Lagos Kunga, who has spent time with the U.S. under-14 national team, scored five goals in Region III's 7-1 win over Region II en route to its first-place finish in the 1998 age group at the U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Boys Thanksgiving Interregional at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz. Kunga, who was born in Angola and lived in Russia before moving to Georgia, where he plays for DDYSC Wolves, scored seven goals in three games. Kai Koreniuk, who plays for Florida's FC America Academy, added three goals for Region III.
PTS TEAM W-L-T +/-
7 Region III 2-0-1 11/4
4 Region IV 1-1-1 3/4
4 Region II 1-1-1 6/10
1 Region I 0-2-1 4/6
|RIII - Lagos Kunga||7|
|RIII - Kai Koreniuk||3|
|RIV - Drini Redzepi||1|
| RIII - Conor Sloan ||1|
|RII - Andrew Barrowman||1|
|RII - Elvir Ibisevic||1|
|RII - Daniel Wright||1|
|RI - Ryan Mingachos||1|
Region III Stayed at The Real Salt Lake Facility, "a very beautiful Place" Lagos Kunga says. "It has a nice gym where kids play Soccer Tennis and Futsal." They had a Chance to talk to kids that live in The Academy, and Play a game of futsal against them.
Dear ‘Lagos Kunga,
Congratulations, you have been selected by your Region III coaches to attend the interregional event scheduled for November 22, 2012 through November 26, 2012 to be held at the Grande Sports World, Casa Grande, Arizona. Regional teams from all four regions are scheduled to compete. Our Region III coaches will be selecting players to attend the foreign trip scheduled for this spring. You will have the opportunity to play against the top male athletes in your sport from all over the United States
U-14 head coach Hugo Perez has called in 36 players to the camp, including 20 Development Academy players. Nomads SC sends three players: Luca De la Torre, Joe Gallardo and Alexis Velela. FC Dallas also has three players on the roster: Damien Hernandez, Weston McKennie and Alejandro Zendejas. Kyle Gurrieri and Daniel Laranetto both hail from the New York Red Bulls. All 36 players were born in 1998.
U-15 head coach Tony Lepore has also called in 36 players, with each of the U-15s born in 1997. Twenty-one of Lepore’s players are from Development Academy clubs, including four from New York Red Bulls: John Antunes, Malcolm Dixon, Henry Martin and Orestis Sousonis. San Jose Earthquakes, Players Development Academy and Chivas USA all sent two players.
During the camp, each team will play four scrimmages. The U-15 BNT will play two games on Tuesday, March 6, with the team facing Chivas USA at 5:30 p.m. PT and the LA Galaxy at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, March 7, the U-14 BNT will play the LA Galaxy at 5 p.m. PT and will face the ODP 97s at 6:30 p.m.
The camp will conclude with two matches between the U.S. teams. On Friday, March 9, the U-14 and U-15 BNTs will meet twice, with one game at 5 p.m. PT and the second at 6:30 p.m.
U.S. Under-14 BNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Anthony Garduno (Pateadores; Tustin, Calif.), William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Abraham Romero (LA Galaxy; Altadena, Calif.), Andrew Romig (Richmond Kickers; Mildothian, Va.)
DEFENDERS (11): Hugo Arellano (South Bay Gunners; Norwalk, Calif.), Edwin Gomez (Morelia Mexico; Morelia, Michoacán), Damien Hernandez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Tommy McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Luka Prpa (North Shore United; Wind Lake, Wis.), Cameron Reaves (Norcross Soccer Academy; Duluth, Ga.), Juan Riley (Weston FC; Weston, Fla.), Joe Schmidt (Ohio Premier North; Chagrin Falls, Ohio), Alexis Velela (Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Trey Vinson (PWSI Courage 97 Red; Manassas, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (11): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca De la Torre (Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Atletico Santa Rosa; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (New York Red Bull; Totowa, N.J.), Julian Hall (Brandon FC; Tampa, Fla.), Daniel Laranetto (New York Red Bull; Bridgewater, Conn.), Dawson McCartney (NJSA; Voorhees, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; St. Louis, Mo.), Emmanuel Perez (Sunrise Elite SC; Wellington, Fla.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas; Allen, Texas)
FORWARDS (10): Joe Gallardo (Nomads; San Diego, Calif.), Thomas Golden (HBC Titans; Westbury, N.Y.), Lagos Kunga (DDYSC 98 Wolves Elite; Roswell, Ga.), Jonathan Navarro (P.A.C.; San Jose, Calif.), Joshua Perez (Chivas USA; La Habra, Calif.), Ignacio Poplawski (Sunrise Elite SC; Boca Raton, Fla.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic; Highland Park, Ill.), Raheem Taylor-Parkes (Brandon FC; Wesley Chapel, Fla.), Sean Teixera (New York Soccer Club; Trumbull, Conn.), Haji Wright (Galaxy Alliance; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Congratulations to Coach Jeff Newbury and the 98 Wolves Elite Under 14 Boys who advanced to the Finals of the Cobb Classic. The 98 Wolves Elite went undefeated in pool play and advanced to the finals. Following a tough, hard fought game that ended in a 2 to 2 draw. The boys went on to Penalty Kicks to settle the game. Unfortunately, the boys lost in penalty kicks. Congrats boys on a great weekend.
