ODP ALUMNI NEWS

Mass Youth Soccer is extremely proud of all of the players who have come through our Olympic Development Program. Many have gone on to achieve great things academically, professionally and in the game as well. On this page we will, from time to time, report on a few our ODP Alumni and boast a bit on their accomplishments, both on and off the field. 

       

FORMER ODP TEAMMATES HONORED
Mike Choquette of Springfield and Luke Finkelstein of Peabody were both honored at the conclusion of their freshmen years in college. Choquette, a midfielder for the University of Chicago started 15 of the Maroon's 17 games for Coach Scott Wiercinski. He was named The University Athletic Association's Rookie of the Year and was to the NSCAA All-Central Region team. Mike was a standout for Loomis-Chaffee School and for Oakmont Soccer Club in Connecticut. Mike played with the Massachusetts Youth Soccer ODP from 2004-2008, and earned a spot on the Region 1 team and in 2005 and 2008. He traveled with the Regional team to Barcelona in 2008.
 
A bit coser to home, Luke Finkelstein proved to be a standout for the Wheaton College Lyons. Luke started all 19 of the Lyons games for Coach Matt Cushing. He was honored at the close of the 2011 season with an appointment to the NEWMAC Men's Soccer All-Conference team. He led the NEWMAC with five assists and finished third in total points. Overall, Luke tallied 19 ptotal oints in 19 games. Luke was played his club soccer at Aztec SC, the New England Revoluition Academy and FC Greater Boston Bolts. Also a member of the Massachusetts Youth Soccer ODP, Luke was appointed to the Regional team as both a U13 and U14 player.






ODP TAKES BLOZNALIS TO BRAZIL
Rachel Bloznalis will never forget her recent trip to Brazil. She traveled to Rio de Janeiro as a member of the Region 1 U16-17 team for 9 days packed with training, touring, world-class competition and a chance to meet a superstar. “I was able to travel to Brazil, meet Ronaldinho, play the best soccer I have ever played and have the time of my life all thanks to Massachusetts Youth Soccer ODP.” The Nipmuc Regional High School Senior, on the right in the photo above with Ronaldinho, has played ODP since she was a U13 and has represented Massachusetts as a member of the Region 1 ODP team for the past 2 years. “My ODP experience has been full of great coaches, life-long friends and teammates, amazing opportunities and unforgettable experiences.” Rachel, a standout with the NEFC U17 Elite coached by former ODP Coach Chris Hamblin, will compete in the Region I Premier League and multiple college showcases on the East Coast this spring. This fall, Rachel heads to Boston University and will play for Terriers Head Coach, Nancy Feldman, a Senior Staff Coach with Region 1 ODP who first saw Rachel play at the Region 1 ID Camp. Rachel’s father sees Mass ODP as a critical part of Rachel’s path to success. “…ODP encourages the best players in the Region to compete against each other…the coaching is great and the chance to play in front of college coaches is hard to match…” Massachusetts Youth Soccer thanks Rachel and her family for their commitment to ODP and is extremely proud of her representation of the state and our region on the international stage.


AARON MAUND TAPPED AT MLS SUPERDRAFT
The Former ODP Standout will Play for Toronto FC


Major League Soccer conducted its 2012 SuperDraft on January 12th at the NSCAA Convention in Kansas City. Aaron Maund of Dorchester, MA was chosen 12th overall by Toronto FC. “He is a player we have been watching for a long time…” said Toronto Head Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter. “He’s big, he plays very well. If you watch also, it is his mobility. He’s fast, jumps high and he has good movement off the ball. To see Aaron’s MLS SuperDraft video click the link below…
Aaron played for Massachusetts Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program for 5 years. He played for the Region 1 ODP team as well as the U14, U15, U17 and U20 U.S. National Team. Aaron also played as a member of the U17 Trinidad & Tobago National Team and started 3 games in the U17 World Cup in Korea in 2007. At Roxbury Latin School, Aaron was a 4 year starter, served as Captain , was a 2-time member of the ISL All-star First Team and chosen as an All-New England player his senior year. Aaron won a National Championship with his F.C. Greater Boston Bolts U15 Team in 2005.
A three-year starter for the University of Notre Dame, Aaron served as Captain for the Irish in 2011. Aaron missed 5 matches his sophomore year while he was with the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Aaron earned all-BIG EAST and all-region honors during his career at Notre Dame.
All of us at Massachusetts Youth Soccer wish Aaron all the best and will be watching his career at Toronto FC with continued interest and a great deal of pride.

