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U-16 and U-18 teams split in Virginia, Maryland

IMG Academy soccer program's Fernando Mares
IMG Academy soccer program's Fernando Mares

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy League is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an every day environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The IMG Academy soccer program U-18 boys' team finished 3rd in the nation in 2009.

U-18 boys

IMG 0, Virginia Rush 2

When you allow Rush to score first, it is very hard to find your way back into the game as they tend to put their whole team behind the ball in order to preserve the lead. Poor field conditions and dimensions made it difficult for IMG, but we still managed to play our brand of football. We carried the attacking play, created all of the chances from the run of play and had a sizable advantage in possession. Newcomer Fillipo Bardin was a calming influence at the back. Players like Trevor Lamb, Chris Kurutz, Matt Glodack and John Eckford turned in the best games since coming to IMG and the usual suspects -- Martin Ontiveros, Reinaldo Brennes, Jorge Risquez, and Fernando Mares -- provided the necessary leadership to carry on the tradition of IMG.

IMG 3, McLean Youth Soccer 0

Brenes' goal to open the scoring on match day 2 was one of the most impressive that I have seen in youth soccer. It had the sound of cannon going off, the speed of a missile and the accuracy of a laser beam. I rarely celebrate goals but this one brought me to my feet.

The intensity, effort and unity of the squad was excellent. The contribution of the new players introduced to the starting lineup was outstanding. Raymond Sturrup played well defensively, steadied his passing game and got on the score sheet for an impressive debut. Fernando Mares rounded out the scoring after converting his own rebound from a penalty kick. Alfredo Malaret was solid in goal and provided the necessary presence making all the easy stuff look solid.

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Overall I was extremely pleased with the way the boys traveled, behaved and played.

U-16 boys

IMG 1, Virginia Rush 0

The U-16s got off to a flying start against Virginia Rush with a 1-0 victory from a Steve McNeil goal. McNeil's goal came after Joey Hutchinson intercepted a pass high in midfield and threaded a beautiful pass, putting the striker into a shooting position.

The entire team gave an effort and intensity that instantly put the opponent on their heels. Veteran leadership from the back was provided by goalkeeper Chris Glodack and centerback Frank Glover. The midfield was marshaled by the capable and reliable captain, Cameron Baskett. Carter Dorton and Gustavo Rivera provided a good balance between attack and defense from wide positions and new comers Xavier Guertte and Fillipo Leta held the middle down effectively. Mike Allizzo will become a physical force up front and serve as the perfect foil for McNeil, who was unlucky not to have scored a second goal after a well-placed shot caromed first of a clump of grass and then the upright. Subs Gabriel Nunez, Roberto Bornhausen and Alejandro Martinez all found the game quickly and had a positive impact.

IMG 1, McLean 2

The introduction of Mike Allizzo in the 30th minute provided a steady string of chances for IMG. Down 2-0 early in the second half against the run of play, the young team stood fast.

Mac Yumoyo and Cam Baskett were patrolling the midfield and the opponent rarely crossed the halfway line in the second half. Dean Abdehou and Gustavo Rivera caused fits for the opponents on the right flank, and sustained pressure led to an Allizzo goal to make it 2-1. Throwing everything at the opponents goal, IMG created several good chances. Caleb Williams saw his shot beat the 'keeper, only to hit the crossbar. Allizzo was unlucky on several occasions and unfortunately the game ended before we got a chance to equalize.

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