MAN OF The Tournament Lucas Ryter
Man Of The Game Andrew Roberts
Top Scorer Andre Deas
Most Assist Lagos Kunga
On Saturday January 28, 2012 Lagos Had an Interview . "There was So many people and the Camera was looking at me. This was a first . I was Nervous" Said Lagos. He is going to Portugal and Train With The Professional team Sporting Club De Portugal ! He will be leaving at The end of march, but that't not it. He also going to mexico and Hopefully back at California. All In one Month.
Congratulations to the all of the players who attended the State ODP Tryouts. We are proud to announce that Six DDYSC Wolves players were selected the State Olympic Development Teams. Please congratulate Decontee Clarke, Noah Louma, Eddie Jackson, Heban Araya, and Andre Deas, Jr who are all selected to the 1997 State ODP team. In addition, please congratulate Lagos Kunga who was selected to the 1998 State ODP Team, the Region III ODP, and the US U14 National Team.
[U.S. YOUTH SOCCER] The U.S. under-14 national team's Red squad swept all three games by scores of 3-0, 5-1 and 2-0 against regional teams at the U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Boys Thanksgiving Interregional that concluded Monday at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Joe Gallardo led the team with goals in all three games.
Region II and Region IV '97 teams both finished with two wins and one loss, the best of eight regional teams taking part in the competition.
Nov. 28 in Chula Vista, Calif.
1997 Region IV 2, Region III 0
Scorers: RIV - Ether Bustos (36), Alexis Berrios (41)
1997 Region II 2, Region I 0
Scorers: RII - Vukashim Latinovich (19), Thomas Ueland (33)
1998 Region I 1, Region IV 1
Scorers: RI - Zachary McMurrer (8); RIV - Terrell Lowe (12)
1998 Region II 3, Region III 1
Scorers: RII - Daniel Wright (15), Jose Cholico (25), Spencer Glass (58); RIII - Alexander Dexter (30)
Nov. 27 in Chula Vista, Calif.
1997 Region II 2, U.S. NT Blue 0
Scorers: RII - Lawrence Mullen (8), Ryan Sierakowski (61)
1997 Region III 0, U.S. NT Red 2
Scorers: U.S. Red - Joe Gallardo (19), Haji Wright (28)
1997 Region I 2, Region IV 1
Scorers: RI - Ethan Lochner (50), Justin Torres (64); RIV - Ether Bustos (37)
1998 Region III 0, Region IV 0
1998 Region I 5, Region II 2
Scorers: RI - Alexander Cancilla (21), Aquinas Akinlosotu (29), Daniel Hart (57), Jacob Maddox (62, 68); RII - John Leisman (14), Antonio Sanchez (53)
Nov. 26 in Chula Vista, Calif.
1997 Region III 3, Region I 1
Scorers: RIII - Brandon Millington (46), Jose Cerra (52), Tobin Howell (59)
RI - Justin Torres (46)
1997 Region IV 2, Region II 0
Scorers: RIV - Dylan Smith (30), Ether Bustos (48)
1998 Region III 3, Region I 1
Scorers: RIII - Juan Ortiz (5), Alexander Dexter (77), Jack Skahan (79); RI - Brian Navarrete (29)
1998 U.S. NT Blue 4, Region IV 1
Scorers: U.S. Blue - Sean Teixeira (8, 66), Javier Cortez (34); RIV - William Eslinger (13)
1998 U.S. NT Red 5, Region II 1
Scorers: U.S. Red - Lagos Kunga (7), Elijah Rice (20), Joe Gallardo (43), Logan Panchot (58), Eric Calvillo (59); RII - Antonio Sanchez (51)
Nov. 25 in Chula Vista, Calif.
