Winter Showcase Day 3: Featured Game Notes

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2016) - The 2016 U.S. Soccer Federation Development Academy Winter Showcase opens its third day firing on all cylinders at Premier Sports Campus Saturday. The first featured game of the day will include Weston FC (FL) vs. Vardar (MI), who will face off at noon ET, followed immediately by Real Salt Lake AZ vs. Atlanta United FC at 2:15 p.m. ET. Both U-15/16 games can be seen live on U.S. Soccer's YouTube channel, the Development Academy Facebook page and ussoccer.com.

After two exciting U-17/18 featured games on Thursday, the U-15/16 age groups are ready to take the main stage on Saturday and Monday. The four teams are just a sample of the 74 academies represented at the Winter Showcase, competing in 219 games over the course of five days. The structure of the Development Academy is regionalized during regular season play, but the Winter Showcase provides a unique opportunity for teams to play against clubs they don't usually get to see, from all across the country.

Take a closer look at Saturday's matchups:

Saturday, December 3

Weston FC (Fla.) vs. Vardar (Mich.)
Time/Location:
noon ET; Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Broadcast: U.S. Soccer's YouTube channel, Development Academy Facebook page and ussoccer.com

Weston FC U-15/16 2016 season record (8-1-3):
Sept. 10: Weston FC 3, IMG Academy 1
Sept. 17: Weston FC 1, Kendall SC 0
Sept. 24: Weston FC 2, Carolina Rapids 0
Sept. 25: Weston FC 1, Charlotte Soccer Academy 1
Oct. 1: Weston FC 1, Orlando City SC 2
Oct. 15: Weston FC 1, Chargers Soccer Club 0
Oct. 22: Weston FC 1, North Carolina Fusion 0
Oct. 23: Weston FC 2, Capital Area Railhawks - CASL 1
Nov. 5: Weston FC 1, Boca United Football Club 0
Nov. 12: Weston FC 1, Atlanta United 1
Nov. 13: Weston FC 2, Concorde Fire 0
Nov. 19: Weston FC 1, Orlando City 1

Weston FC Notes:

  • Key players: Nicolas Defreitas-Hansen, Jose Rivas and Pablo Vargas

  • Top goal scorer: Bautista Hambra (4)

  • Style of play: Playing simple, high tempo and objective soccer. Working together organized and at a high intensity defensively and allowing the players to express themselves in the attacking third.

  • Future goals: To continue to play and train with the objective of improving. Results, rankings, playoffs, and individual accomplishments are simply a consequence of the main objective.

  • Academy player quality and character development goals: Character (responsibility, confidence, common sense), technical quality (overall and position specific), soccer IQ and the best physical form given their stage of maturation and genetic attributes.

Vardar U-15/16 2016 season record (7-3-1):
Sept. 10: Vardar 4, Chicago Fire 0
Sept. 17: Vardar 1, Indiana Fire 0
Sept. 25: Vardar 4, Crew SC Academy 2
Oct. 1: Vardar 3, Minnesota Thunder Academy 1
Oct. 2: Vardar 3, Shattuck-Saint Mary's 0
Oct. 15: Vardar 1, Sockers FC 3
Oct. 16: Vardar 5, FC United Soccer Club 4
Oct. 29: Vardar 1, Internationals 2
Nov. 5: Vardar 1, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri 2
Nov. 6: Vardar 1, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro 0
Nov. 12: Vardar 0, Crew SC Academy Wolves 0

Vardar Notes:

  • Key players: Michael Teller, Bobby Harris, Esosa Emovon, Gianni Ferri and Vincent Jackson

  • Top goal scorer: Gianni Ferri (6)

  • Style of play: Intelligent in both phases of possession and disciplined in both defensive phases.

  • Future goals: To continue providing an educational approach to training and put as many players as possible in a position to play professionally.

  • Academy player quality and characteristic development goals: Players with character and class, who value the ball and emphasize technique. Players who are willing to compete - fairly, but with intensity - and players who analyze the game and understand the demands of their role. All-in-all, players who can make a difference.

Real Salt Lake AZ vs. Atlanta United FC

Time/Location: 2:15 p.m. ET; Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Broadcast: U.S. Soccer's YouTube channel, Development Academy Facebook page and ussoccer.com

Real Salt Lake AZ U-15/16 2016 season record (8-2-1):
Sept. 3: Real Salt Lake AZ 3, Portland Timbers 1
Sept. 5: Real Salt Lake AZ 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Sept. 10: Real Salt Lake AZ 6, Santa Cruz Breakers Academy 0
Sept. 17: Real Salt Lake AZ 2, San Diego Surf 1
Sept. 24: Real Salt Lake AZ 1, Sacramento Republic 0
Oct. 2: Real Salt Lake AZ 4, Nomads SC 1
Oct. 15: Real Salt Lake AZ 1, Pateadores 3
Oct. 23: Real Salt Lake AZ 6, Strikers FC 1
Oct. 29: Real Salt Lake AZ 2, San Diego Surf 1
Nov. 6: Real Salt Lake AZ 1, LA Galaxy 2
Nov. 20: Real Salt Lake AZ 1, Real So Cal 1

Real Salt Lake AZ Notes:

  • Key players: Luis Arriaga, Eduardo Blancas, Jordan Peña, Delentz Pierre, David Ochoa and Steve Jasso

  • Top goal scorer: Eduardo Blancas (6)

  • Style of play: Attack-minded based on possession with short combination passing.

  • Academy player quality and characteristic development goals: Smart, technical, savvy players that have personality on the field.

Atlanta United FC U-15/16 2016 season record (9-0-2):
Sept. 10: Atlanta United FC 3, Carolina Rapids 1
Sept. 11: Atlanta United FC 2, Charlotte Soccer Academy 1
Sept. 24: Atlanta United FC 3, Chargers Soccer Club 0
Sept. 25: Atlanta United FC 7, IMG Academy 1
Oct. 1: Atlanta United FC 5, North Carolina Fusion 1
Oct. 2: Atlanta United FC 3, Capital Area Railhawks - CASL 1
Oct. 15: Atlanta United FC 4, Concorde Fire 0
Oct. 22: Atlanta United FC 3, Boca United Football Club 1
Oct. 23: Atlanta United FC 1, Orlando City SC 1
Nov. 12: Atlanta United FC 1, Weston FC 1
Nov. 13: Atlanta United FC 1, Kendall SC 0

Atlanta United FC Notes:

  • Key Players: James Brighton, Kendall Edwards, Alejandro Castro, Saul Tinoco, George Bello

  • Top Goal Scorer: James Brighton (13)

  • Future goals: To produce individual professionals for the future.

  • Academy player quality and characteristic development goals: Competitive players who can adapt to different competitive environments and opponents.