne, PA on April 23-24. All 1,200 national spots have already been filled, but young players can still get themselves onto a waiting list. The event has produced several talented players that have earned professional contracts with teams ranging from Chivas USA to River Plate in Argentina.

See you next week, when the Union will play in its first Reserve League game against the Red Bulls. The Union is allowed to call up as many as 3 Academy players to the game, and I've already been hearing names but I can't reveal them as nothing has been confirmed. Be sure to stay tuned for all Union youth soccer news!

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