To Break, or Not to Break
It sure looks like the Earthquakes academy players made good use of their extended winter break.
The under-18 team returned with a 3-0 victory over the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy at Cabrillo College on Jan. 19, and it leads the Northwest Division with an 8-3-0 record while averaging nearly three goals a game.
Being a teenager is often complicated, but the young Quakes’ leaders appear to have a laser-like focus on being quality players and people. Knowing that his guys are not professionals, Quakes Academy technical director Chris Leitch let his players get refreshed and re-energized during the holidays.
The game against Santa Cruz was the Quakes’ first action since Dec. 3 against the Dallas Texans.
“The boys got some much needed time off in December; we moved some games around to maximize the time off,” Leitch said. “We wanted them to be able to focus on finals, spend some quality time with their families, and rest their bodies and minds.”
He added that the coaches “prescribed a fitness regimen for the players to follow during the break.”
Academy midfielder Emilio Huerta said he did a lot of endurance training and rhythm shooting to stay sharp.
“The coaching staff gave us some instruction on their vision for what we would be doing on our down time, but it was mostly going to be on us,” Huerta said. “They wanted us to enjoy the time off but also come back focused and ready to play.”
Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski added, “I did a lot of cardio, like running and bike-riding, as well as some weightlifting, to stay on top of my fitness.”
The Quakes’ U-16 team (4-4-3), which finished the first half with a 4-2 win over the Dallas Texans, fell 1-0 against the Breakers.
After a back-and-forth start to the under-18 match against Santa Cruz, San Jose jumped ahead on the first of two Jose Navarro tallies. Cristian Cruz added a goal in the 52nd minute. Navarro capped the scoring just four minutes later. Austin Black worked the shutout, and the Quakes continued to dominate inside the division.
The U-16s were locked in a scoreless battle until the 33rd minute, when Santa Cruz forward Daniel Durian scored the winner. Santa Cruz thus avenged an early-season 1-0 loss. Both San Jose academy teams will head to Southern California for two matches, against Arsenal FC at Riverside Community College on Saturday and Real SoCal on Sunday at Oak Park High School..
McIntosh Named to U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Camp
Former Quakes Academy player and current Santa Clara goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh has been named to the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team camp by head coach Tab Ramos. McIntosh is one of 10 collegiate players and one of two goalkeepers named to the roster. The Santa Rosa native previously played with U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team during their October and December camps while preserving a shutout against Scotland in the 2012 Marbella Cup, held in Spain.
The U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team trained from Jan. 14-22 in Puebla, Mexico. The camp included two scrimmages against Panama and served as preparation for 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, held Feb. 18-March 3 in Puebla, Mexico -- a qualifying round for the CONCACAF region and will decide the regional berths to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The U.S. will face Costa Rica and Haiti in Group A of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Heredia Named to U-17 Residency Roster
Quakes Academy player Angel Heredia has been invited back to the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, FL, as head coach Richie Williams named a squad of 31 players in preparation for the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Heredia, a mainstay on the U-16 Academy team, has previously played with the U-17 Men's National Team. The midfielder played with the squad during a 2011 European tour that saw them face the likes of Spain, Holland, Peru, and Russia. The San Jose native would go on to notch a goal against Spain.
The players in Bradenton represent 17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs. The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academies in Bradenton and train in the morning under the guidance of Williams and his coaching staff. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. The U.S. U-17 MNT will compete in the 2013 CONCACAF Championship from April 6-19 in Panama. The U.S. will be joined in Panama by the hosts, as well as by Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago.