There are still a few games to be played to finish this inaugural Girls Academy campaign but most of them are still to be scheduled it seems (see team schedule links below in the Summary). Since I had several dozen entered in my Club calendar for January 1st, going back to when I entered all of the games in August, I figured it was time to see if there was anything we could discern from St. Louis’ efforts in this League. Two clubs – Sporting STL and Lou Fusz Athletic – competed albeit in difference Conferences interestingly. I’ve got current results, a brief summary of how the season has progressed and some pictures. Girls Academy Fall Update
Before diving into those details, a look at a significant change that was announced in late October. THE GIRLS ACADEMY STRIKE A STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP WITH MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AND A PARTNERSHIP WITH US YOUTH SOCCER. The move is described in the press release as a collaboration that will deliver a true pyramid for female youth players in the US, with the GA serving as the USYS premier girls platform in conjunction with MLS (USYS Partner).
Later, it notes USYS is the ‘home’ of the GA for league sanctioning and player registration. The GA will operate in an autonomous manner as an affiliate member at the top of the USYS youth development pyramid. The partnership provides USYS with their first-ever top-level national girls’ club platform and programming in the country.
I haven’t seen any additional information that has come out of this announcement but by noting that the GA will be serving as the USYS premier girls platform, that raises questions about National League and the Regional Conferences. Does GA play the role of ‘ECNL’ while National League/Midwest Conference becomes the ‘ECNL Regional League’ in future seasons? I like the idea of one less ‘National Championship’ but the devil is in the details. If anyone cares to offer some more background, feel free to reach out to Ole for a private discussion.
Now back to the present situation.
Competing in the Mid-America Conference with teams from U14 (2007) to U19 (2002/2003). These teams are also competing in the USYS Midwest Conference. The links below with the season summary take you to the teams schedule page.
A note on the table if you follow the links. The League seems to be ranking teams by Point per Game (PPG) rather than points earned. That’s a model I saw in the USDA but otherwise it seems to pop up when a full season is in jeopardy. COVID-19.
2007 GA, Coach: Shannon Freeman, 11th
* the team is winless on the year but November saw them score in three of the last four games played. There are 15 games ‘on the schedule’ for the Spring but only one has a date attached so plenty to still play for
2006 GA, Coach: Jeff Stevens, 2nd
* the most successful team for the club this season, sitting second with 15 games to be scheduled for the Spring portion of the season. I caught the squad in a Midwest Conference match against the SLSG ECNL-RL team in early November, a slideshow can be seen below.
2005 GA, Coach: Dan Donigan & Dave Beck,10th
* opened on the road with a pair of tight losses before getting their first two wins in November, against Nationals and Century V. They’ve been able to stay close as their goal differential is only -4 which points to good competitiveness.
2004 GA, Coach: Robert Kittner, 3rd
* the clubs most successful team coming into the season following their run to the USYS National Championship last Summer. Their nemesis SC Wave, who claimed the title last Summer, sit atop the Conference with Sporting tied for 3nd in points. Opening with a shutout win in August, the team lost to SC Wave in mid-September before getting past Chicago FC that same weekend. Three games in November led to three wins and 13 goals scored and the Fall season closed with a 7-0 win over Indy Premier. The team has 17 games to be scheduled for the Spring which would point to the players foregoing their High School seasons. I’ll have to look into that.
2002/2003 GA, Coach: Greg Muhr, 11th
* the team is winless but with only five games played, all on the road, and three of which were against the Top 3 teams in the Conference at the moment. 18 games to be scheduled for the Spring.
The Girls Academy (GA) joined with InStat in July to offer Official Video Analysis Provider and the Official League Exchange Video Platform Provider. Using the statistics provided by the software, SoccerWire offered their list of the Top 50 Girls Academy players The article mentions that InStat’s signature metric is the InStat Index, an algorithm which is regarded as the most accurate assessment of any player’s performance. The InStat Index measures each player’s contribution to the team’s success, the significance of their actions, opponent’s level and the level of the league they play in. While I know the STLFC Academy program is using the application locally it would appear that Sporting STL and Lou Fusz Athletics have yet to implement it.
