The Crew Soccer Academy made the 16-hour trek to Minnesota over the weekend to face the Minnesota Thunder and Shattuck St. Mary's. Both the U-16 and U-18 squads prevailed over the Thunder. The U-18s set the tone on Saturday with a 3-1 win following goals from Nicolas Russo, Daniel Allen and Andrew McKelvey. The U-16 side followed suit, beating the Thunder 3-2 behind goals from Silankonet Bayo, George Braima and William Bayemi.
On Sunday, the Academy wasn't as fortunate as both teams fell to Shattuck St. Mary's. A brace from Noah Hutchins and another goal from Georges Daoud weren't enough as the U-16 squad lost a 4-3 heartbreaker. The 18s were shutout in a 3-0 defeat.
U.S. Soccer announced its plans for the 10th anniversary of the Nike International Friendlies last week. Ben Swanson, Carter Richardson and the U.S. U-17 Men's National Team will host Brazil, Turkey, and Portugal November 28 - December 4 in Florida. The friendlies take place during U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, which CSA will be attending.
The regular season in college soccer wrapped-up last week, followed by Monday's NCAA Tournament selection. Here is how a few Crew Youth alumni fared in their conference championships and where they will be playing in the tournament:
Akron Zips (17-1-2) This Week: 2-0 W vs. Bowling Green, 2-0 W vs. Northern Illinois -- WON MAC CHAMPIONSHIP
The top-ranked Zips set a new NCAA record by extending their conference unbeaten run to 47 matches while also securing Akron's ninth MAC Championship over the weekend. On Friday, CSA product Wil Trapp opened the scoring against in-state rival Bowling Green with a strike from distance. Less than two minutes later, fellow Crew Youth alum Thomas Schmitt tallied to put the Zips up 2-0 over the Falcons. In the MAC Championship game against Northern Illinois on Sunday, Eric Stevenson helped set-up Saad Abdul-Salaam's opening goal while Chad Barson and Andrew Souders anchored the back line to its 16th shutout of the season. The Zips recieved the fifth overall seed in Monday's NCAA tournament drawing and will face the winner of Niagara and Michigan on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
Xavier Musketeers (13-2-5) This Week: 1-1 (3-2 PK) W vs. Dayton, 1-0 L vs. Saint Louis
Matt Walker supplied the lone goal in the Musketeers' 1-1 penalty shootout win against Dayton in their first match of the Atlantic-10 Tournament before Xavier was knocked out of the tourney by Saint Louis on Friday. Additionally, CSA product Nick Hagglund was named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Xavier kicks off NCAA Tournament play against Kentucky on Thursday and will play Indiana on Sunday if they advance.
Boston College Golden Eagles (8-5-5) This Week: 0-0 (3-1) L at Clemson
Holding Clemson scoreless for 120 minutes on Tuesday wasn't enough for senior goalkeeper Justin Luthy and the 24th-ranked Golden Eagles as Boston College was ousted from the ACC Tournament. Luthy and the Golden Eagles face crosstown rival Northeastern on Thursday and will play UConn if they win.
UCLA Bruins (13-2-3) This Week: 2-1 W vs. San Diego State WON PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP
Matt Wiet helped the Bruins claim their fourth PAC-12 title in five years with Friday's 2-1 victory against San Diego State. The PAC-12 Champions received the sixth-overall seed and will play the winner of San Diego vs. Cal State Northridge on Sunday.
Other Crew Youth alumni playing in the tournament include:
Eric Osswald -- South Florida (vs. Florida Gulf Coast - Thursday, 7:00 p.m.)
Alex Obbey -- Louisville (vs. SMU/Winthrop - Sunday, 7:00 p.m.)
Andy Lubahn -- Wake Forest (vs. Elon/Coastal Carolina - Sunday, 5:00 p.m.)
Connor Klekota -- Notre Dame (vs. Cleveland St./Michigan St. - Sunday, 7:00 p.m.)
David Witkoff -- Georgetown (vs. UAB/Charlotte - Sunday 1:00 p.m.)
