The 2012-13 US Soccer Development Academy preview is out and US Soccer Technical Staff Carson Porter had some high praise for Crew Academy standout Benny Swanson and the advatage of playing up in the system.
Academy teams that benefit from players playing up:
Porter: "The Columbus Crew does a nice job playing players up. Ben Swanson is a ’97-born player who has just moved to Bradenton, Fla., and joined the U.S. U-17’s and he benefitted from being a starter for the entire year last year with the U-15/16’s despite playing up an age level. He also was rostered for the U-17/U-18’s when they made the playoffs. These are great experiences that helped prepare him for the YNT system.”
The college soccer season continued through the holiday weekend. Here's how some former Crew Youth players fared:
Akron Zips- (2-0-1) This Week: 1-1 D vs. Creighton, 2-1 W vs. SIU Edwardsville
Following the news that Head Coach Caleb Porter would become the next head coach of the Portland TImbers at the end of the season, Akron traveled to Omaha for the Ameritas Classic. The No. 6 Zips opened play with a 1-1 draw against hosts No. 3 Creighton on Friday. On Sunday, Akron beat SIU Edwardsville 2-1 with help Captain and Crew Soccer Academy product Chad Barson's opening tally. Wil Trapp, Andrew Souders, Eric Stevenson, and Thomas Schmitt all played key roles for the Zips in both results.
Louisville Cardinals- (1-2-0) This Week: 3-1 W vs. Belmont, 1-0 L at SLU
The Cardinals rebounded from last week's 3-0 loss to Maryland with a 3-1 rout of Belmont behind CSA's Alex Obbey's first goal of the season. Louisville suffered its second lost of the season Tuesday night on the road at Saint Louis.
Xavier Musketeers- (2-0-1) This week: 2-1 W vs. Wright State, 2-1 W vs. Cincinnati
Both Matt and Will Walker started and played significant minutes in the 24th ranked Musketeers' first win of the season against Wright State last Thursday in a 2-1 victory. The Walker twins each registered an assist in Xavier's weekend win against crosstown rival Cincinnati. Will Walker also had the game-winning goal in the 2-1 victory. Freshman Rhodes Moore played 27 minutes.
Boston College Golden Eagles- (1-0-0) This Week: 1-0 L vs. Boston U., 1-0 W vs. Fairfield
Goalkeeper Justin Luthy suffered his first loss of the season in crosstown showdown with Boston University on August 27 before earning his first shutout of the season at Fairfield on Monday night. Next up for Luthy and the No. 13 Golden Eagles is their opening ACC match against No. 4 Maryland.
UCLA Bruins- (1-1-1) This Week: 2-2 D at Maryland, 1-0 W at Virginia
Captain Matt Wiet led the No. 14 Bruins to a 2-2 draw on the road at Maryland in FOX Soccer Channel's National Game of the Week on Friday. To cap off the east coast road trip, UCLA traveled to Charlottesville, VA to top Virginia 1-0 in overtime.
The college soccer season kicked off this past weekend. Here's a look at how some Crew Youth alumni started the season in NCAA Division I:
Akron Zips- (1-0-0) This Week:4-0 W vs. Florida Gulf Goast.
Caleb Porter started five Crew Youth products in the Zips' rout of Florida Gulf Coast Friday night. Wil Trapp, Chad Barson, Eric Stevenson, Thomas Schmitt, and freshman Andrew Souders all played starting roles in the 4-0 win. Stevenson and Schmitt scored the first two goals of the match. In addition, Stevenson supplied the assist to Schmitt on his way to being named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week.
The Crew's Director of Soccer Business Development, Jeremy Parkins, was at Cub Cadet Field for the season opener: "It was exciting to see five former players from our system have the opportunity to start for one of the top teams in the country... The first goal of the evening was Eric Stevenson with a shot from about 20 yards out, and so it was exciting to see that go in. Then, Eric found Thomas Schmitt for the second goal. It was exciting to see our guys scoring goals."
Louisville Cardinals- (0-1-0) This Week: 0-3 at Maryland
The Cardinals opened the season with a 3-0 loss on the road to Maryland. 2010 product Alex Obbey came off the bench and had one of Louisville's better chances in the 40th minute, but his attempt was blocked by the Maryland defense.
