Haven't done this for awhile and with the NCAA 3rd round kicking off tonight including 4 teams with FC Dallas academy players, Now is a great time to review how our academy guys did this year. We will start with the guys whose season is still alive and go from there. Don't forget the Academy review after the college review.
London Woodberry(Defense) - University of Maryland Junior Woodberry and the Terps disappointingly crashed out of the ACC tournament at the quarterfinals losing to Boston College 2-1, a team they beat 4-0 earlier in the year. They recovered from that to defeat West Virginia 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round last week setting up a third round showdown in College Park against Louisville tonight. Woodberry has started all but one game this season at center back for the amazing Terps defense that has averaged less than a goal allowed per game. London was named to the All-ACC Second Team.
Boyd "OC" Okwuono(Defender) - University of North Carolina Freshman OC is having a better freshman year than even I expected. He's started every game in defense for the Tar Heels, #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. I got to see his performance in the 3-1 ACC Tournament championship victory and I came away very impressed. UNC is 18-2-2 overall on the season and defeated Coastal Carolina in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. They'll take on Indiana at Chapel Hill today.
Jack Coleman(Defender/Midfielder) - Indiana Freshman It's been a weird season for Coleman. In my book, he was the highest rated player coming out of the Academy last season but has seen time in just one game for Indiana this season. It's possible he's been redshirted or injured because I just can't see how OC starts for the #1 overall seed and Coleman doesn't get off the bench. Indiana is enjoying a fantastic season having fallen in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals but beating Old Dominon 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament Second Round to set up the matchup with UNC today.
Daniel Premenko(Defender - Creighton Sophomore Creighton, the #2 overall seed, boast a 19-2 overall record, a Missouri Valley Conference Championship and they host UC Santa Barbara in the third round tonight after beating Northern Illinois last Sunday. Premenko, a sophomore defender who transferred from Oral Roberts, has had to sit out 2011 due to transfer rules but should feature next season.
Bradlee Baladez(Forward) - University of South Carolina Sophomore (GOALS) Baladez made the All-Conference USA first team in 2011 after making the All-Freshman team in 2010. He built on his 6 goal season in 2010 to lead the team with 7 goals in 2011 and also tie for the team lead with 5 assists. Baladez came on very strong towards the end of the season for the Gamecocks scoring two game-winning goals.
South Carolina fell to SMU in the Conference USA Tournament semifinals and lost a heartbreaking penalty kick shootout loss at home to Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Baladez hit the post and had a goal called back for a foul in the game.
Damian Rosales(Midfielder) - SMU Sophomore - Rosales played in every game for SMU this season, mostly in 20-30 minute substitute roles for the Mustangs. He scored 2 goals and had 2 assists from the midfield as a sophomore and figures to make a bigger impact as a junior. He was never really a guy that I saw doing a whole lot from a star studded academy squad with Luna, Leyva, etc...so I'm very pleased to see him make an impact with a program like SMU.
Jamie Ibarra(Goalkeeper) - SMU Sophomore Ibarra had a fantastic 2011 for SMU, starting all but 1 game for the Mustangs. He produced five shutouts in 20 games and had some absolutely remarkable saves in the games I saw. Ibarra had shutouts in both the semifinals and finals of the Conference USA tournament that SMU won for the first time since 2006 and kept the Akron NCAA tournament game close with a late game 1v1 save on Darren Mattocks. The slam dunk #1 keeper for SMU in 2012.
Jacob Gerondale(Defender) - IPFW Redshirt Freshman Gerondale came on strong towards the end of the season for the Mastodons, starting most of the games down the stretch. They had an up and down season finishing 8-10-2 while losing to Oral Roberts 3-2 in the Summit League tournament.
Skylar Hagan(Outside midfielder) - Old Dominon Freshman Hagan started 9 and appeared in 16 games registering a goal and an assist for the Monarchs. ODU fell to Delaware in the CAA tournament championship game and defeated Liberty in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Indiana 3-0. Hagan is another guy I never really rated that highly so it's refreshing to see him breaking into a good NCAA program as a freshman
Byron Knowles(Defender) - Lubbock Christian Freshman Knowles made the Sooner Athletic Conference Second Team. He started all 21 games at defender for LCU scoring 2 goals and 1 assist.
The U18's are running riot through the Texas Division having played 9 games, tallying an 8-0-1 record with 23 goals scored and just 4 allowed. They have 6 shutouts in those 9 games and sit 8 points ahead of second placed Texans SC Houston.
This weekend they traveled down to Austin and defeated Lonestar SC 3-0. Lonestar is an offensive juggernaut in the Development Academy having played 11 games, scoring 24 goals. They've been shutout twice in those 11 games....the two times they've played FC Dallas. They have a player named Kekuta Manneh who has scored 15 goals in 11 games this year. He's been held off the scoresheet twice in 11 games this year...the two times he's faced Mark Ashby, Alex Frankenfeld, Aaron Guillen and co in the FC Dallas defense.
Daniel Garcia, UNC commit, is leading the offensive charge for Dallas scoring 8 goals in 8 games. Interestingly, JiaJie Zhuang, a Chinese U18 International, made his debut in Development Academy play for FCD this weekend in Austin.
They get tested big time next weekend as they head to the Winter Showcase in Bradenton to face Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake-AZ.
The U16's are having a nice year at 4-3-2, and they completed the double over Lonestar this weekend winning 3-2. Antonio Aguilar scored twice with Abdul Yassine scoring the other goal.They'll face the same three teams in Bradenton next weekend.