Luke Helmuth, Jack Thompson and Logan Thompson -- Messiah (DIII) – Sweet 16
Ryan Sabol and Austin Windsor -- Ohio Northern (DIII) – Sweet 16
Mackenzie Clapper -- Messiah (DIII Women)
The 2012 OHSAA State Finals kick off Friday at Crew Stadium when Ontario faces Middletown Bishop Fenwick in the Division III Girls' Final at noon, followed by the Division II Final between Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit and then Columbus St. Francis De Sales. Perrysburg vs. Mason at 7:00 p.m. in the Girls' Division I State Final will round out Friday's action.
On Saturday, the boys finalists will take the field. Gates Mills Hawken squares off against Cincinnati Summit Country Day at noon in the Division III Final. Crew forward Ben Speas' alma mater Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy will look to win its fourth State Championship at 3:30 p.m. as it takes on Dayton Carroll in the Division II Final. Sylvania Southview against Powell Olentangy Liberty closes out the action in the Division I Final at 7:00 p.m.
Before winning back-to-back NCAA Championships at Indiana, two Supporters Shields and an MLS Cup with the Crew, Danny O'Rourke captained Worthington Kilbourne to the 2000 Divsion I state title at Crew Stadium. O'Rourke can relate to the excitement each of the players are going through ahead this weekend's action.
"To this day, I still remember the build-up to that game and being really excited," the midfielder explained. "Not only just to play in the State Final, but where it was held and being in the locker room, stepping on the field and holding up the trophy at the end."
Admission to this weekend's matches is $8 per game. The stadium will not be emptied after each game and re-entry will not be permitted. Parking for the event is set at $5.
When Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy toppled Bay Village Bay 3-0 Wednesday night in the OHSAA DII Boys' Soccer State Semifinal, CVCA alum and Crew forward Ben Speas took to Twitter to express his excitement to see the Royals clinch a berth in the Final on Saturday at Crew Stadium.
— Ben Speas (@BenSpeas18) November 8, 2012
Speas, a 2009 graduate and member of CVCA's 2007 DII State Champion squad, is looking forward to gathering with fellow alumni to cheer on the Royals in their quest for a fourth state championship.
"It's a great program," Speas said Thursday. "I loved my time there. I'm going to be there supporting them for sure.There will be a lot of alumni there. A ton of my friends and everyone will be there. It's really exciting. Hopefully, we'll get our fourth state championship."
CVCA squares off against Dayton Carroll at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon as part of a tripleheader of all three divisons of boys' State Finals. On Friday, Crew Stadium will host all three girls' State Final matches.
This week's Throwback Thursday comes from the 1996 Tampa Bay Mutiny media guide. Crew legend and Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk was an integral part of the Mutiny's Supporters Shield victory in Major League Soccer's inaugural season. As you can see by the photo above Hejduk hasn't seemed to age in the past 16 years.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of Hejduk's bio page is the "Rongen Says" section in which then-Mutiny Head Coach Thomas Rongen describes each of his players:
"Frankie is a young player who has already distinguished himself at the International level while playing for the U.S. Olympic team. He is one of those players that MLS is actively seeking. He should be a star in the future."
Well put, TR. Well put.
The only thing questionable in Hejduk's personal information on his bio page is "favorite actor is Nicolas Cage."
The Crew Soccer Academy hosted Vardar SC Freiburg from Michigan at Crew Stadium over the weekend. The U-16 squad was defeated 2-1 with Nathan Kohl scoring the Black & Gold's lone goal. The CSA U-18s drew Vardar 1-1 in the nightcap, striker William Bayemi supplied the goal. The tally was Bayemi's sixth of the season
The U-16 team currently sits in sixth place in the Mid-America Division of the Central Conference, while the U-18s stand in fourth place after securing 21 points from its first nine games. Next weekend, CSA will travel north to Minnesota to face the Shattuck-Saint Mary's Soccer Academy and the Minnesota Thunder.