Xavier Musketeers- (0-0-1) This week: 1-1 D at Northwestern
Both Matt and Will Walker started and played significant minutes in the Musketeers' road draw against Northwestern. Matt Hill and freshman Rhodes Moore each came off the bench for Xavier. Matt Walker recorded three shots with one being on target, while Moore was able to force one shot in the stalemate.
Boston College Golden Eagles- (1-0-0) This Week: 2-1 W at Quinnipiac
Goalkeeper Justin Luthy saved five shots to help the No. 14 Golden Eagles to the 2-1 victory. Boston College returns to action Monday night against Boston University.
UCLA Bruins- (0-1-0) This Week: 3-2 L vs. New Mexico
The second-ranked Bruins fell to No. 6 New Mexico on Friday night. Defender Matt Wiet played the whole match and nearly recorded an assist from a long throw-in. UCLA returns to action on the road against Maryland on August 31.
The good folks at TopDrawerSoccer.com, Travis Clark and J.R. Eskilson, highlighted the Top 30 Homegrown prosepects playing in NCAA Division I this season. Which one of these players will follow in the footsteps of Aaron Horton, Matt Lampson, and Ben Speas?
From the article:
D Chad Barson, Akron, Senior (Columbus Crew): A solid center back and experienced senior -- Barson has played in 73 games in his college career to this point -- Barson is going to be a prominent figure on Akron’s side once again.
After spending the summer playing with the United States U-15 and U-17 National Teams, Crew Soccer Academy standout Benny Swanson has accepted an offer to participate in the US U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Florida.
The 15-year-old Grove City native hopes his decision will help him secure a spot in next year's U-17 World Cup.
"It's a great opportunity. It was kind of hard to pass up," Swanson said. "The [FIFA U-17] World Cup is next year in Dubai. I would like to make that roster, hopefully. If I don't, I hope I just learn every day in training in that environment with that pro mentality."
"It's great for our organization," Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss said. "Obviously it's a little bit premature to be speaking about Benny as a future pro for the club, but he's on the right track. It gives credibility to our organization on the youth side as to what we're doing."
Bliss says residency can only help Swanson's promising skill set.
"Right now, he's only getting three or four days of training each week, he's going to get five or six days each week training with the top players in the country at his age [in Bradenton]." Bliss explained. "He's got the ability to break down players off of the dribble and create on his own. He works for the good of the team in terms of being a team player. He's got an eye for the pass and can deliver it. He's got a multitude of skills and being in that environment for the next year, it's going to make him a better player."
The young midfielder's drive and skill set reminds Bliss of a certain US Men's National Team mainstay.
"He's got a lot of things Michael Bradley had," Bliss said. "Bradley grew physically really quick at the end, but he was also undersized. [Bradley] had the ability to dribble, pass, create, and had the same attitude and hunger for the game that Benny has. There are some comparisons. They may be unfair because Michael is a full national team player and I don't want to put pressure on [Swanson], but he's got a lot of this same [skills]."
Being in the same sentence with Bradley and others who attended the U-17 Residencty previously such as Landon Donovan, Brek Shea, and Eddie Gaven is still surreal Swanson says, but he remains determined to one day don the Black & Gold as a professional.
"It's kind of surreal, but I've been working hard. That's where hard work will get you," Swanson said. "The Crew has helped me a lot to progress as a player and as a person."
"[Playing professionally for the Crew] would be a dream come true," he finished.
The Crew Soccer Academy's U17 squad finished in third place of the 2012 Generation Adidas Cup Thursday in Tukwila, Washington. The U17s topped the San Jose Earthquakes side 3-2 behind Benny Swanson's game-winner.
Hilliard native Nathan Kohl won the Golden Boot at the tournament, scoring six goals in all.