Kate Sisk Called Up to Puerto Rico’s National Soccer Team


 
Kate Sisk of Sudbury, MA, has been named to the Under-20 Puerto Rico Women’s National Soccer Team as it heads to Cuba to compete in the final stage of Caribbean qualifiers for the 2012 CONCACAF U20 Women’s Championship. Kate and her Puerto Rico team face Cuba, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobego, January 7-11, in hopes of securing a spot in the CONCACAF U20 Women’s Championships in Panama, March 1-11.
Kate played for Mass Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program for 4 years and was a member of the Region 1 ODP Regional Team as a U14 player. Kate was a 3-time Dual County League All-Star at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School and played for the 6-time Massachusetts State Cup Champion team from F.C. Stars of Massachusetts. Kate is a sophomore at Amherst College and was recently elected co-captain of next year’s Lord Jeffs squad. Amherst hopes to build on its 2011 success as the undefeated 2011 NESCAC Champion. With a record of 20-1-0 this season, Amherst made it to the 2011 NCAA Division III Elite Eight, only to fall to the eventual NCAA Champion Messiah. Kate, who was named to the 2011 NESCAC All-Academic Team, tallied 2 goals and 3 assists during the 2011 campaign, including an assist on the golden goal during overtime of the NESCAC quarter-finals.
 
All of us at Massachusetts Youth Soccer congratulate Kate on an outstanding career as a scholar-athlete and wish her and her National Team the best of luck in the upcoming tournament.



TWO ALUM TAPPED AS ALL-AMERICAN KEEPERS

Vinny Papageorgiou, of Wilmington, was named a 2011 NSCAA Division II All-American. Vinny was a goal keeper for 5 consecutive years in the Mass Youth ODP. A 4-year starter at Franklin Pierce University, Vinny tallied a 0.66 goals against average to tie a school record. In 2011, Vinny led the Ravens to the National Semi-finals in Pensacola, Florida where they fell in a tight match 0-1 against the Lynn University Fighting Knights. In his college career Vinny has garnered numerous accolades including being named to the All Northeast-10 Team and to the Daktronics All-East Region. In addition, Vinny has, throughout his college career, been named to the Northeast-10 Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll proving his success in the classroom rivals his success on the field. At Wilmington High School, Vinny was a 4-yearletter winner for Coach Steve Scanlan and served as Captain for 2 years. He was named both a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic player, was a 2-time all-Conference player and was named MVP twice. Vinny played his club soccer for Juventus USA.

Peter Crowley, of Lexington, was named a 2011 NSCAA Division III All-American. Also a multi-year player in the Mass Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, Peter was a 4-year starter for the Babson College Beavers and NSCAA New England Coach of the Year Jon Anderson. Peter also received his second straight All-Region First Team honor after capping off his record-setting goalkeeping career with another fantastic campaign. He received All-NEWMAC First Team honors for the second year in a row after going 16-3-4 with a career-best 0.79 GAA and a .827 save percentage. He gave up just 19 goals in 23 games while making 91 saves and posting seven shutouts. He will graduate as the program's all-time leader with 59 goalkeeping victories in his outstanding career. Peter played his high school soccer at The Brooks School and his club soccer at A.C. Milan Boston.

