3 straight wins at USSDA showcase ends positive developmental season
From June 13th – 16th, the FC Wisconsin Nationals U14 Development Academy team traveled to Indianapolis, IN for the US Soccer Development Academy U14 Showcase. Every one of the Development Academy U14 teams in the country was in attendance and matched up for 3 top level showcase games. Keeping a watchful eye on every game and every team was at least one US Soccer scout, including the entire US U14 Youth National Team Staff.
FC Wisconsin opened its matches with a game against Everton FC out of New York. FC Wisconsin controlled the tempo and possession of the game with their outside backs, Will Hamiliton and Sam Thomann doing a great job of getting involved in the attack. Kamrin Pegues would get the Nationals on the board first with a great high near post goal after beating his player 1 vs 1. The second goal came after good pressure to win the ball back, when Dominic Lambo played Jonathon Hernandez who turned and blasted a shot past a diving goalkeeper from 24 yards out. The boys would go on to finish the game out with a 2-1 result and a great team effort.
After a night of an ice bath, team meeting and team meal, the FC Wisconsin boys would prove ready for another battle on day two.
The second match was against Tampa Bay United (FL) on a slightly warmer day with a noon kickoff. Once again FC Wisconsin would impose their style on TB United with excellent work rate and movement off the ball. The boys would get on the board first again off a set piece with Cameron Eccleston serving the ball far post to Payton Arranda who put his head through it and buried it in the back of the net.
The second goal would come from changing the point of attack out of the back, when outside back Will Hamilton charged forward on the dribble beating 3 defenders and then getting taken out in the box to earn a penalty kick. Jonathon Hernandez would stepped up and calmly placed the ball in the net for a two goal lead. Once again the team would march on to yet another victory beating TB United 2-1.
Sunday was a day of rest and recovery to insure the last day of matches would produce quality soccer against the best teams in the country. Every Development Academy coach and the United States Youth National Team staff gathered to meet and discuss the first year of the Development Academy U14 season, and the tremendous progress made by all clubs. Development Academy Technical Director Tony Lepore and U14 National Team Head Coach Bryan Johnson spoke about how the Development Academy has had a direct impact on the youth national teams. 83% of the National Teams were made up of Development Academy players with many of the remaining 17% coming from US players playing outside of the country. Both leaders spoke about how each and every club in the room continues to focus on skill acquisition over “winning at all costs” and why the Development Academy was the appropriate place for the best players looking for the best long term development.
“This event was such a great experience for the boys,” said FC Wisconsin Development Academy U14 Head Coach Billy Solberg. “The venue, the competition, US Scouts, Youth National Team coaches, and the Development Academy competition itself really helped to make the atmosphere and play the best in the country. I am so proud of this team, the way we played, our attitude and work rate. This group took huge strides forward in development, soccer IQ, and really gained the knowledge of what it takes to compete at the highest level day in and day out. This team is proof that our player development and the Development Academy’s environment is first class and the players embraced it and improved their games tremendously.”
After a day’s rest, the final match of the showcase would be played at 11.00am vs San Mateo. The U14 United States National Team coach Bryan Johnson was on hand to watch and evaluate players the entire game. After a slow start, the Nationals would find their way in the game with a dynamic run forward by center back Ben Leas, who took it end line, committed the goalkeeper and then played a pass to Trey Goodnetter to calmly place the ball in the goal to go up 1-0. The next goal would come on the counter with a ball played to Mark Orlowski who would beat his player on the dribble and play an unselfish pass to Gianluca DeMartino who sized up the shot and buried it in the upper left corner giving the goalkeeper no shot and stopping it. DeMartino would also score the third and final goal for the USSDA season to help secure the win with a score of 3-1. FC Wisconsin would finish the season on a three game winning streak and playing their best soccer of the year.
Congrats to all the players and families who’s dedication and support of the program this year has been first class!!!