Thus, no local players featured in the Top 50 list as published by SoccerWire.
Congratulations to SEVENTEEN (!!) of our Sporting BV girls on being named in the SoccerWire Top 50 Girl's Academy players 🙌🙌
1. Sydney Watts
7. Kayla Lee
40. Sophie Brous
— SPORTING Blue Valley (@SPORTINGBV) December 31, 2020
Lou Fusz Athletic
Competing in the Frontier Conference with teams from U13 (2008) to U19 (2002/2003). The links below with the season summary take you to the teams schedule page.
2008G GA, Coach: Jacob Cawsey, 2nd place
* An opening 0-2 loss to Houston (current #3) was followed by four wins until they opened November with a loss to Sporting BV, followed by an 0-5 loss to OK Energy (current #1) and a scoreless draw with Houston for one point of nine possible. OK Energy have separated themselves from the group with 27 points with two games remaining. LFA have three games and 16 points for a possible 25 points to maintain their position in second place.
2007G GA, Coach: Lindsey Bryant, 2nd place
* Opened with a scoreless draw against Houston Dynamo (current #3) followed by eight more shutouts until a 2-1 win over OK Energy (current #1) and a second draw with Houston, this time 1-1. With four games remaining, they finish against leaders OK Energy January 24th that will likely determine the Frontier Conference winner. The team were 2020 National Presidents Cup champions (w/Sporting STL).
2006 GA, Coach: Stephen Wen, 6th place
* Labor Day weekend in TX saw the team open with a pair of losses and a win. They closed out September with three losses and a win before November brought a pair of wins including 3-2 against Sporting BV who won the initial match 5-0. TX teams took three wins in December. January’s four remaining games include three against teams below them in the table and finishing against the Conference leaders OK Energy.
2005 GA, Coach: David Critchley, 6th
* Labor Day weekend in TX saw the team take two loses before shutting out San Antonio 3-0. September saw the team lose 3 while earning four points for a win and a tie. I was on hand for the 2-2 draw against Colorado Rush on the 20th, after which the team lost twice to Rush in CO. November started well with a draw against Sporting BV and wins against West Side Alliance and OK Energy. December opened with a pair of losses before San Antonio offered a respite with a win, much as they had on Labor Day. The team is scheduled to face RISE New Years Day and with a second match TBD. Jan 23-24 the team is in OK to face West Side and OK Energy again. This team is essentially the Lou Fusz Geerling team that played in the USYSA U15 National Final last July.
2004 GA, Coach: Caleb McKee, 7th
* Labor Day was kinder to the 04’s as they opened 2-1 before getting smacked 0-10 by Sporting BV on the 13th. That was followed by three losses to CO Rush including another 0-10 loss. The team then endured another loss to Sporting BV on November 1st before getting a win against OK Energy on the 8th. There are four games to be schedule, two against RISE and one each against West Side and Houston. The final game of the season is against West Side on Jan 24. This is the team that was to be managed by Pat McVey before he was dismissed.
2002/2003 GA, Coach: Cal McKee, 4th
* Labor Day in TX saw the team go 3-0 to start the season before falling 1-6 to Sporting BV a week later. After a 1-1-1 series with CO Rush over two weekends the team battled Sporting BV to a 1-3 loss to open November. They followed that with a win over OK Energy November 8th and haven’t played since. They have seven games on the schedule with only a pair of them scheduled, against West Side and OK Energy Jan 23-24. Four are against West Side (8th) and Rise (9th) so the team can make up some ground although Sporting BV has two games against West Side and one against OK Energy so the odds of overtaking the current leader is low. This team were National Champions last year at the USYS tournament in KC.
Girls Academy Fall Update