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Girls DA Jul 09, 2018

Girls Development Academy end-of-season awards, Best XIs announced

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Via U.S. Soccer) – As the inaugural season of Girls’ programming comes to a close at the 2018 Academy Championships, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy held its second awards banquet in two days, honoring the best of the best.

The Girls’ side of the program honored its end of the year award winners, including Players and Coaches of the Year as well as Conference Best XI’s at the Academy Awards Banquet.

The end-of-season awards event, which took place at the U.S. Soccer National Development Center (NDC), marks the beginning of the first Girls’ Academy Championships. The top four clubs from the U-15 and U-16/17 age groups gathered at the NDC to celebrate their award-winning teammates while getting an early scope of their semifinal competition.

+Photo Gallery: 2018 Girls Development Academy U-18/19 Final

Academy Award recipients for the 2017-18 season represent some of the top youth players in the United States, with most receiving frequent call ups to U.S. Youth National Team camps and tournaments throughout the season.

The 2018 awards were determined for the three Conferences of the Boys’ Development Academy: West, Central and East. A total of 29 awards per Conference, the honors included:

• Conference Best XI (U-15/16, U-17/18)
• Player of the Year (U-15/16, U-17/18)
• Coach of the Year (U-15, U-16/17, U-18/19)
• Community Award
• Administrator of the Year

The Coach of the Year award is presented to team leaders that best exemplify the U.S. Soccer key qualities of a coach. These include, but are not limited to: the ability to read, analyze and understand the game; create a game-like, reality based training environment; demonstrate a holistic approach; serve as a role model; show genuine interest in players; and actively listen and communicate openly.

The Community Award highlights a club that is the exemplary model and resource in its community and contributes to the development of all players and coaches in its area. These clubs are making a significant impact on the growth of the game in their respective communities.

+READ: LAFC Slammers win U-18/19 Girls Development Academy title

The Administrator of the Year is awarded to an individual that manages the daily operations of their clubs and assists staff with creating the ideal environment for players.


In the West Conference, player of the year honors went to San Jose Earthquakes’ Sophie Jones (U-16/17) and LAFC Slammers’ Kate Wiesner.

The West Conference Coach of the Year was presented to San Jose’s Andres Deza.

Steve Arneson of Legends FC was bestowed the West Conference’s Administrator of the Year, while the conference’s Community Award was given to LA Galaxy San Diego.

West Conference Best XI:

GOALKEEPER: Rachel Black (SC del Sol)
DEFENDERS: Kellie Pagador (Placer United Soccer Club), Andrea Kitahata (San Jose Earthquakes), Smith Hunter (Reign Academy), Sally Menti (Crossfire Premier)
MIDFIELDERS: Sophie Jones (San Jose Earthquakes), Zoe Burns (Crossfire Premier), Jaelyn Eisenhart (LAFC Slammers)
FORWARDS: Simone Jackson (LAFC Slammers), Abigail Borchers (San Jose Earthquakes), Mia Fontana (San Jose Earthquakes)

GOALKEEPER: Katie Meyer (Real So Cal)
DEFENDERS: Naomi Girma (California Thorns), Madelyn Desiano (So Cal Blues), Kate Wiesner (LAFC Slammers), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues)
MIDFIELDERS: Jenna Nighswonger (LAFC Slammers), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf)
FORWARDS: Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues), Brooke Wilson (San Diego Surf), Sophie Hurst (Crossfire Premier)


Players of the year in the Central Conference were FC Dallas’ Diana Ordonez (U-16/17) and Sophia Smith of Real Colorado (U-18/19).

The Central Conference Coach of the Year honors went to Midwest United FC’s Lewis Robinson.

Off the field, Leah Rennhack of Solar Soccer Club was presented Central’s Administrator of the Year, while the conference’s Community Award was given to Cincinnati DA.

Central Conference Best XI:

GOALKEEPER: Halle Mackiewicz (Real Colorado)
DEFENDERS: Sydney Jones (Cincinnati Development Academy), Bria Schrotenboer (Midwest United), Samar Guidry (FC Dallas), Lawson Willis (Colorado Rush)
MIDFIELDERS: Reyna Reyes (FC Dallas), Emily Matthews (Nationals), Abby Allen (Lonestar SC Academy)
FORWARDS: Jillian Martinez (Lonestar SC Academy), Kailyn Dudukovich (Cincinnati Development Academy), Diana Ordonez (FC Dallas)

GOALKEEPER: Maya Bellomo (Michigan Hawks)
DEFENDERS: Isabelle Verdugo (Michigan Hawks), Caitlin Haislip (Eclipse Select Soccer Club), Maycee Bell (SPORTING Blue Valley), Messiah Bright (Solar Soccer Club)
MIDFIELDERS: Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), Sam Meza (Solar Soccer Club), Alexis Missimo (Solar Soccer Club)
FORWARDS: Kiki Van Zanten (Eclipse Select Soccer Club), Trinity Byars (Solar Soccer Club), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado)


The Academy’s East Conference saw FC Fury ‘s Brianna Jablonowski (U-16/17) and Boston Breakers Academy’s Catherine Barry (U-18/19) take home player of the year honors.

Coach of the Year in the East Conference was awarded to Matt Cameron of Oakwood Soccer Club.

The East Conference Administrator of the year was awarded to FC Virginia’s Michael Berry, while the award for positive community impact went to Penn Fusion SA.

East Conference Best XI:

GOALKEEPER: Julia Dohle (New York City FC)
DEFENDERS: Talia Staude (NTH Tophat), Alexis Theoret (FC Virginia), Nicky Chico (Sky Blue – PDA), Alyssa Bourgeois (Boston Breakers Academy)
MIDFIELDERS: Ellie Wheeler (FC Virginia), Rowan Lapi (Penn Fusion), Brianna Jablonowski (FC Fury)
FORWARDS: Lumi Kostmayer (Oakwood Soccer Club), Enzi Broussard (IMG Academy), Olufolasade Adamolekun (United Soccer Alliance)

GOALKEEPER: Ruthie Jones (Charlotte Soccer Academy)
DEFENDERS: Ella Shamburger (NTH Tophat), Tori Hansen (NC Courage), Lucy Cappadona (Boston Breakers Academy), Rebecca Fluchel (Sky Blue – PDA)
MIDFIELDERS: Nicole Payne (Concorde Fire), Emily Gray (Penn Fusion Soccer Academy), Bethune Croix (Concorde Fire)
FORWARDS: Victoria Powell (FC Virginia), Catherine Barry (Boston Breakers Academy), Rachel Jones (NTH Tophat)

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