Both Academy teams had succesful starts to their respective Academy Seasons. The U18s post a 3-1 record after 4 matches and the U16s sit on a 2-1-1 record with a series of impressive defensive performances. Both teams lost their season opening games on September in Virginia Beach to Virginia Rush. After that it was nothing but wins and great defensive play for both programs
Under 18 Academy - September wrap up:
9/10 at Virginia Rush, 1-2 L:
After losing to the Rush Academy 1-2 on Saturday, the rebounded and beat the Richmond Kickers 4-1 at Ukrop Park in Richmond on 9/11, and then followed up with two quality wins at home versus the Richmond Strikers Academy 3-2, and the McLean Soccer Academy from Northern Virginia, 1-0.
9/11 at Richmond Kickers, 4-1 W:
Against the Kickers, the team jumped out with a quick 2-0 lead courtesy of Reece Holcombe (Birmingham) and Trey Camp (Carrolton Ga.) goals. A strong second half effort secured the win after an Evan Echols (Rome, Ga.) header after a Tim Harbison (Auburn, AL) corner. A special skill display by Louis Engelbrecht (Lindwedel, Germany) made it 4-1. A strong team performance overall. Man of the Match was Evaof a Tim Harbison (Auburn, AL) n Echols.
9/17 vs Richmond Strikers, 3-2 W:
In the Richmond Strikers 3-2 win, all 5 goals were scored in the first half due to some heavy attaking on both sides. United jumped out to a 2-0 lead by a "double-pack" from Reece Holcombe (Birmingham) only to see the Strikers equalize in a 10 minute time span due to some Birmngham lackluster marking. Louis Engelbrecht (Lindwedel, Germany) scored the game winner with a powerful header of another Tim Harbison (Auburn, AL) precision corner kick. Man of the Match: Reece Holcombe.
9/18 vs McLean Soccer Academy, 1-0 W:
The most complete team performance came vs McLean Soccer Academy in a 1-0 shoutout win. A strong second defensive half effort and another superb Reece Holcombe (Birmingham) finish in the 85th minute of play set up by a clever Chris Haberstroh (Birmingham) through pass secured the W for United. Central defender Arne Kuebek (Celle, Germany) and strong goalkeeping by Josh Carpenter (Chelsea, AL) and Dylan Hobert (Carrolton, Ga.) helped the squad reach its first shuout of the season. Man of the Match: Chris Haberstroh.
Under 16 Academy - September scores:
9/10 at Virginia Rush, 0-1 L:
9/11 at Richmond Kickers, 1-0 W:
9/17 vs Richmond Strikers, 1-0 W:
9/18 vs McLean Soccer Academy, 0-0 T:
Birmingham United's Academy teams finished another successful regular season campaign in the US Soccer Development Academy League. Playing against the best U18 and U16 teams in the country, Birmingham teams held their won and had a strong record of success against the nation's elite teams.
The U18 team placed 3rd out of 8 teams in its Southeast division. The team beat each divisional team at least once except the eventual champions, Weston FC. However, both games against Kendall SC from Miami, FL, were won. Of the 14 divisional games (7 home, 7 away) the U18s won 7, tied 2, and lost 5 for a total of 23 points, good for third in the league.
The U16 team started and finished strong this year winning 2 of their last 4 divisional games. The team finished in 5th place out of 8 teams with a record of 5 wins, 9 losses and 0 ties. A season sweep of the Clearwater Chargers Academy and a 2-1 win over playoff bound South Carolina were some of the highlights in this tough Division.
Both team are looking forward to the Academy Summer Showcase in Dallas, TX, from June 24-28, 2011.
Academy League results:
Weston, FL, June 11, 2011
U18 Weston FC vs. U18 Birmingham United 3-1 L (half-time: 2-1)
Line up (4-4-2): Fisher - Davis (75. Kovacs), Echols, Diehl, Thomas - Harbison, Burris, Iverson, Kanneh (38. Fradenburg) - Harwell (72. Vargas)
Comments: A good game to watch from both sides. Weston took an early 2-0 lead on two United defensive errors. Chris Burris cut Weston's lead in halfwith a nice direct free-kick goal. For 40 minutes in 2nd stanza both teams went back and forth and finally with 5 minutes to go Weston decided the game with a 25 meter rocket shot in the upper ninty. Good performance by our sqaud against the best team in our conference.
