After a two-week hiatus the Academy Update is back with some recaps of two Union wins, plus the Under 16's trip to Texas to participate in the Generation Adidas Cup. But first, we take a look at the Under 18s and Under 14s traveling to Virginia Beach on the weekend of April 12-13 to play the Virginia Rush as they near the end of their respective Developmental Academy schedules.
Academy games in Virginia for U17/18s and U13/14s
Back in October, the 11th place Virginia Rush were able to manage a surprise 1-1 draw with the Union in Wayne, PA. However, this time with a potential playoff berth on the line, the Union took no prisoners and crushed the Rush 6-1. Doyle "DT" Tuvesson scored a hat-trick, while Matt Greer added a brace with two successful penalty kicks. The Union still managed a blowout despite a first half red card for midfielder Tyler Skwara. With the win, the Under 18s are finally in the wildcard pool, placing 11th in a 12-team group. They're only 0.04 Pts/GP above the cut-off line, so they must continue their good form going to Baltimore this Saturday.
The Under 14s shut out the Rush for the second time this season, this time winning 6-0. 5 different players found their way to the score sheet, led by Juan Infante's brace. The Under 14s have now won six out of their last seven matches, and have not lost a match since late November. They're currently ranked 4th in the nation for Under 14 sides by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
This week's highlight package features Under-16 attacker Kevin Carvalho. Carvalho is the Under 16's second leading scorer with nine this season.
The Generation Adidas Cup
Formerly known as the SUM U-17 Cup, the Generation Adidas Cup is an annual competition held by Major League Soccer for all MLS academy teams. Preliminary rounds were held between November and February, where the Union were one of three East clubs to qualify for the International Division. The International Division group stage features 12 teams in 3 separate groups. Joining the nine MLS clubs were 3 international academy sides: Flamengo of Brazil, Chivas Guadalajara of Mexico, and Stoke of England. Games were played during the week of April 13-20. The Union won the 2012 Generation Adidas Cup behind current U-20 USMNT stars Zack Steffen and Zach Pfeffer.
(Sidenote: Pfeffer notched a goal and an assist playing for the U20s at the Dallas Cup, which also took place last week. Steffen was the team's number 1 goalkeeper. The Under-20s lost 2-0 in the Dallas Cup final to CA River Plate.)
The Union contingent were the youngest team in the competition, featuring as many as 5 players born in the year 1999 or older. They started the Cup on the wrong foot, losing 1-0 to FC Dallas. However, they rebounded quite well with a 1-0 win against Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara and a 3-2 win over San Jose Earthquakes. Even with the two wins the Union finished one point behind eventual champion Stoke and thus missed qualifying for the semi-finals. They still played two more matches, losing 1-0 to Seattle Sounders and defeating Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0. All in all, the Union performed well for fielding such a young side. Stars of the team during the GA Cup include Derrick Jones (a star of Paul Konneh's own Junior Lone Star U19) and captain Sean Wilson.
Finally, congratulations go out to Morgan Hackworth, who committed to attending Syracuse in 2015 last week. The coach's son will fellow Academy player Chris Gomez in upstate New York next year.