Advanced Training Team Routs D.C. United Squad
With parents, players, and coaches lining the sidelines, DC Stoddert Soccer’s combined U13/14
Advanced Training Program (ATP) roster soundly defeated the D.C. United U14Pre-Development Academy 4-1 in a fast-paced, tightly controlled game at Jelleff Field on
May 12. The match, one of several that the ATP players will play against pre-academy
lineups this spring, was organized and coached by Sona Walla, Stoddert Travel’s Boys
Technical Director and director of ATP.
Photo: Sona Walla with former DC Stoddert player Andrew Ferman, now a D.C. United Academy player.
Prior to kickoff, Tom Torres, D.C. United’s Pre-Academy Program Coordinator
and U15 Academy Head Coach, met
with DC Stoddert parents to discuss the pre-academy program, now in its first year.
Since its inception five years ago, D.C. United’s Youth Academy for U16 and older
players has developed top talent, including, most recently, Honduran boy-wonder Andy
Najar, Major League Soccer’s Rookie of the year for the 2010 season. More recently,
newly retired Black-and-Red forward Jaime Moreno signed on as D.C. United’s Youth
Academy Technical Training Coach this past winter.
Photo: Former coach and D.C. United Pre-Academy Program Coordinator Tom Torres at May 15 match.
Torres, a former travel coach, explained that the Academy created a younger
developmental program because it wanted to reach out to players at an age where they
were still open to learning new things. "You can’t teach an old dog new tricks," he
noted with a smile. Torres explained that while the vast majority of Academy players
will not go pro, the D.C. United Academy, in addition to providing high-level
training and playing experience, has a stellar track recording of sending players to
the U.S. national team and also to D-1 colleges, many on scholarship. Torres noted
that the pre-development program mirrors that of the U16-18 Academy players as far
as practices and games.
DC Stoddert, a D.C. Academy affiliate club, has seen several DC Stoddert-trained players
make the Academy. Tryouts for the D.C. United pre-development and Academy programs
run from mid-May through July 20. For details, click HERE.
"It was a fun soccer night and a superb learning experience for our players," Coach
Sona wrote parents and players in a post-match email. "I was particularly pleased
that in addition to remaining true to our philosophy of solving problems with
technique, intelligence and group movement, they demonstrated great team mental
strength throughout the match." Launched in 2008, Stoddert’s ATP program is for
travel players ages 11 and up interested in taking their soccer to a higher level
with intensive training that complements their travel-team experience. For more
information, contact Sona Walla.
By Barbara Benham
posted 6/2/2011 by MCL