Sapling Snapshot: Playoff Preview - Charlotte Soccer Academy 17/18

After one day off after back-to-back days of matches, the Portland Timbers U-17/18 side will finish group play with a match against Charlotte Soccer Academy.

The Thursday morning match against Charlotte Soccer Academy will be held at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., on Field 30 – a grass pitch. The match will be the final group match for both sides in the United States Soccer Development Academy Playoffs.

Charlotte Soccer Academy is the three seed in Group D after a 21-13-2 season, and earning 1.81 points/games played. Charlotte SA finished fourth in the Southeast Division and earned the fourth wildcard spot nationally, placing the side as the No. 23 squad across the nation. Charlotte SA was the 11th place side in the Eastern Conference.

Tomas Hilliard-Arce (30 GP, 29 GS) is the No. 11 scorer in the Development Academy with 19 goals on the season and has spent time training with the Costa Rican U-20 National Team. Hilliard-Acre will join Foster Langsdorf and Sam Werner of the Timbers Academy at Stanford in the fall. The Saplings will look to corral the 6-foot-1 midfielder and captain of the Charlotte SA side, who is the No. 63 player in the 2014 class according to College Soccer News and No. 84 prospect according to O When The Yanks.

Brendan McDonough (26 GP, 22 GS) will also sit in the midfield after finding the back of the net six times during the regular season. McDonough has verbally committed to Georgetown for the fall of 2015. The midfielder spent the spring of 2013 playing for Eintracht Braunschweig U-16’s in Germany.

The No. 2 goal scorer for Charlotte Soccer Academy is Mercer-bound midfielder Desmond Toal (20 GP, 8 GS) and his nine goals. Toal will look to use his 6-foot-2 frame to add to his total against the Saplings.

With six goals on the year Khalil Abderhman (34 GP, 28 GS) joins McDonough as the third top scorer for Charlotte SA. A 5-foot-6 midfielder, Abderhman is headed to College of Charleston in the fall.

The Charlotte Soccer Academy defense features one of the best names in Group D in Remington Frost (35 GP, 34 GS, 1 Goal). Frost is the No. 140 player in the 2015 grad class according to Top Drawer Soccer and the No. 33 defender in the country for that group. Frost is joined by 6-foot-4 defender Nathan Marder (28 GP, 21 GS, 4 Goals), who is bound for Davidson in the fall.

The Charlotte Soccer Academy has a pair of Division I quality backstops to throw at the teams in Group D in William Pyle and Nickolas Gardner. Pyle, 6-foot-1, is headed to UNC Greensboro, while Denver-bound keeper Gardner is 6-foot-4.

Also committed to play in college this fall from the Charlotte SA U-17/18s –
Jared Kent, UNC Charlotte
Corey Michoki, Loyola-Maryland
Klinton Parker, Air Force Academy

The top team from each group will move to the knockout phase. The Academy Playoff structure, new for 2013-14, will then see the eight group winners seeded by regular-season points-per-game average. Once seeded the higher seeded teams will host a knockout-round game on July 7 or 9, with the winners advancing to the semifinals in Carson, Calif. The semifinals and finals will take place at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson on July 17 and 19.

Portland kicks off the playoffs on Monday against Chicago Fire.

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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