1998 U.S. NT Blue 3, Region III 0
Scorers: U.S. NT Blue - Elijah Rice (6), Trey Vinson (20), Luca de la Torre (52)
1998 U.S. NT Red 3, Region I 0
Scorers: U.S. NT Red - Raheem Taylor-Parkes (6), Lagos Kunga (35), Joe Gallardo (74)
Juergen Klinsmann, newly appointed U.S. National Team Coach on player development in the United States has said: "This is the only country in the world that has the pyramid upside down. You PAY for having your kid play soccer." Because your goal is not to have your kid become a professional soccer player, your goal is that your kid gets a scholarship in college, which is complete opposite rest of the world." Klinsmann is asserting that in addition to the emphasis on education and the college game in the US, soccer is a rich kid sport, while in the rest of the world it’s a poor kid sport.
Klinsmann continues, "We all [came] out of moderate families and fought our way through … so we need to keep this hunger throughout our life. I compare it to basketball here, because I look at these guys and they are coming from inner cities. So we need to find ways to connect, however that could be, to connect with Hispanics, to connect with everybody in the soccer environment in the U.S., and to get kids who are really hungry…”
Twelve year old Lagos Kunga and others like him are perfect examples of the awesome talent that has been overlooked in the past years of U.S. youth development. For Kunga, this is no longer true.
Decatur/DeKalb YMCA is a soccer club featuring the DDY Wolves. What makes this club so special is that 30% of its participants are on scholarship as part of the YMCA’s mission that anyone who wants to play, will play. Of that 30%, one half receives full scholarships.
This is due in part to a nearby community of refugees in the Clarkston area who are living with huge financial challenges, and with gang and drug activity being a grave reality. Kids like Lagos Kunga who choose to play through the International Community School in Clarkston have little or no resources. No shoes, no equipment. Balls, shinguards and uniforms are supplied by DDY. Registration fees are “comped” or drastically reduced. The recreational level teams formed at the International Community School are integrated into the DDY leagues.
From there, opportunities are available for select and elite programs through DDY. For each age group there are a significant number of talented kids on each team with little or no resources. It’s in cases like these that an unofficial “Soccer Village” or support team has organically responded. Coaches and teammate parents front funds for kids who need assistance. Buses pick up kids for practices, and team parents make arrangements to deliver kids from areas that buses don’t reach. Parents pool funds for the kids who can’t buy shoes. They toss an extra pair of socks in their cart or bring a pre-game meal. Coaches too, make a huge difference. Schools know that refugee parents are working, often at menial jobs with long and abnormal hours, and further, need the help of translators to communicate. In Clarkston, if teachers have challenges at school with a player, it’s the coaches they call. Coaches and team parents provide guidance and tutoring.
Kids are held accountable. They must stay in school and attendance and passing grades are part of showing they are responsible enough to play beyond the recreational level. With financial needs, kids with select/elite abilities must prove their resourcefulness (to arrange rides), punctuality and consistency in dedication. They can’t lose their jersey, be truant from school, or have behavior issues.
Once the young players prove themselves, their ability can shine. And the village continues their support. Coaches spend hours helping refugee parents who speak/read only Farsi, Portuguese, French or Bantu navigate complicated elite and ODP registration forms, and help obtain the required physicals.
Which brings us to Lagos Kunga. Quiet, unassuming and intelligent, Lagos is from Angola having moved here via Russia, six years ago when he was not yet seven years old. His parents speak only French, and though his father is unemployed due to a severe work related injury, his mother works long hours at a chicken processing plant in north Georgia. Kunga began playing through the international Community School in Clarkston, and his entire team was promoted from the DDY rec division by an ICS teacher/coach who worked to get the team into more challenging matches.
Kunga’s soccer support system is the same as all others from his community, regardless of ability. When he broke his arm, it was his team players’ parents who took him to the doctor for x-rays and covered the medical bills. A team parent arrives at practice early to help him with his homework. He plays alongside kids from very affluent families and it’s a tight community-based team. They all live within five miles of each other and support each other.
Now, at only 12 years old, Kunga is playing for the U14/98 Wolves. Through the logistical support from his teammates, the team’s parent support system and mentorship from his coach and DDY Director of Coaching, Jeff Newbury, combined with his tremendous ability on the field, Kunga was selected to the 98 Region III ODP team.
Lagos Kunga was also one of two players from Georgia and 12 total players from Region III to be invited to the Under 14 US Soccer Federation’s National Team ID Camp in Carson, California. While we won’t know the results of the selection process until November, his play was well received, at least by the media:
Jahmal Corner, ESNN and TopDrawerSoccer reporter writes of Kunga’s play in Carson: “The opposing side, however, had a little too much firepower. Particularly striker Lagos Kunga, who would prove to be the best player on the field on this day. Kunga didn't just combine speed and power to make lethal runs - he always made the right play.”