On the college front, several Crew Youth alumni were in action this weekend to close out the regular season in NCAA Division I:
Akron Zips (15-1-2) This Week: 1-0 W at Michigan State, 1-0 W vs. Western Michigan
With a pair of 1-0 results last week, Akron finishes the regular season as the top-ranked team in the nation. Chad Barson, Wil Trapp, Andrew Souders, Eric Stevenson and Thomas Schmitt will look to lead the Zips to a conference title as they host the MAC Tournament this upcoming weekend.
Xavier Musketeers (13-1-4) This Week: 6-0 W vs. Rhode Island, 5-0 W vs. Massachusetts
Matt and Will Walker each recorded two goals and an assist in Friday's night's 6-0 drubbing of Rhode Island in Cincinnati. Freshman Rhodes Moore also chipped in an assist in the win. On Sunday, the Musketeers continued their fine form, beating UMass 5-0. Will Walker and Nick Hagglund each contributed an assist to help Xavier to its highest win total in program history.
UCLA Bruins (12-2-3) This Week: 2-1 W vs. Stanford, 1-1 D vs. California
Matt Wiet helped the fourth-ranked Bruins to a pair of overtime results this week. UCLA beat Stanford in two overtime periods on Friday night. However, 120 minutes was not enough on Sunday as the Bruins drew the California Golden Bears 1-1 in Westwood. UCLA closes out its regular season on Friday against San Diego State.
Photo courtesy of Xavier Athletics.
To help raise awareness and funds for men's health issues such as prostate and testicular cancers, the Crew is proud to take part in Movember. Over the course of this month, Crew players and staff will be growing mustaches to get the word out about the Movember campaign.
Though it is undetermined whether or not he will be sporting a lip warmer this month, Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha may have the best ability to grow a mustache of anyone in MLS as evidenced here in his headshot from Everton FC in the early 1990s.
For more information on Movember and the Crew's effort towards the cause, please visit the Crew's team page.
The Crew Soccer Academy U-16 and U-18 squads were in action in a pair of matches over the weekend. On Saturday, The U-16 team drew St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri side 2-2, with Silankonet Bayo and Michael McCloskey providing the tallies in the tie. Against the same club, The U-18s lost 3-0.
Sunday saw William Bayemi's 23rd minute equalizer the U-16s come away with a 1-1 draw against the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro U-16 squad. The Crew U-18 team responded from Saturday's loss to beat the Gallagher Metros 5-1. Tommy Harr and newcomer Nic Russo scored two goals apiece, while Rylee Woods chipped in another.
On the International stage, Ben Swanson helped the U.S. U-17 National Team to a 5-1 win against Chile last Tuesday in the Four-Nations Tournament. The Grove City native also saw action in Friday's 3-1 loss to Argentina.
CSA's George Braima was called into U.S. U-15 camp last week in Carson, California. Braima is one of 24 players hailing from U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs in the training camp.
In the college ranks, several Crew Youth alumni were in action in NCAA Division I this week. Here are some of the highlights:
Akron Zips (13-1-2) This Week: 1-0 W at Ohio State, 4-0 W at Hartwick
Akron Earned a pair of wins last week, first beating Ohio State 1-0 in Columbus last Tuesday. Wil Trapp provided the assist on the match's lone goal. On Saturday the Zips traveled to Hartwick to pick up a 4-0 victory, securing their eighth-straight regular season MAC championship. Chad Barson and Eric Stevenson each scored in the win. For his efforts, Barson was named to College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer.com's National Team of the Week.
Xavier Musketeers (10-1-4) This Week: 4-1 L at VCU, 5-1 W at Richmond
The Musketeers suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 4-1 on the road to VCU on Friday. Matt Walker scored Xavier's lone goal in the defeat. On Sunday, Xavier rebounded to top Richmond 5-1. Matt Walker tallied his sixth and seventh goals of the season, while his brother Will provided an assist in the win.
Boston College Golden Eagles (8-4-4) This Week: 0-0 D vs. Virginia
Goalkeeper Justin Luthy recorded two saved on his way to his sixth shutout on the season as Boston College earned a draw against Virginia on Senior Night. The Golden Eagles will close out thei regular season at North Carolina on Thursday.
UCLA Bruins (10-2-2) This Week: 2-1 W at Oregon State
Senior captain Matt Wiet anchored the Bruin defense to a road victory against Oregon State on Friday. UCLA plays Washington Monday night to close out its Pacific Northwest road trip.
Photo courtesy of Akron Athletics.
October 24, 2012 marked the tenth anniversary of the Crew's first championship when it defeated the LA Galaxy 1-0 in the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open at Crew Stadium.
Club legend Duncan Oughton reflected on the win on Thursday:
"It was our first championship for this club. It was huge at the time. We got to play the final here at Crew Stadium. I remember it being cold and LA had just won MLS Cup. Even though we were at home, they were the favored team at that point in time. We had a great team and dug it out one-nil. It was awesome to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, our founder, the guy that did so much here in Crew Stadium, and we won it here in his stadium in front of him and our fans."
The Crew Soccer Academy U-18 and U-16 squads were in action at Crew Stadium over the weekend as they hosted their affiliate program, the CSA Wolves from Michigan. Both teams suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Wolves. Rilee Woods scored for the U-18s, while William Bayemi tallied the U-16s lone goal.
The U-18 squad was missing centerback Alex Crognale (above) this weekend as the Maryland commit traveled to Washington, D.C. with the Crew Reserve squad. Crognale started and played the full 90 minutes on Sunday morning, helping the Crew reserves clinch the 2012 MLS Reserve League championship with a 2-0 victory over the D.C. United reserves.
On the international stage, CSA product Ben Swanson played 25 minutes in the United States U-17 National Team's 3-1 win in a friendly against Uruguay on Sunday. Swanson and the Stars and Stripes play again on Tuesday against Chile to open the Four-Nations Tournament in Santa Fe, Argentina.
As the NCAA Division I men's soccer season heats up, several Crew Youth products contributed to their universities this weekend. Here are some of the highlights:
Akron Zips (11-1-2) This Week: 1-0 W vs. Michigan, 2-1 W vs. West Virginia
Akron picked up two wins at home this week, first shutting out Michigan 1-0 on Tuesday before beating West Virginia 2-1 on Saturday. Wil Trapp, Chad Barson, Andrew Souders, Eric Stevenson, and Thomas Schmitt all contributed in the victories for the No. 3 ranked Zips. Akron takes on Ohio State on Tuesday in Columbus. The match will be aired on Big Ten Network.
Xavier Musketeers (9-0-4) This Week: 0-0 D at Duquesne, 2-1 W at St. Bonaventure
Will Walker, Matt Walker, and Rhodes Moore all saw significant minutes this week as Xavier drew Duquesne and beat St. Bonaventure on the road. The Musketeers, along with Maryland, are the only two undefeated teams in the country remaining.
Boston College Golden Eagles (8-4-3) This Week: 1-0 L vs. Brown, 1-0 W at Duke
Goalkeeper Justin Luthy had his 485 minute goalless streak snapped in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Brown. The senior net minder rebounded on Friday to make four saves against Duke on his way to his fourth shutout in five games in the 1-0 win. The Golden Eagles host Virginia on Friday in their home finale.
Unlike the last time the Crew visited the Nation's Capital, the Black & Gold will be squaring-off with D.C. United under near-perfect weather conditions instead of temperatures in the upper-90s with 55-percent humidity tonight. A comfortable 61-degrees is expected at kickoff.
Different from most road matches, Robert Warzycha will have his entire roster to choose from tonight as the reserves arrived in Washington this morning for tomorrow's Reserve League finale.
Centerback Julius James did not make the trip after suffering a hamstring injury this week in training, forcing Warzycha to shuffle his back line against United. James had started the last five matches alongside Chad Marshall in central defense. Danny O'Rourke, Josh Williams, Eric Gehrig, and the newly-healthy Carlos Mendes are all viable options to replace the injured Trinidad & Tobago defender.
The Crew and D.C. United have split 1-0 results in their previous two matches in 2012, with the home team prevailing in both fixtures.
What are your predictions for tonight's match? Can the Black & Gold pick up a crucial three points on the road to stay in the playoff hunt?