Academy News Roundup: February 16, 2016

It’s an exciting time for the Crew SC Academy. Following National Signing Day, where 10 Academy players and five Player Development standouts announced their college commitments, the Academy continues to make news. The program welcomed a new local talent, showed off its Futsal skills, and advanced in the Generation adidas Cup.

Local Talent

Luke Sensky has joined the Academy’s Under-13/14 team from the Classics Eagles, a successful club in the Capital City that is breaking new ground with the Black & Gold. The collaboration between the two programs has allowed the Academy to promote a top talent from Columbus into its system during the season for the first time ever.

Crew SC Academy Director Michael Milazzo acknowledges the growing relationships with the Greater Columbus soccer community and the ensuing opportunities these connections provide.

“We are extremely excited about the addition of Luke Sensky to our current U-13/U14 Academy team,” says Milazzo. “The evaluation of Luke’s ability by our technical coaching staff would not have been possible without the cooperation and professionalism of the Classics Eagles directors Mike Lentz, Glen Tourville and Jason Griffiths.”

Crew SC Director of Methodology Nico Estevez says the Academy is looking forward to integrating the young midfielder into the system.

“Luke is an intelligent player that has good technical skills that allow him to trust in attacking situations,” says Estevez. “All the staff enjoyed seeing him in the trial period and we think he is going to be a good addition to the Academy. We look forward to working with him.”

Futsal Fanatics

The U13/U14 Crew SC Academy team has been busy on the Futsal court this winter. The squad traveled to Fishers, Indiana for the U.S. Soccer Mid-America Futsal Showcase at the end of January. The competition compliments the team’s winter training program by providing a platform for its players to develop on an individual level through quick transitional play, better decision making and an attacking style of play.

Sandwiching the competition in Indiana, the Crew SC Academy hosted an Under-12/13 Futsal Festival for local clubs Ohio Premier, Classics Eagles, Columbus East FC and Crew SC Player Development. The event was held to kick off the Academy’s talent identification program in the Greater Columbus area, in preparation for the launch of the Academy’s U-12 and U-13 teams this upcoming season.

Generation adidas Cup

The Academy saw success in the South as the U-15/16 team went 2-0-1, with victories over the Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire, in Houston, Texas, this past weekend to advance to the Champions Division of the Generation adidas Cup.

The Black & Gold sealed their spot with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire Academy at the Central Regional event held at Houston Sports Park from February 11 to 15. Eric Conerty and Farai Mutatu contributed the first-half goals for the victory, while Alec Srodawa registered his second shutout of the event.

The meeting was the second between the two teams over the course of the weekend. The first encounter ended in a 1-1 draw after 80 minutes, as Abdi Faqi gave the Black & Gold the 1-0 lead early in the second half. Chicago equalized midway through the second half forcing a penalty kick shootout to decide the outcome for additional points in the competition format. The Academy fell 4-3 in the penalty shootout but gained a point in the table to qualify for the 2nd/3rd placement game.

Crew SC had an impressive performance in its first match of the weekend as well, defeating the Houston Dynamo Academy 3-0. Jensen Lukacsko scored the game-winner in the first half to give Columbus the lead, and Eric Conerty finished off the scoring with a brace.

The Crew SC Academy now prepares for the Champions Division of the Generation adidas Cup, which is scheduled to be held from March 18 to 26 in Frisco, Texas.

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