The US U-23 Men’s National team took on the San Antonio Scorpions on Friday evening in Frisco, Tx. It was the first-ever game for the new NASL Scorpions team. Although the San Antonio franchise was dominated most of the match by the young U.S. Olympic hopefuls, they were not able to score on the well organized back line of San Antonio in the first 45 minutes.
Eventually the skill and organization broke down the tired legs of the Scorpions who had only been in camp for 7 days. Brek Shea scored in the 53rd minute off a cross from the left side.
Just 9 minutes later Dilly Duka scored cutting in and out on the left side of the goal box until he forced a shot that slotted into goal near the left post.
In the 78th minute Jack McInerney found the back of the net for the U.S. His goal came after a cross from the right side that Scorpions goalkeeper Craig Hill mishandled, tipping the ball right to McInerney who headed in from close range.
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The US U-23 Men’s National Team begin their final phase of preparation toward CONCACAF Olympic qualifying starting March 22nd, with some friendly matches against local club sides.
The ten day training camp started with a match against FC Dallas Wednesday which ended in a 2-1 win with goals from Brek Shea and Ike Opara both assisted by Freddy Adu. The FC Dallas match provided a quality contest for the U-23s with a lineup consisting of mostly starters, minus Break Shea, for a club side looking to prepare for the upcoming MLS season.
Caleb Porter has looked to solidify a possession based system within the squad in the ongoing ten day training camp, which culminates with a friendly against fellow CONCACAF opponents Mexico.
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The San Antonio Scorpions FC announced today the team will be taking on the US U-23 Men’s National Team on February 24th at FC Dallas Stadium. This friendly will occur with short notice for the squad who have had limited time to train in preparation for their season scheduled to begin in April.
“When we play the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team, we’ll have had only a week of practice under our belts,” said Scorpions Head Coach Tim Hankinson, who will welcome Scorpions players and coaches for their first workout Saturday, Feb. 18. “I think this scrimmage will help jump-start our preparations for North American Soccer League (NASL) competition in April”.
Earlier a preseason match was announced against Club Dorados de Sinaloa from Culiacan in Northwest Mexico. The Scorpions will face the Mexican side on Wednesday, March 14th at Banner Island Baseball Park in Stockton, CA led by former Mexican International Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
Meanwhile, the US U-23 Men’s National Team begin preparations for Olympic qualifying and are looking to solidify their roster with a short schedule of ambitious friendlies. The match with the Scorpions will most likely be highly competitive and intensely scrutinized by U-23 head coach Caleb Porter and his coaching staff. It is probable that the best talent at the U-23 level for the US will be on display during this match as they finalize not only the roster spots for the side but tactical issues under the new possession based system implemented by Porter and his staff.
The match against the Scorpions will be one night before the US U-23 Men’s National takes on Mexico at FC Dallas Stadium on February 29th at 9:00 p.m. The contests with the Olympic hopefuls and Dorados will serve as tune-ups for the Scorpions’ inaugural season in the NASL. Their first NASL game will be against the Atlanta Silverbacks on April 7, while the team’s home opener is set for 6 p.m. CST Sunday, April 15, at Heroes Stadium against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
The US Soccer Development Academy announced plans to move to a 10-month season on Friday, starting with the 2012-2013 season.
In an effort to increase the amount of time youth players spend training and playing in competitive games, the US Development Academy has decided to adopt a more traditional schedule widely used by most European countries.
The main reason behind this move is to align the level of meaningful competitive matches and training scenarios for youth teams with the rest of the world. The long term effect of this strategy is to close the performance gap between US soccer players and the quality of talent elite footballing countries in the world are producing annually.
“This is the model that the best countries around the world use for their programs, and I think it makes perfect sense that we do as well,” said US Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
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