It’s been an eventful month for the Academy as they prepped for the start of the 2022/2023 MLS Next season and played their first games of the new campaign. It also included six players from the Academy invited to USA Youth National Team camps.
The Academy’s season officially began this past weekend as all three Academy teams traveled to Nashville to face off against fellow MLS Academy, Nashville SC. It was an overall successful weekend to kick off year three of the Academy.
“Going on the road against an MLS opponent is never easy, so getting some really good results and solid performances in our first games of the season gives us a great starting point,” said Executive Academy Director Bryan Scales.
However, before their trip to Nashville, Charlotte FC defender Christian Fuchs made a surprise appearance at the U-15 and U-14 training sessions.
U-17: 3 – 0 Win
Goals (Assists): Lorenzo Marin (Brando Bedolla), Brando Bedolla (Nimfasha Berchimas), Anthony Pena (Alex Bhutia)
Buzzing with the adrenaline and excitement that comes with the first match of the season, the game started fast for both sides. There was a lot of energy between the two teams, but Charlotte’s passing allowed them to dictate significant stretches and get the win.
Notable Performances: Center back pairing James Nyanjdo (07) and Sam Sery (06) had to deal with a dangerous, athletic attacker on Nashville who they kept under wraps. They snuffed out several counterattacks and along with goalkeeper, Trey Faticoni, kept a clean sheet.
Following their big win, the U-17s watched the first team play against the Chicago Fire and celebrated the comeback victory.
U-15: 1 - 0 Win
Goals (Assists): Brady Shumacher 08 (Caleb Starkey)
It was a hard-fought match for the U-15s as they had to succumb to a lot of pressure from Nashville after they scored. In the end, the team held on to their lead earning the win and clean sheet.
Notable Performances: Midfielder Caleb Starkey served as the connector throughout the match. His energy was contagious, his passing eliminated defenders, and his overall awareness was top-notch. Center back Wyatt Harper also put in a solid shift, breaking up a lot of plays to protect the goal.
U-14: 0 – 2 Loss
Despite the final result, the U-14s exhibited some really good moments with and without the ball that align with the playing philosophy the Club wants to instill. They generated some high-quality scoring opportunities but some heroics from the Nashville goalkeeper kept the ball out of the net. It was a performance with a lot of positive foundations to build off of.
Notable Performances: Winger Ryland Greene was a handful for Nashville defenders to deal with. He was constantly running at opponents and creating threatening moments. Another player who was key in generating attacks was center back Tyler Beveridge who helped initiate attacks with his line-breaking passes and anticipating plays.
National Team Call-Ups
This past month saw six Charlotte FC Academy players ranging from every age group at the Club get called up to US Youth National Team camps. Four players received call-ups for the first time in addition to national team regulars like Brian Romero and Nimfasha Berchima.
Homegrown player, Romero, was selected to travel with the US U-17s to the Czech Republic to partake in the JEŽEK CUP 2022. He played his first minutes of the tournament yesterday when he came on in the 63rd minute in the 0 – 1 loss to Slovakia’s U-18 team. It will be a tough but rewarding tournament for the American U-17s and Romero as every opponent they play is an older age group.
For the US U-16s, both Nimfasha Berchimas and James Nyando participated in the 23-player training camp held in Chula Vista, California from August 18 to August 24. As for the CLTFC U-14s, Caleb Starkey, Ethan Curtis, and Jaydus Camacho all received first-time call-ups as they participated in the U-15 National Team camp on August 29th through September 6th.
This weekend, the Academy will have their rematch against Nashville SC but this time they will be the host. Afterwards, they play against Kalonji Soccer Academy followed by a trip to Florida to play against fellow MLS academies, Orlando City and Inter Miami.