U16 Weston FC vs U16 Birmingham United 2-0 L (half-time 1-0)
Line Up (4-2-3-1): Louis - Adler, Basilico, Blackmon, Reimann (S. Carroll) - Dempsey (65. Early), Irvin, Barry, P. Carroll (41. McCullusmith), Sproull - Schnuelle (Holcombe), Subs not used: Vedel.
Comments: Weston took the lead after just 15 minutes and never looked back. We had a great chance to equalize from close range with Miller Sproull's shots, but Weston's keeper made two significant saves to take the lead into half-time. An insurance goal mid way through the half secured Weston its 3rd position in the table and propel them into the playoffs as an at-large team. United's 16s team fought heroically, but could not get a goal in the 2nd half to make it a close affair.
Miami, Fl, June 12, 2011
U18 Kendall SC vs. U18 Birmingham United 2-3 W (half-time: 1-0)
Line up (4-4-2): Fisher - Davis, Echols, Diehl, Haberstroh (38. SO) - Harbison (55. Harwell-85. Kanneh), Thomas (72. Dresbach), Burris, Vargas - Fradenburg (72. Kovacs), Iverson.
Comments: By far the best game of the weekend and quite an entertaining affair. Kendall took the lead on a PK in the 35th minute after a United defender was called for a handball. One minute after being down 0-1, United lost a player to a red card for serious foul play. Down to 10 men and down a goal, the team responded in the second half. A long range shot of 25 yards by Robbie Thomas found the upper 90 and tied the game early in 55th minute. Kendall responded and broke through on our right side for an easy cross and tap in to reclaim the lead in the 65th. With 8 minutes to go. Another Burris freekick from the flank found a perfectly timed header by Nathan Diehl for what looked like a 2-2 draw. In the 88th minute, Alan Harwell dribbled into the box and was fouled. Cole Iverson's surely taken spot kick gave United the season sweep over Kendall in a classic come-from-behind-win while playing with 10 for all of the 2nd half.
U16 Kendall SC vs. U16 Birmingham United 4-1 L (half-time 2-0)
Line Up (4-2-3-1): Vedel - Adler, Basilico, Blackmon, S. Carroll - Dempsey (65. Early), Irvin, Barry (47. Sproull), McCullumsmith - Schnuelle, Holcombe (65. P.Carroll), Subs not used: Louis.
Comments: A well played game by our 16 team and a scoreline that did not reflect the game as two late goals in minute 72. and 78. broke the game wide open for Kendall. Kendall took the lead after mounting pressure on United's goal. Another defensive lapse let to a 2-0 half-time score fro the Miami club. Tyler Schnuelle scored to make it 1-2 after a great individual effort and a superb through ball from Reece Holcombe. Our team tried to mount a comeback when Kendall caught United's defense on a counter to make it 3-1 and eventually 4-1 late in the game.
Academy League results:
Bradenton, FL, May 28, 2011
U18 IMG Academy vs. U18 Birmingham United 2-1 L (half-time: 0-1)
Line up (4-2-3-1): Fisher - Davis (75.Castro), Echols, Diehl, Thomas - Harbison, Burris, Iverson (66.Dresbach), Kovacs (46.Sandlin), Haberstroh - Fradenburg (38.Vargas)
This was a difficult loss for the 18s. Leading 1-0 at the half after a beautiful Fradenburg cross from the left flank and a one-time volley finish from Burris at the top of the penalty box was not enough to hold a well playing and disciplined IMG team off. Two second half goals gave the year around academy the win on a hot day in Central Florida.
U16 IMG Academy vs U16 Birmingham United 7-0 L (half-time: 4-0)
Line-up (4-2-3-1): Vedel (40. Louis) - Reimann, Basilico, Blackmon, Mulvaney(63. Adler) - Sproull (65. P.Carroll), Irvin, Early (46.McCullumsmith), S. Carroll (46. Barry), Schnuelle (50. Tapley) - Dempsey (46. Holcombe)
The 16s found themsleves down a goal in the first minute of play. A very good IMG team continued to play well and created chance after chance that led to the big score line. A very difficult match for the team as the players never had a chance to find their rhythm during the match.