The squad was made up of players born in 95 and 96 from CSA, CSA Wolves, Challenger Crew Juniors and Grand Rapids Crew Juniors:
Matthew Appel (Canal Winchester, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
William Bayemi (Canal Winchester, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Aiden Bean (Powell, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Brady Blackwell (Dublin, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Sam Brown (Ann Arbor, MI) Crew Soccer Academy Wolves
Julian Castro (Lorain, OH) Challenger Crew Juniors
Georges Daoud (Columbus, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Dominic Grida (North Royalton, OH) Challenger Crew Juniors
Carter Grimm (Columbus, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Noah Hutchins (Columbus, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Tyler Kidwell (Dublin, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Nathan Kohl (Hilliard, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Andrew Lewis (Rockford, MI) Grand Rapids Crew Juniors
Andrew McKelvey (Dublin, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Charlie Reymann (Worthington, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Carter Richardson (Dublin, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
John Schuman (Columbus, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Ryan Scott (Grand Rapids, MI) Grand Rapids Crew Juniors
Benjamin Swanson (Grove City, OH) Crew Soccer Academy
Blake Townes (Canton, MI) Crew Soccer Academy Wolves
The Crew Juniors U-19 advanced to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship game with 2-1 victory over Empire United SA Syracuse on Thursday morning behind goals from Mike Walker and Cole Denormandie. The 2012 National Championship game will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel at 8pm Saturday night live from Rock Hill, SC. Midfielder Wil Trapp will join the U-19s for the National Championship, fresh off a fourth-place finish with the United States U-20 Men's National Team at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.
Captained by Crew Soccer Academy product and Akron standout Wil Trapp, the United States U-20 Men's National Team beat Turkey 1-0 on Monday to advance to the third place match on Thursday against Chile. The U-20s rebounded from a 2-1 defeat to defending champion Denmark in their opening match on July 21.
The U-20 National Team's assistant coach Brian Bliss will return to Columbus following Thursday's match to resume his duties as Technical Director for the Crew. Soon after, Trapp will return to Akron to begin training for the 2012 season.
Crew Technical Director and United States U-20 Men's National Team assistant coach Brian Bliss and Crew Soccer Academy product Wil Trapp left Columbus on Monday for the 2012 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. The U-20s will train at Liverpool FC's facilities this week before their opening match on Saturday against defending champions Denmark. After finishing in third place last year, Trapp feels the U-20s are poised to make a run at the title in 2012.
"I'm pretty excited," the Akron midfielder said last week. "We've got a good group going. I think with the team we have, we can make a good run at the final."
"The level of competition is good," Bliss added. "It's still, from those countries and the U.S. as well, the preparatory phase leading up to the next cycle for the (FIFA U-20 World Cup) qualifying period. So it's a good opportunity for us to get into Europe and play some quality European teams to measure ourselves and see where we're at. We're looking forward to it. We've been invited to that tournament for a number of years and we've done well in the past there. I think we have the same expectations this time around."
Trapp has split his time between this summer between the U-20 National Team, training with the Crew, and playing with Bliss and the Crew Juniors Super-20s.
"I've been playing a lot of high quality games, training with the Crew as well has been helping me a lot," Trapp said of his progression in 2012. "Just working on speed of play, it's gotten a lot faster. My range of passing as well. I think playing with the National Team, as well as training (with the Crew), has really pushed me to the next level a little bit more."
"(Trapp) brings the same stuff to the table every time," Bliss complimented the Gahanna native. "He brings a good attitude, professionalism, he knows his role, and he's a leader when he's on the field. Organizing, he's generally in possession of the ball, and guys look to him for that stuff whether it's with (the Crew) or the U-20s."
The U-20 National Team will compete against Chile, Denmark, Mexico, Turkey, and host Northern Ireland at the Milk Cup.
The Crew Juniors Under-20 team, coached by Crew technical director Brian Bliss, closed out the USL Super-20 regular season by winning the Midwest Division with a perfect 7-0-0 record. In the last three games of the season, the CJ 20s defeated Cincinnati’s Kings Soccer Academy 6-1 on July 5, followed by a pair of Michigan club’s – 2-0 over Waza FC on July 7 and 8-1 over Alliance Academy on July 8. The 20s are now qualified for the USL Super-20 Championships in Bradenton, Fla., which are set to begin on July 19.