The Crew Soccer Academy U-16 and U-18 squads were idle once again this week ahead of the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Winter Showcase in Sarasota, Florida next weekend. Similarly, the U-16, U-17 and U-18 Crew Juniors Gold girls squads will head to Raleigh, North Carolina for the CASL Women's Showcase Soccer Series.
Ben Swanson, CSA Wolves product Ahinga Selemani and the U.S. U-17 Men's National Team have a busy week ahead. The Stars and Stripes host Brazil on Wednesday, Turkey on Friday and Portugal on Sunday for the 2012 edition of the Nike International Friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
On the college stage, CSA product Eric Erb excelled on the field and in the classroom during his senior season at Case Western Reserve University. The Worthington native registered four goals and two assists to go with his 3.96 grade point average as a nutritional biochemistry and chemistry double-major to earn Capital One Academic All- District VII First Team and Second-Team All-UAA honors this season. On Tuesday, Erb added to his accolades by earning a spot on the Capital One Academic All-American team.
Erb was an instrumental player on the U-19 and U-20 teams that won the national championships in 2010 for Crew Juniors. He played on the U-17 team that won the Ohio South State Cup. Coached by Billy Thompson for a number of years, Thompson said this of Erb: "Eric always had a great work rate and a fantastic attitude. He gave 100% every time he stepped in the field – committed to getting better every day.”
The NCAA Division I Tournament held its Sweet Sixteen round on Sunday while the Division III tourney was idle in preparation for next weekend's Final Four. Here are how the remaining Crew Youth alumni performed in the Sweet Sixteen:
No. 5 AKRON -- Chad Barson, Wil Trapp (Assist), Eric Stevenson, Tommy Schmitt, Andrew Souders, Alex Ranalli (DNP), Andrian MacAdams (DNP): 1-1 (5-4) L vs. Creighton in NCAA Sweet Sixteen
No. 10 LOUISVILLE -- Alex Obbey (Assist): 2-1 W vs. Northwestern in NCAA Sweet Sixteen
No. 1 NOTRE DAME -- Connor Klekota (DNP): 2-1 L vs. Indiana in NCAA Sweet Sixteen
No. 3 GEORGETOWN -- David Witkoff (DNP): 1-0 (4-2) W vs.Syracuse in NCAA Sweet Sixteen
MESSIAH (DIII) -- Luke Helmuth, Jack Thompson and Logan Thompson: November 30 vs. Loras in Final Four
OHIO NORTHERN (DIII) -- Ryan Sabol and Austin Windsor: November 30 vs. Williams in Final Four
MESSIAH WOMEN (DIII) -- Mackenzie Clapper: November 30 vs. Misericordia in Final Four
*CSA Manager Karen Crognale contributed to this article
The Crew Soccer Academy U-16 and U-18 squads were idle this week. After 12 matches, the U-16s sit in fifth place in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Central Conference Mid-America Division with 18 points. The CSA Wolves lead the division on 31 points. In the U-18 age group, CSA is in eighth place on the table with 16 points and the CSA Wolves are in sixth place with 20 points.
The Pre-Academy 16s & 18s and the Gold 16s, 17s, 18s Boys teams started their seasons at the CASL College Showcase in Raleigh, North Carolina this past weekend. This is one of the top events and College Showcases in the country with over 300 college coaches attending. The event was a great start to the season and a success overall for the teams providing good competition, college recruiting exposure and professional expectations.
Ben Swanson, CSA Wolves product Ahinga Selemani, 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.
Selemani, a striker, committed to play his college career at Michigan State on Wednesday night.