 

FORMER ODP STANDOUT RETURNS TO COACH
 
Raphael Guimaraes was born in Brazil and grew up playing soccer. He developed incredible technical skills on Futsal courts and those skills have led him to a stellar soccer career. His family moved to the U.S. when he was 9 years old and eventually settled in Ashland, MA. He was a starter for Ashland High School for 4 years, earning Southern Mass All-Star awards and MVP of the Southern Mass Division 1 All-Star Game in 2003. Over his four year career with the Clockers Raph scored 56 goals and garnered 27 assists. Following high school he attended Franklin Pierce University 2005-2008. In Raph’s freshman year he was the second leading scorer and the Ravens were NCAA Division 2 National Finalists. As a sophomore, he earned First Team NCAA All-Conference, All-Regional, and Adidas All-America honors. In 2008, Raph transferred to Central Connecticut State University. He finished his college career with the Blue Devils where he was honored as an All-New England All-Star. In 2010 Raph played professionally for Kraft FF in Närpes, Finland.
 
Raph played for Massachusetts Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program from 2003-2006. “The experience I had growing up in the ODP program was incredible. I had a chance to play with and meet some great players and coaches. It's not every day that you find yourself on a team with Charlie Davies (Boston College, U.S. National Team, D.C. United), Mike Fucito (Harvard University, Seattle Sounders), and Mike Videira (Duke University, Chicago Fire), but that’s the beauty of ODP…” When asked what the ODP environment in Massachusetts meant to his growth as a player, Raph said “…without ODP I believe I would have never accomplished what I did in high school, college, and at the professional level…”
 
The ODP experience had such a profound impact on Raph that he has returned to the Program as a Coach. “ODP Coaches are among the most knowledgeable coaches around and they are all genuinely concerned with the development of each individual player. The members of the coaching staff are all very impressive and wonderful coaches and I have learned a lot from just being around them…” Raph now serves as an Assistant Coach for the U14 Boys. He has operates a one-on-one player development (topstrikers.com) and has joined the coaching staff of the Middlesex County Falcons.
 
           


                          
                         Skyy Anderson                        Hayley Brock                             Cory Ryan

MARYLAND TERAPINS PACKED WITH FORMER MASS ODP STANDOUTS
University of Maryland Head Coach Brian Pensky knows where to shop for impact players. In 2011 the Terps boast 3 former Massachusetts Youth Soccer and Region 1 Olympic Development Program.

Skyy Anderson played at F.C. Greater Boston Bolts and at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. She was a 5 year member of Mass Youth ODP and a member of the Region 1 ODP Teams from 2001-2005. Skyy was also a member of the U14, U15 and U16 U.S. National Team pools. AS the Terps starting Center Back, Skyy has proved to be the anchor of the Maryland defense. A Communication major at Maryland, Skyy will graduate in the spring.

Hayley Brock transferred to Maryland this year from Penn State where she was Coach Erica Walsh's fourth leading scorer as a freshman. Hayley played with F.C. Stars of Massachusetts and at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. She was a multi year member of the Massachusetts Olympic Development Program and played on the Region 1 squad as well. As a forward, Hayley has scored 4 goals and notched 4 assists.

Cory Ryan played for Scorpions S.C. and for Coach Kevin Aylett at Norwood High School. Cory played for the Massachusetts Olympic Development Program from 2004-2008 and was appointed to the Region 1 team in 2008. A high school standout and two-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic player, Cory opted to attend Maryland despite numerous offers to play at other prestigious Division 1 programs. In 14 appearances so far this season, Cory has scored 2 goals.

Massachusetts Youth Soccer congratulates our former Olympic Development Program players at the University of Maryland and playing in college programs across the country.



