By Jimmy LaRoue
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy resumes play this weekend with a slate of more than 100 games as teams look to position themselves for the postseason.
The top 32 teams in each age group will advance to the playoffs, where they will then compete for one of eight spots in the Academy finals week at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Locally, the East Conference, Mid-Atlantic Division teams – D.C. United, Potomac and Baltimore Bays Chelsea – are in action this weekend, each with two games. South Conference teams are mostly off for high school season, except for North Carolina and Florida teams, who resume play this weekend.
For East Conference teams, it’s still more intradivision matchups before division matches become the focus in May and June, as most teams in the Mid-Atlantic, Liberty and Northeast divisions have yet to play a divisional match. Mid-Atlantic Division’s Baltimore Bays Chelsea faces Liberty Division’s PDA and New York Red Bulls over the weekend. The Under-17/18 Bays are 7-4-0, while PDA is 9-2-2 and the Red Bulls are 7-3-3.
PDA’s U-15/16s are 11-1-1, while the Red Bulls are 9-3-1 and Bays Chelsea are 7-2-2. PDA is led by 12-goal scorer Max Kroschwitz, who in his last bit of action had a four-goal weekend two weeks ago. Alex Muyl leads the Red Bulls with nine goals. Patrick Koscher has five goals for Bays Chelsea.
The Northeast Division’s Oakwood Soccer Club (3-4-4) travels to the Maryland SoccerPlex to take on Mid-Atlantic Division stragglers Potomac (1-5-4). Matthew Barry leads Oakwood with four goals, while Potomac’s Ronald Ventura has five goals early on in the team’s season.
FC Delco, at 6-2-4, hosts FC Greater Boston Saturday, and is led by Darius Madison with six goals and Brett Campbell with five.
D.C. United and Potomac will face the same two opponents this weekend in both U-15/16 and U-17/18 play.
DC United’s U-17/18s (4-5-3), coming off of a 2-0 loss to Baltimore Bays Chelsea two weeks ago, host South Central Premier Saturday, but will be without the services of Collin Martin, who is in U.S. U-20 National Team camp. Zachary Zurita leads South Central Premier with four goals. On Sunday, United will play Oakwood.
In U-15/16 play, Baltimore Bays Chelsea (7-2-2) last played May 25, defeating FC Greater Boston 1-0.
Potomac’s U-15/16s, like its older side, will be in action Saturday hosting Oakwood Soccer Club and Sunday South Central Premier.