In the college ranks, the NCAA Tournament began on Thursday and resumed through the weekend. Here is how all the CSA alumni and their teams fared:
(Seeded teams receive First Round bye)
No. 5 AKRON -- Chad Barson, Wil Trapp, Eric Stevenson, Tommy Schmitt, Andrew Souders, Alex Ranalli (DNP), Andrian MacAdams (DNP):
2-1 W vs. Michigan in NCAA Second Round, Goalscorers: Stevenson, Schmitt
SOUTH FLORIDA -- Eric Osswald: 0-0 (3-2 PK) W DNP vs. FGCU in First Round
1-0 L DNP vs. Tulsa in Second Round
No. 10 LOUISVILLE -- Alex Obbey: 5-0 W vs. Winthrop in Second Round
No. 15 WAKE FOREST -- Andy Lubahn: 2-1 L DNP vs. Coastal Carolina in Second Round
No. 1 NOTRE DAME -- Connor Klekota: 3-0 W DNP vs. Michigan State in Second Round
No. 3 GEORGETOWN -- David Witkoff: 1-0 W DNP vs. Charlotte in Second Round
XAVIER -- Matt Walker, Will Walker, Rhodes Moore, Nick Hagglund: 1-0 W vs. Kentucky in First Round, Goalscorer: Spencer (W. Walker)
4-1 L vs. No. 16 Indiana, Goalscorer: M. Walker (Spencer)
BOSTON COLLEGE -- Justin Luthy: 1-0 L vs. Northeastern, 6 saves in First Round
No. 6 UCLA -- Matt Wiet 5-2 L DNP vs. San Diego in Second Round
MESSIAH (DIII) -- Luke Helmuth, Jack Thompson and Logan Thompson: 2-2 (4-2 PK) W vs. York in Sweet Sixteen
3-0 W vs. Scranton in Elite Eight
OHIO NORTHERN (DIII) -- Ryan Sabol and Austin Windsor: 4-1 W vs. Susquehanna in Sweet Sixteen
2-1 W vs. Montclair St. in Elite Eight
MESSIAH WOMEN (DIII) -- Mackenzie Clapper: 5-0 W vs. MIT in Sweet Sixteen
3-0 W vs. Johns Hopkins in Elite Eight
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 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.
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.
Much like the First Team, the Crew Soccer Academy had the week off from action. However, that doesn't mean the week was news-free on the Crew Youth front.
Coming off a second-place at the AGS Cup in Spain, the United States U-17 National Team will travel to Argentina this week for a four-team tournament that includes Chile, Panama, and host Argentina. Prior to the tournament, CSA products Benny Swanson, Carter Richardson, and Ahinga Selemani will play Uruguay in a friendly on October 21. When the tournament concludes, the US will play another friendly against an opponent that is yet to be determined.
On the college stage, several Crew Youth Alumni saw action this week. Here are some of the highlights:
Akron Zips (9-1-2) This Week: 2-0 W at Penn State, 2-0 W at Northern Illinois
The Zips recorded a pair of road shutouts this week against Penn State and Northern Illinois. Five Crew Youth alumni are regular feature's in Caleb Porter's lineup as Akron hopes to challenge for its second College Cup title in three years.
Xavier Musketeers (8-0-3) This Week: 2-2 D vs. Dayton
The Musketeers remained undefeated over the weekend, tying in-state and conference rival Dayton 2-2 at home. Will Walker scored his fifth goal of the season in the draw, finishing off a long ball from his twin brother Matt.
Boston College Golden Eagles (7-3-3) This Week: 1-0 W vs. Dartmouth, 0-0 D vs. Clemson
Senior captain Justin Luthy posted his third and fourth shutouts of the season last week as Boston College beat Dartmouth and drew ACC opponent Clemson. Luthy has not given up a tally in his last 403 minutes in goal for the Golden Eagles.
UCLA Bruins (9-2-2) This Week: 4-3 W at. San Diego State
Matt Wiet helped the fourth-ranked Bruins rebound from last week's loss to Washington, captaining UCLA to a 4-3 win over San Diego State. Wiet and the Bruins will be idle this week as the team's next match comes October 26 on the road against Oregon State.
The Crew Soccer Academy swept its matches for the second-straight weekend. The U-16 squad defeated the Cleveland Internationals 1-0 behind Jalim Bayo's tally. Nathan Kohl assisted on the match's lone goal. The U-18 side took down the Internationals 4-2 with Nicholas Parianos, Thomas Wiseman, Andrew McKelvey and Alex Bumpus scoring in the affair.
In other news, CSA goalkeeper Carter Richardson earned an invite to the United States U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. The Dublin native will join fellow CSA product Benny Swanson playing under Richie Williams for the Stars & Stripes.
On the college stage, plenty of Crew Youth alumni were in action over the weekend, here are some of the highlights:
Akron Zips (7-1-2) This Week: 5-0 W vs. Florida Atlantic
Chad Barson, Wil Trapp, and Eric Stevenson all started in the Zips' weekend win over Florida Atlantic. Stevenson scored two goals and added an assist in the victory to earn TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week honors.