              

Milford's Mike Vidiera Makes His Mark in the MLS

 
 
Michael Videira played in the Mass Youth Olympic Development Program from 1999 to 2003. Throughout his ODP career, Mike was invited into the Region 1 pool and as a U14, U17, U18 and U20 player was a member of the U.S. National Team. Mike, a native of Milford, played at Noble & Greenough School and for F.C. Greater Boston Bolts. At Nobles, Mike was recognized as an All-New England All-Star, was named to the Parade and McDonald’s All-America teams and was named both a Boston Globe and Gatorade Player of the Year. As a member of the Bolts, Mike’s teams won the Mass State Cup in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and earned a berth in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in 2004. Mike played his college soccer at Duke University where he was a three-time semi-finalist for the Hermann Trophy. He was a four-time All-ACC selection and a four-time NSCAA All-South honoree. As a freshman, Mike was awarded Soccer America’s National Freshman of the Year Award and, as a junior, was awarded the ACC All-Tournament MVP. In 2008 Mike was selected in the 2nd Round (18th overall) of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution, but elected to sign with Hamilton Academical of the Scottish Premier League. During the 2009-10 seasons returned to the Revolution and also played for the USL Western Mass Pioneers and the USSF Division 2 team A.C. St. Louis. Mike signed with the Chicago Fire in early 2011.



Rachel Blauner
Soccer Makes Her World Go Round
Not yet 18, she has a ticket to take it all in
 
Senior forward Rachel Blauner, with Head Coach Pam Ross, is a
leader on the East Bridgewater High School soccer team.
(George Rizer for The Boston Globe)
 
Rachel Blauner has already traveled to Costa Rica, Ireland, and Brazil. Next year, the East Bridgewater 17-year-old is off to Russia and Argentina. Her extensive travel resumé exists because of her passion and talent for playing soccer.
 
At age 4, Blauner started playing in youth leagues in East Bridgewater. She quickly developed a love for the game. She joined a club team, South Shore Select, at 7, and the Massachusetts Olympic Development Program team by 10. Playing ODP has allowed her to play soccer around the world. “Normally I go on 10- to 11-day trips and play four to five games,’’ said the 5-foot-6 forward, who has already made a verbal commitment to attend Boston University next fall. “We train and get to know the culture. It’s a really good experience to take in different cultures and see different places.’’ Her favorite adventure was Brazil. “Their entire culture revolves around soccer,’’ said Blauner, who visited Rio De Janeiro. “There are soccer fields everywhere. It’s such an environment for soccer.’’ In addition to discovering different cultures, Blauner is gaining more insight into soccer itself. “We played against Brazil, and they played so creative and fast,’’ she said. “It’s cool to see how other teams play, and bring it back with you to incorporate it to your style, and bring ideas back to your coaches.’’
 
Pam Ross, varsity girls’ coach at East Bridgewater High, said that Blauner “brings what she learns back here, and we definitely incorporate some of the moves she’s learned. She makes everyone playing around her better.’’
Last fall, with a 16-2-0 mark, East Bridgewater captured first place in the South Shore League for the first time since 1984, when Ross was a player. The coach said that she has been “dying to get it done as a coach.’’ Blauner, who led the league in scoring, was key in the successful run. “She just is head and shoulders above everyone on the field,’’ said Ross. “She’s so fast and skilled she can pretty much do whatever she wants. She’s definitely the focal point on the field, a natural leader.’’
 
Blauner started on varsity as a freshman and has dominated the South Shore League ever since. She finished last season with 31 goals and 18 assists, the second-highest point total in the state. “She’s definitely an attacker,’’ said Ross. “A natural soccer player.’’ Bob Blauner said that he would love to see his daughter reach 100 career goals. “She’d be the first female in East Bridgewater history,’’ he said. “It’d be a great ending to her high school career.’’ Blauner, who enters the season with 68 goals, and fellow senior captain Melissa Figueiredo share the same goal: winning the South Shore League and advancing deep in the MIAA Tournament.  “We have a good team this year, a good player in every position,’’ said Figueiredo. “We want to win again and this time go far in the playoffs.’’ The Vikings were shut out by Ashland, 2-0, in the first round of the Division 2 South Sectional last year. Figueiredo said she is confident for this season and that her team has a good leader. “Rachel is the best leader,’’ she said. “She works hard and brings an up-beat attitude to the team. She’s an all-around great person and team player.’’ Blauner and her teammates kicked off the preseason on Thursday, but unofficially, their work started much earlier. “We’ve had captains practice every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since early July. We want people to be in shape and be ready for this year,’’ she said.
 
