SoccerWire.com readers cast more than 20,000 votes to select the Best 11 youth players during December 2016, recognizing top performances from the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase, US Youth Soccer National League, APC Winter Showcase, ECNL Florida Showcase, U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase and ECNL league play.
A total of 26 players were on the ballot, with East Meadow SC players Thalia Morisi and Mila Erceg leading the voting for their performances at the National Elite Women’s Soccer Showcase.
North United Rush U-15 Girls forward Megan Donnelly finished third, being recognized for her nine-goal outburst over the course of three matches at the US Youth Soccer National League’s Florida event, alongside the Disney Soccer Showcase. Donnelly led the Pennsylvania side to three straight wins in Red Division action, putting her team in first place for the time being.
Two Severna Park Lasers U-17 Girls midfielders – Emma Bocanegra (No. 4) and Olivia Burkowski (No. 6) – cracked the list, as their playmaking abilities helped lead the team to a division title at the APC Winter Showcase.
Maryland United FC ECNL U-16 midfielder Olivia Reese came in at No. 5 for her dynamic play at the ECNL Florida Showcase, where she scored four of her team’s five goals and assisted the other.
Another tandem – Abbey Duncan and Aleigh Gambone of McLean Youth Soccer ECNL U-17 – each made the list at No. 7 and No. 10. Duncan was nominated for her hat trick in ECNL Chesapeake Division action against Maryland United. In the same match, Gambone scored a goal and assisted two others. The duo has helped lead McLean to a division-best 11-2-0 start on the season.
U.S. Youth National Team and Bethesda-Olney forward Gabe Segal checks in at No. 8, after scoring all four of his team’s goals at the USSDA Winter Showcase. Bethesda’s U-15/16 side earned a pair of wins in three matches at the event.
FC Dallas ECNL U-14 Girls defender Ashlyn Mills finished ninth in voting for her two-way performance against Albion Hurricanes FC in ECNL Texas Conference action on December 4. Mills scored a goal and contributed to a clean sheet effort defensively in the 2-0 win.
Goalkeeper Georges Elkhoury of Seacoast United USSDA U-17/18 rounds out the list at No. 11, having recorded two clean sheets at the USSDA Winter Showcase. The class of 2018 goalkeeper played every minute at the event, allowing just one goal over the course of three games.
The full list of players in this month’s voting was composed of all players submitted by coaches, technical directors and SoccerWire.com staff on the site’s ‘Players That Impressed’ feature, where any player submitted by a team or club coach has their outstanding performance recognized.
Each player selected for the Best 11 list receives a free featured college recruiting profile on SoccerWire.com.
SoccerWire.com December 2016 Best-11 Players
- Thalia Morisi – Midfielder for East Meadow SC U-13 Girls
- Mila Erceg – Forward for East Meadow SC U-13 Girls
- Megan Donnelly – Forward for North United Rush U-15 Girls
- Emma Bocanegra – Midfielder for Severna Park Lasers U-17 Girls
- Olivia Reese – Midfielder for Maryland United FC ECNL U-16 Girls
- Olivia Burkowski – Midfielder for Severna Park Lasers U-17 Girls
- Abbey Duncan – Forward for McLean Youth Soccer ECNL U-17 Girls
- Gabe Segal – Forward for Bethesda SC USSDA U-15/16 Boys
- Ashlyn Mills – Defender for FC Dallas ECNL U-14 Girls
- Aleigh Gambone – Forward for McLean Youth Soccer ECNL U-17 Girls
- Georges Elkhoury – Goalkeeper for Seacoast United USSDA U-17/18 Boys