ACADEMY TEAMS VYING FOR TITLE: The 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week has reached its pinnacle with four teams in two age groups vying for a championship on Saturday, July 20, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
The U-15/16 final features Real Salt Lake AZ and Solar Chelsea SC. For Solar Chelsea, it marks the club’s first appearance at a Finals Week title match after its older group took fourth place in last season’s event. Real Salt Lake AZ also is making its first appearance in the title game. The U-15/16 squad took third place at the 2010-11 Finals Week.
The U-15/16 championship game kicks off at 6 p.m. CT
ABOUT THE TEAMS:
SOLAR CHELSEA SC (U-15/16)
- Numerical roster: 1-Chase Therrien, 2-Dorian Hernandez, 4-Brock Dudley, 5-Trevor Baum, 6-Santiago Luna, 7-Bryson Asher, 8-Blake Stricker, 9-Nathanael Rennhack, 10-Caleb Smith, 11-Toryima Asom, 12-Isaac Linnabary, 16-Casey Collins, 17-Jordan Shankle, 18-Alan Winn, 23-Zachary Stavrou, 24-Alfonso Ochoa, 28-Daniel Carmona, 34-Ryan Applewhite
- How they got to Finals Week Championship: Solar Chelsea SC is appearing in the Development Academy finals for the first time. They started off the week with a 2-1 win against Crew Soccer Academy Wolves. They played to a 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids and clinched their spot in the finals with a 3-0 victory against De Anza Force.
- 2012-13 Regular Season: Solar Chelsea SC finished the regular season with a 24-6-3 record, good for second place in the difficult Frontier Division. Solar Chelsea topped three teams that made it to 2013 Finals Week event: the Houston Dynamo, Texans SC Houston and Colorado.
- About Head Coaches Adrian Solca and Kevin Smith: Solca began coaching while still in college as the coordinator and head coach of a youth soccer program in Bucharest, Romania, before coaching in north Texas since 1999. Solca was a member of Roman’s youth national team from 1990-92. … For the past 10 years, Smith has served in various coaching roles within the club and currently serves as Director of Coaching for Solar Chelsea SC. A native of England, Smith began his career at the age of 17 with Charlton Athletic and became the youngest player to score a goal for Charlton. After a four-year career with the English side in which he made more than 100 apperances and scored 14 goals from 1979-84, Smith moved to Texas in 1984 to play for the Dallas Sidekicks of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Smith played for the Sidekicks in two stints from 1984-1992 (MISL) and 1995-98 (Continental Indoor Soccer League, Premier Soccer League).
- Scoring Leaders During 2013 Finals Week: Brock Dudley (3), Nathanial Rennhack (1) and Toryima Asom (1)
- Scoring Leader During 2012-13 Regular Season: Bryson Asher (14)
REAL SALT LAKE AZ (U-15/16)
- Numerical roster: 87-Damian German, 18-Chase Bishov, 21-Jose Hernandez, 26-Jason Eng, 29-Brooks Lennon, 30-Luis Lopez, 32-Alxander Knox, 33-Adolfo Ovalle, 50-Sebastian Saucedo, 47-Evan Waldrap, 48-Adam Ferguson, 49-Justen Glad, 58-Dillon Nino, 59-Moises Rodriguez, 63-Josh Doughty, 77-Diego Silva, 85-Jack Gayton, 88-Luis Barraza
- How they got to Finals Week Championship : The U-15/16 age group for Real Salt Lake AZ began the run to its first Development Academy Finals Week championship match with a 3-1 win against Albertson SC. After falling to hometown Houston Dynamo 1-0, RSL bounced back with a dramatic 1-0 win against another Texas team in Texans SC Houston.
- 2012-13 Regular Season: Real Salt Lake AZ finished the regular season with a 21-7-6 record, good for second place in the Southwest Division, just two points behind the division champions.
- About Head Coach Freddy Juarez: In his years as coach and Residential Advisor for Grande Sports Academy, his efforts were huge in getting the team off the ground. Before taking the position at Real Salt Lake AZ, Juarez was on staff at New Mexico Striker FC from 1998-2010 as Coaching Director. Nine of his teams have won New Mexico State Championships. He has developed seven players for the US Youth National teams, one of which is Edgar Castillo.
- Scoring Leaders During Finals Week: Jose Hernandez (1), Sebastian Saucedo (1), Diego Silva (1) and Damian German (1)
- Scoring Leader During 2012-13 Regular Season: Sebastian Saucedo (18)