So, perhaps Juergen Klinsmann will see a bit more of Lagos Kunga in the years to come. Certainly this young athlete is helping to prove “Klinsy” right… and he has a Village to thank for it.
The finishing touches were put on the U.S. U14 Boys National ID Camp this past weekend, with the rookie players getting in one more round of scrimmages before heading back to their respective clubs.
It was a successful week of learning for the youngster, evalution for the coaches and strong competition for everyone involved.
Match of the Day
Some of the highlights from the concluding action included a nifty goal from striker Haji Wright who helped lead his squad despite a 2-1 defeat.
The opposing side, however, had a little too much firepower. Particularly striker Lagos Kunga, who would prove to be the best player on the field on this day. Kunga didn't just combine speed and power to make lethal runs - he always made the right play.
His early activity on the left side led to two quick touches and an eventual goal from Dawson McCartney to tie the match 1-1.
But Kunga was far from the only standout on his side. Fellow striker Cristian Villalobos teamed with Kunga to create chaos. Villalobos would net the second score right in front of the goal on a play set up by McCartney.
So who were the top stars from the week? Well, there were quite a few, but here were some of our personal favorites (in no particular order):
Forward Sean Teixeira: He knows how to put the ball in the net; and more importantly, he knows how to get into the right positions to do so. Teixeira, of New York Soccer Club, is a left-footed player who is active off the ball and seemed to regularly find himself in the mix during camp.
Forward Christian Pullsic: One of the smaller players in camp but he played completely undeterred. Pullsic makes things happen when he's on the field, plain and simple. The PA Classics prospect showed he can succeed in combining with teammates or running straight at defenders.
Midfielder Deihnia Sarnor: He's a blur with the ball. Sarnor, of the Columbus Crew, is one of the rare players who can kick it into another gear with the ball at his feet. A handful to defend.
Defender Trey Vinson: Vinson is more physically mature than most of his peers and it gives him a distinct advantage. He also appears at ease in transferring the ball from the back and plays with good composure.
Goalkeeper Abraham Romero: Romero was tested during a couple competitive scrimmages and he passed with flying colors. A Cosmos Academy West player, Romero has quick hands and good awareness in the net.
Midfielder Eric Calvillo: As cool as an ice chest in the North Pole. Calvillo is comfortable with the ball - even in traffic - and he makes a lot of sound decisions. The Real So Cal standout has a natural quality to his game.
Defender Kees Westra: This Snohomish United player isn't afraid to mix it up. He's strong and tough and wins a lot of 50-50 balls that may go unnoticed but add up to positive plays for his team.
Forward Nathan De la Hoya: This Dallas Solar FC striker is a really skilled passer. He looks to distribute first and has a knack for it, displaying great touch and precision.
Forward Ethan Lotenero: Another very poised attacker who played with a calm the entire week. He's reliable with the ball and good in tight space.
Forward Christian Villalobos: Very active up front and a player who plays with purpose. He arrived from Albertson SC and had a particularly good showing in the final day's scrimmage.
Forward Lagos Kunga: Combines graceful athletic runs with steady decision-making. A very lethal player who is hard to defend 1v1 and is highly capable of scoring or creating for his teammates.
Congratulations on being selected to attend U.S. Soccer's Under-14 boys' National Identification Camp. You have been chosen to be part of the National Player Pool, which is Composed of the best soccer player in the country for your particular age group.
Our goal at this camp is to encourage, teach, and evaluate the country's most talented youth soccer players while putting them in a positive soccer environment. Many future Youth National Team Players were 1st spotted at this camp and you should do all you can to make the most of this experience and opportunity.
At this National Team Camp Players Will receive instruction and play matches for a week,while being watched, evaluated and directed by U.S. Soccer's top coaches.Players typically take two sessions each day, training in the morning and playing matches in the afternoon. The coaches at the camp stress problem-solving within the game, speed of play and playing in natural competitive environments.
Following the conclusion of this camp there will be opportunities for select number of players to participate in future Under-14 events throughout the year. These players will be notified prior to each event and not at the conclusion of the camp.
REGION III ODP
Our Georgia ODP Boys had a great showing at this year’s Region III Camp in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Out of hundreds of boys from twelve states, these boys were among the very few selected to their respective Region pools. Congratulations and well done, boys!!
Congratulations to Lagos Kunga, member of the 98 Wolves Elite team, who was selected to the 98 Region III ODP team.