While her focus is on the Vikings, she is also excited about her future at BU. “I’m so happy. I love BU. I can’t wait to play there,’’ said Blauner. “It is my dream school. “The Olympic Development Programdefinitely helped me get into BU.’’ Bob Blauner said that ODP was instrumental in the recruitment of his daughter. “It’s been an incredible and invaluable opportunity for her. ODP has the top coaches that gave her the most exposure,’’ he said. University of Massachusetts Amherst Women’s Coach Ed Matz, who has coached Blauner with the ODP program, said that she will do well at the next level. “Rachel is a rarity with athletes nowadays. She is the complete package,’’ said Matz. “Any Division 1 coach would want her. . . . She’ll be one of the best players in America East before she’s done at BU.’’
 
Blauner said she wants to play up to her full potential in college and try to make the Olympic team. “It’d be really awesome to play for the Olympic team,’’ she said. “It’s a huge goal of mine.’’ She will continue doing what she loves, working hard and not forgetting how she got to where she is.“I’m so lucky I have the support I have.’’ She added, “I’m so grateful for everything that’s happened.’’
 
Colleen Casey of The Boston Globe can be reached at colleen.casey@globe.com.
 


 
SHANNON NESCHKE
Still River, MA
 
Shannon Neschke from Still River, MA is a rising senior at Lafayette College and a midfielder for the NCAA Division I Leopards. She played for the Mass Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program for 6 years and was in the Region 1 ODP Regional Pool for 2 years. She has had the opportunity to play for various coaches and different clubs teams including Scorpions S.C. with whom she won the 2007 State Cup as well as New England Aztecs and Western United.
Neschke reminisces about her most memorable moments as a young player. “I remember road trips to tournaments. My teammates and I would run around the hotel to get rid of our nervous energy before the semis and finals. We would spend countless hours loading up on carbs at team dinners and there was always room for team bonding. Let me tell you, I played with some hilarious girls back in the day”. Neschke jokes about her former ODP teammates. “We giggled in huddles like young girls until our final years playing together.”
The developmental aspect of the game was not only important for Neschke as a player, but as a person as well. “Soccer has given me the opportunity to follow a passion from a young age, teaching me countless life lessons that I will carry with me throughout my life.” When faced with adversity, she was able to overcome obstacles, learning to prioritize by maintaining a strong focus on personal goals. In one instance, she tore her ACL during a peak recruitment period, which played a major role in the reversal of her progression as a soccer player and confidence as a person. “Through this challenging process, I was able to learn and value the importance of commitment, humility and discipline,” she said.
She advises young players to let nothing interfere withtheir love for the game and to reach out to current and former teammates and coaches. Building relationships and lasting friendships is a valuable part of life. As Neschke explains, “You will be surprised how many people are rooting for you to succeed”.
Neschke is currently interning in Washington D.C. for the Department of Communications at Hudson Institute. She plans to graduate in 2012 with a B.A in Government Policy and Economics.


 
         

SAMANTHA MEWIS IS OFF TO  U.C.LA.
Samantha Mewis, a senior at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School has committed to U.C.L.A. and will play for Head Coach B.J. Snow in the fall 2011 season. Considered by many to be the country's No. 1 recruit in the class of 2011, Sam has garnered a long list of honors and awards including a 4-year stint with the Mass Youth Soccer and Region 1 Olympic Development Program teams. She was named the NSCAA National Player of the Year in 2010, was a 2-time Parade All-American, a 4-time NSCAA Youth All-American, a 2-time NSCAA High School All-American, a 2-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts, a 2-time Boston Globe Player of the Year, and a 2-time ESPN RISE First-Team All-American. Sam has helped her Whitman Hanson Regional High School team to 4 League Championships and 1 South Sectional Championship during her career. During her tenure with Scorpions SC, her club team has won 3 Mass State Cups and 2 Region 1 Championships in the last 5 years.