Clearwater, FL, May 29, 2011
U18 Clearwater Chargers vs. U18 Birmingham United 5-1 L (half-time: 2-0)
Line up (4-4-2): Fisher (46. Thompson) - Davis (80. Kovacs), Echols, Diehl, Sandlin - Harbison, Burris (56. Haberstroh) , Dresbach (56. Thomas), Vargas (72. Castro) - Iverson, Fradenburg
A winnable game turned into a big loss at the end. A slow start found the team looking at a 0-2 deficit after 20 minutes. A strong individual effort by Clearwater’s players were responsible for the score. Our team had chances in first half, but couldn’t capitalize on several scoring opportunities. After half-time a rejuvenated United team cut the lead to 1-2 on a nice Fradenburg effort on the right side that led to an Iverson goal from close range. It looked as if we would equalize , but two quality chances were left unused and soon thereafter Clearwater scored their third in the middle of the 2nd half. The team fought hard, but fatigue set in when faced with a rested Chargers team that kept the ball well and made us run more. Overall, a good effort of our players though the scoreline did not indicate it.
U16 Clearwater Chargers vs. U16 Birmingham United 1-2 W (half-time: 0-0)
Line-up (4-2-3-1): Louis - Reimann, Basilico, Blackmon, Adler - Irvin, Early (28. McCullumsmith), Barry (54. Sproull), Schnuelle (46. S. Carroll), Dempsey (56. P.Carroll) - Holcombe (51. Tapley)
A tremendous effort by the 16s especially in the 2nd half. All three goals were scored in the last 3 minutes of the match. United goes up 1-0 on a nice shot by Miller Sproull with 2 minutes to go in the match. Clearwater ties the game in the 80th minute. Everyone thinks the game ends in a draw except Sproull. On literally the last play of the game, Miller slides in a ball that rolls across the goal line after a United header kissed the post to make it 2-1 Birmingham. Fantastic team effort and displaying a ’Never stop until the whistle blows’ attitude by the squad pulled out a win. Well deserved 3 points.
There is no doubt who has been Alabama’s top male soccer player for the past two years. After taking the honors in 2010, Birmingham United’s U18 Academy Defender, Nathan Diehl, has earned his second Gatorade POY award for the state of Alabama.
The University of North Carolina bound senior has had a terrific final season at the Academy. He is a fierce competitor and has played well in almost every game this year. He played very consistently this season and put his Academy team in a position for a potential playoff spot in this years playoffs in June. Diehl and his squad need to do well in the remaining 5 conference games with a chance to qualify and even win the Division this year for the first time.
Diehl also led his High School team, Mountain Brook, to the state playoffs and was the team’s leading goal scorer this year. Everyone in Alabama and Birmingham wishes Nathan all the best for the rest of his Academy Season and when he suits up for the Tar Heels this fall.
Academy Results from May 21:
U16 Academy vs. U16 North Mecklenburg SC 2-1 W (Goals scored: Alan Harwell, 2)
Line up (4-2-3-1): Vedel (41. Louis) - Reimann, Basilico, Blackmon, Mulvaney - Vargas (70. Adler), Irvin, Dempsey (57. Early/70.Carpenter), Schnuelle (57. Barry), Holcombe (41. Sproull) - Harwell.
U18 Academy vs. U18 North Mecklenburg SC 0-1 L
Line up (4-2-3-1): Fisher - Thomas, Diehl, Echols, Davis - Burris, Castro (46. Dresbach), Harbison, Haberstroh (55. Kovacs), Maciel, - Iverson (80. Kanneh).
North Mecklenburg Match Reports:
A good effort by both squads on a warm afternoon at Davidson College’s training field.
The U16 team won in terrific fashion against a good North Meck team. Scoring two unanswered goals by Alan Harwell after trailing 0-1 early in the match, proved to be the difference in this game. A very solid team effort combined with some clinical finishing secured 3 points after a long draught signals that the future of the U16 team is bright.
The U18 team fell also behind 0-1 early in its game after a defensive error. Unlike the 16s, the older team had many chances to equalize and even possibly win the match, but lack of quality on the final third despite a Chris Burris header against the post, was the reason why the 18s came back empty handed form the match.
