Two Minnesota U-14 players have just returned from a very successful trip south of the border.
Minnesota boys make Top Drawer Soccer’s list of Top Players to Watch.
Luke Haakenson to travel to West Ham in London to train with academy.
Mukwelle Akale and Max Stiegwardt where both selected to travel with the team of 36 U-14 players that were selected by U.S. Soccer’s Technical Advisors and the national scouting network. The trip took the boys to Guadalajara, Mexico to play games against Atlas, Chivas, Cordica Select, and Rio Grande Select.
Akale not only celebrated a birthday while in Mexico, he also celebrated 2 goals and 2 assists in his time with the team.
The first set of games came on day 3 when the U.S. defeated Cordica Select 3-0. Stephen Elias scored 2 goals and had an assist. Alex Knox also had a goal and an assist. Akale recorded an assist on Elias’ 2nd goal.
In the second game of the afternoon, the U.S. defeated Chivas 1-0 in a physical match. Collin Fernandez’s early goal held for the U.S.
On day 5 of the trip the U.S. teams split games with Atlas and Chivas. The Americans beat Atlas 2-0 on goals by Malcolm Jones and Alejandro Vergara. Billy Abdallah picked up an assist for the U.S.
The U.S. lost to Chivas 2-1 but made the game exciting when Akale scored to bring the young team within one. Malcolm Dixon picked up the assist and the Americans battled to the end making for an exciting finish.
Day 7 saw the U.S. in top form, again winning both matches. First it was Cordica who fell to the Americans 2-0 with goals by Collin Fernandez and Amirgy Pineda. They were assisted by Malcolm Jones and Collin Fernandez.
The second game saw the U.S. take down Rio Grande 2-1. Goals were scored by Malcolm Dixon and Mukwelle Akale with Akale assisting on the first goal and Dixon returning the favor and setting up the second goal.
According to reports, the U.S team that played Cordica in the first game took time to play a special 15 minute match against a team of children with special needs from the Cordica club which served to put the entire trip into perspective.
Congratulations to the U-14′s for a very successful 5-1-0 trip.
In other youth soccer news, Mukwelle Akale of MTA has been selected as the #1 player in the Midwest 2015 Boys by Top Drawer Soccer rankings.
Jackson Yueill is also a MTA player and part of the 2015 group. He was chosen as the 6th best player in the same Midwest ranking.
Luke Haakenson, a St. Paul United player, has been selected by Top Drawer as the #1 Midwest 2016 Boys.
Haakenson will also be traveling to West Ham Academy this March to participate in the Elite Player Camp at the club academy in London. Last year, while playing for the Minnesota Thunder Academy, he was recommended by coaching director Rob Zahl to attend the National Camp in Washington DC. MTA has a partnership with the Hammers that allows this unique screening process.
The National camp hosted 160 players, 26 of whom were invited to West Ham in March. Haakenson was one of those players. As a U-13 he will be going up against U-14 and U-15 players but the West Ham director felt he could “hold his own,” according to his mother, Michelle.
Haakenson was invited to the U14 National Camp last summer in Boston as a Younger ’97. He was also nominated to the ODP Interregional All Star Team over Thanksgiving, and was the Team Captain of the Younger 97s Region II Team.
Luke and his father will make the trip in March and keep IMS updated with stories and photos.