Sam was a member of the 2008 Under-17 U.S. World Cup team that won the silver medal in New Zealand and a member of the U.S. team that won the 2010 CONACAF Under-20 Women's Championships in Guatemala to earn a berth to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. She played in 13 total games for the USA heading into the 2010 Women's World Cup, including 8 internationals, scoring one goal against New Zealand. She is currently a member of the U.S. National Team U-20 player pool.

Samantha Mewis personifies excellence in the game both on and off the field. Massachusetts Youth Soccer and the entire Olympic Development Program congratulates her for all of her achievements and thanks her for serving as such a glowing example of commitment, perseverance and dedication. we wish her all the best at U.C.L.A., with the U.S. National team and beyond. 



 

FAGUNDEZ JOINS THE REVOLUTION

Diego Fagundez, a 15 year old from Leominster, MA, has signed a contract to play professional soccer with the New England Revolution making him one of the youngest players ever to sign a professional contract with an MLS team.

Diego exploded on to the Massachusetts soccer scene at a very young age. Former Mass Youth State Coach and Head Coach of the Boys U13 Mass Youth ODP Teams, Mario Prata, recognized Diego's talent and creativity early on. He brought Diego into the Mass Olympic Development Program as a 9 year old. Diego played for Mass ODP from 2006 through 2009. He played for the Region 1 ODP Boys U14 Regional Team and for the National team in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 he played for the Boys U15 National Team.

Diego comes from a striking soccer background. His father, Washington, played as a goalkeeper professionally in Uruguay. He played club soccer at FC United where his team won the State Cup in 2006. He also played with F.C. greater Boston Bolts where his team won the State Cup in both 2008 and 2009. Diego then moved on to the NE Revolution Academy when he was most recently playing for their U16 team.

Mass Youth Soccer and the Mass Youth ODP wish Diego great success in the professional ranks. GO REVS!



 
KRISTIE MEWIS IS CALLED TO THE
U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
Kristie Mewis from Hanson, MA, a 5-year alumni of the Mass Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, has been called to the U.S. National Team Training Camp in January by Head Coach, Pia Sundhage. Kristie played her high school career at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School where she served as Captain both her junior and senior years and scored 74 goals and had 34 assists. Among numerous honors and accolades, Kristie was named an NSCAA All-American 3 times, a 2009 PARADE Magazine All-American and was honored as the 2008 NSCAA Youth Player of the year. Kristie played her club soccer with a powerhouse S.C. Scorpions team that won 4 State Cup Championships and appeared in the Regional finals as U14s.

Kristie is a sophomore at Boston College. This fall she helped the Eagles to the school's first ever appearance in the final four of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. She was the team's second highest scorer with a career high 10 goals and 14 assists. She was honored as both an All-ACC and NSCAA All-American first team selection.

Although Kristie is being called to the full U.S. National Team for the first time and although she will, at 20 years, be the youngest player in camp, she is no stranger to National Team duty. As a member of the U20 U.S. National Team, Kristie helped lead the U.S. to a CONCACAF Championship in 2010 and to the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup in Germany. As a player for the U17 National Team, Kristie made 16 international appearances and scored 9 goals. In the 2008 CONCACAF U17 Women's Championship Kristie scored 3 goals including one in the championship match. She played for the National Teams as both a U15 and U16 player in Holland, Germany and Brazil.

Kristie was first identified as an elite player with National Team potential as a member of the Mass Youth Soccer U14 Olympic Development Program team at the Region 1 ID Camp. Mass Youth Soccer takes great pride in congratulating Kristie for her call to the full U.S. National team and wishes her all the best in Camp and beyond.