The 2016-17 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season is finally here and what better way to kick off the Quakes U-16 and U-18 campaigns than against South Bay rival De Anza Force.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, both San Jose teams will square off against De Anza at Las Positas College. The U-18s will kick off the double-header at 10 a.m. followed by the U-16s at 12:30 p.m.
It’s safe to say the Quakes academy had their way against neighboring De Anza during the 2015-16 season.
The U-16s, who finished in second place in the Northwest Division, boasted an undefeated record against De Anza, defeating their rivals 1-0 on Oct. 17, drawing 1-1 on March 5 and 2-2 on April 6.
The U-18s, who capped the 2015-16 campaign in fourth place in the Northwest Division, finished with a 2-0-0 record against Force, winning 2-0 on March 5 and 1-0 on April 16.
The U-18s welcome back 2015-16 Western Conference Player of the Year Andrew Paoli and 2015-16 USDA Best XI players Christopher Grey and Arda Bulut back into the fold for their final year with the Academy.
According to ussoccerda.com statistics, Paoli played in 29 games, making 28 starts and tallying four goals, while providing a consistent presence as a defensive midfielder. Bulut, a Stanford commit, scored the fourth most goals in the nation with 26, while Grey led a backline that allowed the fourth fewest goals in the Western Conference (39) and earned a call-up to the Jamaica U-20s this past May.