Louisville Cardinals (8-4-0) This Week: 3-0 W vs. DePaul, 2-1 W at Syracuse
The Cardinals earned a pair of Big East wins last week to move to 8-4-0 on the season. Alex Obbey came on as a sub in both matches for Ken Lolla's side. Louisville will host Indiana on Wednesday night
Xavier Musketeers (8-0-2) This Week: 3-2 W vs. Saint Louis, 2-1 W vs. Butler
Xavier opened Atlantic 10 play with a 3-2 victory over Saint Louis at home. Will Walker tallied twice, while his brother Matt chipped in an assist in the win. Matt Walker added another assist in Sunday's win against Butler. Will Walker's brace earned him a spot in College Soccer News' National Team of the Week.
Boston College Golden Eagles (6-3-2) This Week: 1-0 W at Wake Forest
Senior Justin Luthy made eight saves to hold No. 15 Wake Forest scoreless as the Golden Eagles improved to 6-3-2 in 2012. The Crew Youth product has posted two clean sheets on the season.
Photo credit: BCEagles.com
Conference play resumed around NCAA Division I soccer this week. Here are some highlights from Crew Youth alumni playing around the country:
Akron Zips (6-1-2) This Week: 4-0 W vs. Buffalo
The Zips moved to 2-0-0 in MAC play by beating Buffalo 4-0 on Saturday at Cub Cadet Field. Crew Youth product Eric Stevenson assisted on Akron's third goal in the romp.
Louisville Cardinals (5-4-0) This Week: 2-1 L at Rutgers
After upsetting Notre Dame last week, the Cardinals dropped a 2-1 result on the road to Rutgers. Alex Obbey nearly had the equalizer in the 78th minute, but his attempt was blocked by a Scarlet Knights defender.
Xavier Musketeers (6-0-2) This Week: 5-0 W vs. Thomas More
Xavier wrapped up non-conference play with a 5-0 victory over Thomas More. Matt Walker had a goal and two assists in the win. Next up, the Musketeers put its unbeaten record on the line at home against Saint Louis on Friday.
Ohio State Buckeyes (4-6-1) This Week: 4-1 W vs. Butler, 3-2 L at Michigan
The Buckeyes scored a season-high four goals on Wednesday against Butler. Sage Gardner had the fourth tally of the evening, converting from the penalty spot for his first goal of the season. OSU dropped a heartbreaker in Ann Arbor on Sunday, losing 3-2 in overtime.
UCLA Bruins- (7-1-2) This Week: 3-1 W at Stanford, 3-1 W at California
Matt Wiet captained the No. 6 ranked Bruins to a pair of 3-1 PAC12 victories in Northern California this weekend. UCLA will host Oregon State and Washington in the upcoming weekend.
Also in action, the Crew Jrs. U-16 and U-18 squads swept the weekend with both sides beating Shattuck-Saint Mary's and the Minnesota Thunder.
Photo Credit: GoXavier.com
Many Crew Youth products began conference play at their respective universiities this week. Here are some highlights from across the country:
Akron Zips- (5-1-2) This Week: 2-0 vs. Bowling Green
The Zips kicked off MAC play with a 2-0 win against in-state rival Bowling Green. Captain Chad Barson, Wil Trapp, Andrew Souders, Eric Stevenson, and Thomas Schmitt all contributed to the shutout.
Louisville Cardinals (5-3-0) This Week: 4-0 W vs. Ohio State, 2-1 W vs. Notre Dame
The University of Louisville responded after a loss to rival Kentucky with a 4-0 dismantling of Ohio State before knocking off No. 4 Notre Dame to open Big East play. Alex Obbey started and registered a shot in each of the victories.
Xavier Musketeers- (5-0-2) This week: 2-0 W at IPFW, 1-0 W vs. Missouri St.
The Musketeers earned back-to-back victories this week with wins over IPFW and Missouri State. Crew Soccer Academy product Will Walker registered an assist in the win against IPFW, while his brother Matt's blast in the 81st minute broke the 0-0 stalemate to lead Xavier to victory over Missouri State.
UCLA Bruins- (5-1-2) This Week: 1-1 D at UCSB, 1-0 W at Cal Poly
Captain Matt Wiet led the Bruins to a 1-1 stalemate with UC Santa Barbara in a nationally televised affair on Friday night before beating Cal Poly on Sunday. Wiet played in every minute of both matches.
Photo Credit: UofLsports.com
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.