Again, these matches were the first games for either team since December 19. Both teams will be better off next weekend when they have trained a few more times together after the Alabama high school season just concluded its season on May 15.
Results from May 22:
U16 Academy vs. U16 Charlotte Soccer Academy 0-5 L
Line up (4-2-3-1): Louis (60. Vedel) - Reimann (60. Adler), Basilico, Blackmon, Mulvaney - Schnuelle, Dempsey (41. Barry), Irvin, Vargas (67. Early), Sproull - Harwell (67. Carpenter).
U18 Academy vs. U18 Charlotte Soccer Academy 1-4 L (Goal: Robert Thomas)
Line up (4-2-3-1): Wilson (71. Colbert-Sanders) - Dresbach, Diehl, Echols, Davis (58. Holcombe) - Burris (78. Castro), Maciel (46. Haberstroh), Kanneh (46. Kovacs), Harbison, Thomas - Iverson.
CSA Match reports:
Both Academy teams were playing fresh CSA teams who did not have a game on Saturday. The difference in these games was the second half when both Birmingham United squads felt the heat and it was clear that fatigue amde it difficult to keep up with two extremely talented and well coached CSA teams.
The 16s were tied 0-0 at the half and saw two great saves by goalkeeper Brad Louis that prevented the NC opponent from getting a lead. However, early in the second half Charlotte went ahead 1-0 and shortly after made it 2-0. The 16s tried their best and played tenaciously, but could never regain control of the game and the floodgates opened late in the game when fatigue settled in with every player.
The 18s were tied 1-1 at the half and had a good portion of the possession in the first 45 minutes, but the same factors kicked in during the 2nd half as with the 16s. lack of concentration and just not being able to keep up with a fresh set of players, made it hard for us the 18s to get at least one point out that match.
Overall, probably not the results anyone was looking for on Sunday, but both teams have to take it with the grain of salt. Charlotte SA and North Meck SC have been playing together for 6 months and our Academy teams just came together 10 days ago for a couple of training sessions. With that in mind it was a good weekend for both teams and one everyone can build on for next weekend when both squads return to divisional play which has an more of an impact on the league standings and potential playoffs spots.
Birmingham United continues to send players to established college soccer programs and other clubs at the next level. The following Academy players have committed to play this fall at the following institutions/clubs:
Nathan Diehl Defender Mountain Brook, Al Senior University of North Carolina
Dakota Dresbach Midfielder Leeds, AL Senior John Brown University
George Fradenburg Forward Belden, MS Senior Furman University
Cole Iverson Midf./Fwd. Decatur, AL Senior Univ. Alabama-Birmingham
Cyprin Kanneh Midfielder Birmingham, AL Senior Univ. Alabama-Huntsville
Rodrigo Maciel Midfielder Birmingham, Al Senior Trevecca Nazarene Univ.
Robert Thomas Def./Midf. Columbus, MS Senior B93 FC, Copenhagen, Denmark
Congratulations to the players and their families. We will continue to update this list as more players commit themselves to playing in college or at the next club level.
May 5th, 2011:
Academy teams began training again as the High School season is coming to a close in Alabama. A complete lists of training dates can be found at the main site on the left hand side.
Player trials are in full effect during the month of May. If you need any information regarding a Trial, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U18 and U16 Academy teams begin their preparation for the May and June portion of their Academy Season on Sunday, March 27. These weekly training sessions are for all players who do not play High School soccer in the spring. Weekend training sessions are accompanied by individual soccer fitness training during th week.
The first training session starts on March 27 at Heardmont Park.
On Tuesday, April 26, all Academy training sessions resume during the week (3 sessions: Tuesday, Thursday & 1 more training day).
Upcoming sessions in March and April:
March 27 at Heardmont Park, 1:30-3:30 pm
April 3 at Heardmont Park, 3:00-5:00 pm
April 10 at Heardmont Park, 3:00-5:00 pm
April 17 at Heardmont Park, 3:00-5:00 pm
April 24 No training
May 1 at Rathmell Sports complex, 1st official Training for Spring Season.
For question, send emails to email@example.com.
October 19, 2010 - week 5
U-17/18 Performer of the Week: Nathan Diehl
Club: Birmingham United
Birth Year: 1992
Diehl and the Birmingham United defense challenged the offense...