I talk about the academy a lot around here because it's really very very good. The cuts that were made on Tuesday are only a small setback to what FC Dallas is building and some awards came out over the past couple days that show just how strong the players coming out of the FCD academy into the NCAA are. There's more awards to come out over the next few weeks, but I wanted to mention a few that have been announced over the past couple days:
Danny Garcia named ACC Freshman of the year/All-ACC Second team/All-ACC Freshman Team - Boyd Okwuono named All-ACC First Team - London Woodberyy named All-ACC Second team - Mikey Ambrose named All-ACC Second Team/All-ACC Freshman Team
Garcia winning ACC Freshman of the Year is a huge award for the youngster. Looking back through the years, the 2006 winner was Jeremy Hall - 2006 - Corben Bone, 2007 -Toni Tchani, 2008 - Andrew Wenger, 2009 - Patrick Mullins(ACC 2012 player of the year) - 2010...so he's in some pretty good company as all of those players have made it into MLS except for Mullins who will be a first-round pick this winter.
For Okwuono, Woodberry and Ambrose, these awards are just further confirmation of what we already know, that FCD has some major talent coming through the ranks.
Jamie Ibarra named Co-Conference USA Player of the Year / Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year / Conference USA first-team - Damien Rosales named to CUSA second-team - Bradlee Baladez named to CUS second-team
Having trained with FCD nearly all summer, Ibarra had his best year yet as a junior leading CUSA in GAA and save percentage. Rosales came into his own in his redshirt sophomore campaign playing as an outside back. He was a part of an SMU defense that was very good throughout the year.
For Baladez, it wasn't the best season, though he still lead his team in goals(4) and assists(3). Having seen a couple of USC games, Baladez really struggled to get quality service in as a forward and as the main attacking option, he was doubled teamed in both games I saw. I still expect him to get a long look in Dallas after he graduates next year.