USSDA 16s and 18s Turn In A Fine Showing at US Soccer Academy Winter Showcase

Germantown, WI, December 17, 2013, – The U16 and U18 FC Wisconsin USSDA teams concluded  the fall portion of its season this past week at the US Soccer Development Academy Showcase in Bradenton, Florida.

All 78 Academy Clubs from across the country, and Canada, descended upon Florida along with over 250 Collegiate Coaches, to take part in the fall showcase against the Nation’s best. The U16’s and U18’s played a total of 6 games between them combining for a 3-2-1 record, against teams from California, Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and the New York area.

The U18 team finished off their fall season by going 2-1 at the event, playing some of their best soccer this season to date.  In their first game in 80 degree weather, they beat a very accomplished Arsenal FC team from California 3-2 with two goals from Reid Stevenson, and one from Nikola Atlija. The following day, saw the team put together a professional performance defeating Richmond Strikers 1-0 from an excellent individual finish from Nikola Atlija. In the third game the 18’s finished on the wrong end of a 3-2 defeat by Seacoast United, from New Hampshire in a game that really could have gone either way. Nikola Atlija scored two more goals for the team, taking his tally to 6 for the season, and 4 on the weekend which was an excellent return.

After a difficult start to the season, the U18’s have shown excellent character to rebound by going 4-3 in its remaining 7 games this fall. The Team sits in 10th position heading into the spring, with the bulk of the schedule still to play. “The team has really begun to buy in and embrace the attitude and work rate that is needed to be successful at this level”, Said USSDA Director Ben Shepherd. “As a staff we are pleased with the results and performances in the second portion of this fall, and we look forward to getting off to a good start this spring”.

The U16 team went 1-1-1, and started off the Showcase with a hard fought 0-0 tie against a very strong Match Fit Academy. Defensively the 16's team was extremely solid, and after having to withstand early pressure, they really grew into the game and in the end were unfortunate to not get the win that their 2nd half display probably deserved. Day two saw the team take on the North Carolina Fusion (again in sweltering conditions), and the team put together an excellent all around performance defeating the Fusion 2-1 with goals from Jordan Palmer from the penalty spot and Tunji Akindes, after good work from Todor Atlija. The third game was a disappointing 2-1 loss to Seacoast United in a game that went back and forth with Tunji Akindes notching his 7th goal of the season in just 11 games.

After only winning once in the first 4 games, the team concluded the fall season going 4-2-1, only losing once in its last four games, and are also tied for 4th in goals allowed for the season. The team is nicely positioned in 6th position, in what is a fiercely competitive division which is shown by MLS Academies from the Columbus Crew, and Chicago Fire laying 9th and 10th in the standings respectively. This highlights the achievements that this group of players have already achieved, which they will look to build on heading into the spring season. “We are very proud of the culture and togetherness that this group of players has established within the program in such a short space of time”, Said Ben Shepherd. “Their desire to work for one another and their commitment to continue to improve and get better each day is extremely pleasing to see”.

Both Programs have shown excellent progress this fall, and everyone connected to the program, from the players, parents, and staff have put in a tremendous amount of effort to make this a successful fall season. The players will now have a well-earned four week break to rest and recuperate before starting again in January to continue to build on the progress that has already been made.  “It’s been a challenging yet positive beginning to the new era of USSDA soccer in Wisconsin.  The fall season was a grind.  The change in culture, expectations and performance has been elevated and the players have bought into this and really put the work in.  There is no doubt this program is on the rise.  We can’t wait to continue to build off of the momentum in the fall and make the spring our best USSDA season yet” – said USSDA Associate Director Billy Solberg.

 

Congrats to the U16 and U18 Academy on their performances in Florida!!

 

Please see below the list of Universities that watched our teams play this week, and requested profile information:

 

Marquette                                                                                         Mercer

Loyola                                                                                              Oakwood

DePaul                                                                                             Ohio State

Stetson                                                                                             St Thomas

University of South Florida                                                               Bradley

Colgate                                                                                            Northern Illinois

Michigan State                                                                                 Navy

Michigan                                                                                          Hartford

UWM                                                                                                 Lewis University

Stanford                                                                                            Limestone College

Carnegie Mellon                                                                               Erskine College

University of North Carolina                                                              Appalachian State University

Penn State                                                                                        Virginia Commonwealth University

Furman                                                                                              Illinois Wesleyan

Clemson                                                                                            Nebraska Omaha

St John’s                                                                                           Princeton

Holy Cross                                                                                         West Virginia

Xavier                                                                                               Brown University

New Hampshire                                                                                Tulsa

Wright State                                                                                     Dayton

UW-Madison                                                                                     Northeastern

West-Point                                                                                       Bryant University

UW-Green Bay                                                                                 UMass

Butler                                                                                               Seattle Pacific