98 Region Pool
John Robert Cozine
Scholarships will be provided by AC Milan for a few selected players from Soccer in the Streets. Those chosen will have a once in a lifetime opportunity. In addition to a week of training from some of the best coaches in Europe, there will be a few players selected to take their talents to is one of the world's most recognized and decorated clubs. During the week of June 13-17, the Italian club will be holding a camp in Atlanta at Atlanta Silver-backs Park. The camp is open to the public and registration is currently open for the event.Milan, Italy and train at the world famous Milan Facility. It is revered as one of the finest training facilities in the world. The players will also attend a game while in Milan and get exclusive behind the scenes opportunities.Lagos Was selected to his talent to Milan and train with them.Wish Him Luck!
Lagos Graduated From I.C.S With Some of my Friends on May 25.Lagos Had Fun.He Had had a Drum Performance and He said he Gonna miss I.C.S so much.He Said he had fun over there."The Teacher the students and the stuff were really nice" said Lagos. He said he wanna come and visit in the future.He said he gonna miss the most.
Lagos and Abdi At UN DAY.
Whats Is UN DAY:United Nations Day is devoted to making known to peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nation Organization. United Nations Day is part of United Nation Week, which runs from 20 to 26 October.That Week Is Also Lagos birthday.
Take Bill. In 2006, the 7-year-old left Mkugwa camp for his new home in Atlanta. In Mkugwa, soccer had been his passion, played with balls he made himself, out of plastic bags and twine. In Georgia, even before he spoke enough English to participate in class, he joined a soccer team at school. Shell Ramirez, the mom who directed the program, spotted Bill’s talent and persuaded the local Y to give him a scholarship to play on its team. American parents and coaches quickly “adopted” the shy African, buying him balls, cleats, and other gear, and shuttling him to practices and tournaments. Bill’s joy on the field was magnetic, says Jeff Newbury, director of coaching for the Decatur-DeKalb YMCA soccer club, who has coached the boy for nearly three years.
And he was good. Very good. Bill and his best friend, Lagos Kunga – a refugee from Angola and Bill’s partner in mischief since he arrived at the roach-infested apartment complex that was both boys’ first American home – are such strong players that Mr. Newbury says it’s as though lightning struck his tiny soccer program twice.
“Lagos is a once-in-a-lifetime phenom kid,” he says, “one of the best players in the country – if not the best, he’s in the top three or four.”
In 18 years of coaching soccer, and playing professionally himself, Newbury has never seen a better player. Bill is nearly, but not quite, a match for his friend. He’s a year younger than the boys on his team, so Bill, “if he played in his own age group, would be the best … every single time he steps on the field,” says Newbury. “He’s an amazing, amazing player.”
This fall, both boys had a big break when they tried out against hundreds of top Georgia players for the state’s Olympic Development Team, the ground floor of the Olympic soccer program, from which future US Olympic and World Cup teams will largely be drawn. Bill was one of only 40 players his age to make the team.
“I was really proud of myself,” he admits shyly.
Lagos, a year older, made the team for his age group as well. The practices and games will bring both boys into contact with top coaches – and later, with college recruiters. Players must try out for the program every year, and if Bill continues to make the team, and make progress academically through high school, “it’s not a question of is he going to get a college scholarship – the question is where’s he going to go,” says Newbury, who spends 10 hours a week with the young player and thinks a lot about his future beyondthe field.
“I could care less if he makes it as a professional soccer player,” he says. “I want Bill to go to college. I want him to have a job, and have his own family, and I want him to live a life that doesn’t exist in the world he came from.”
Congratulation To Lagos and DDY U12/U14 2011 Spring
Break Week-end Lagos and DDY participated on Tysa 3v3
Tournament.DDY U12 Won All They Games including the
Finals and U13/U14 DDY Had difficulties in the 1st game
they Tied and Won The Rest.It's Was a Very Challenging Week.
"They Were Good Team and Good
Player,but We Still Came out As Winners" Lagos Said.
On March 4th Lagos Left to
Alabama.Lagos Went to
Alabama To Vulcan
Cup(Soccer Tournament). Lagos
Scored 2 the 1st game.Then
Assisted 2 the second
game.Then The Third Games
assisted 1.Lagos Stayed at The
Residence INN.Its was a Very
Enjoyable Week.He went to a
Mall in Alabama.He Also went to
the Lone Stars. and he Enjoyed
it.He had Tons of fun,If even
though they didn't get the
Congratulations to Lagos Kunga and Bill Hadam Clinton who have been selected to represent Georgia on the State Olympic Development Team. Lagos and Bill were selected from hundreds of players who participated in tryouts across the state over the past two months. Lagos was selected as a member of the 1998 Georgia ODP team, and Bill was selected as a member of the 1999 Georgia ODP team. Please congratulate Lagos and Bill on their outstanding achievement. Lagos is a member of the 98 Wolves Elite team and Bill is member of the 98 Wolves Premier team.