February 13th, 2014- In This Issue:
Mukwelle Akale Wins Player of The Copa Atlantico Tournament In Spain

Mukwelle Akale was named Player of the Tournament when the US U18's travelled to spain.  It is a huge honor.  Previous recipients include Thiago Alcantara (Bayarn Munich) and David Silva

 (Manchester City)


Article from Oh When The Yanks


Despite going win-less in their 3 matches in the Carnary Islands the positive's for the US U18 squad far out weigh the negatives.

For too many years US youth soccer leadership and supporters (myself included) have placed misguided emphasis on results. Victories at the Nike Friendlies only go so far. In actuality wins and losses mean little at this stage, yet are too often used as the only measure for success in our youth ranks.


And that's easy to understand.


As US fans we are constantly searching for our savior, the chosen one, our first 'world class' player, and it's tough for most fans to correlate meaningful development without trophies or victories.

However, things they are a-changin thanks to a couple forward thinking coaches.


US '97 Mukwelle Akale was particularly impressive with dazzling displays that out-shined some of the world's top play-making prospects in Spain's '96 Jose Angel Pozo la Rosa (Manchester City) and Argentina's '95 Maximiliano Rolˇn (FC Barcelona) and '95 Giovanni Simeone (River Plate). Akale was named the tournament's best player despite not scoring himself and playing for a squad that only logged two goals in 3 matches. 


Read More at http://owhentheyanks.com/2014/02/08/us-u18s-at-copa-del-atlantico/ 



Story from US Soccer


Despite the winless record, the U.S. matched all three of its opponents -including the Argentina U-20 national team, which was two years older than the USA - on the stat sheet and saw midfielder Mukwelle Akale of the Minnesota Thunder Academy named the tournament's top player. Akale is only the second player from outside Spain or the Canary Islands to receive the honor since its inception in 2009. - 


See more at: http://www.ussoccer.com/news/u-18-mnt/2014/02/140207-usa-2-cai-3-copaatlantico.aspx

MTA Signing Day 2014


Minnesota Thunder Academy is proud to announce its 2014 signing class! Each year, MTA players sign Division I and Division II letters of intent to play college soccer and commit to Division III colleges and university's. The 2014 class is sending 26 players to play at the collegiate level!


"Each of these players have put in a tremendous amount of work and sacrificed a lot of personal time in their effort to play collegiate soccer. Each deserves a lot of credit" said MTA Girls Elite Director Danny Storlien.


Sam Forsgren - Northwestern University (St Paul Academy HS)

Lance Gaspar - Dayton (Loyola Catholic HS)

Luke Hauswirth - University of Washington (Woodbury HS)

Treston Kederer - University of San Francisco (Eastview HS)

Sidney McClain - Wisconsin Green Bay (Champlin Park HS)

Rahim Omar - University of Wisconsin-Madison (The Blake School)

Nick Riley - St. John's University (Wayzata HS)




Madison Gaffney - University of Minnesota (Woodbury HS)

Jennie Scislow - South Dakota State University (St. Croix Lutheran HS)

Amber Greely - South Dakota State University  (St. Michael HS)

Tori Poole - South Dakota State University (South St. Paul HS)

Anna Reinholz - North Dakota State University (Fargo Shanley HS)

Lauren Brownrigg -  University of Arkansas-Little Rock (Lakeville North HS)

Madison Butina - University of Arkansas-Little Rock (Centennial HS)

Katelynn Floysand - University of South Dakota (Park Cottage Grove HS)

Makenna Sullivan - Eastern Kentucky University (St. Francis HS)

Marisa Knott - Northern Illinois University (Rosemount HS)

Carly Perry - Manhatten College (Mahtomedi HS)

Makenzie Winters - St. Cloud State University (Anoka HS)

Jaden Vogelgesang - Minnesota State Mankato (Woodbury HS)

Grace Steinhauser - Bemidji State University (Totino-Grace HS)

Molly Hancuh - Minnesota State Morris (Mounds View HS)

Shannon Wynne - Concordia University St. Paul (Academy of Holy Angels HS)

Sarah Fisco - St. Olaf College (Lakeville North HS)

Kari Solheim - University of St. Thomas (East Ridge HS)

Ally Jones - Concordia College-Moorhead (Shakopee HS)




MTA U14 Boys Take Part In US Soccer Futsal Showcase

The MN Thunder Academy U.S. Soccer Development U-13/14 age group began the futsal portion of its schedule on the weekend of Feb. 8-9. The event was held in Chicago. 


All clubs split into two equal teams for the event (Red & White).  Each team played three group games then a fourth game based on group record.


MN Thunder Academy teams had a great weekend by winning all three group games and advancing to the First place game.   


Game 1
MTA Red vs Internationals Red (9-2 win)
MTA White vs Internationals White (10-6 win)


Game 2
MTA Red vs St Louis Scott Gallagher Metro Red (8-5 win)
MTA White vs St Louis Scott Gallagher Metro White (6-5 win)


Game 3
MTA Red vs FC Wisconsin Red (8-1 win)
MTA White FC Wisconsin White (6-5 win)


Final game
MTA Red vs Vardar Red (9-0 win)
MTA White vs Magic White (9-12 loss)



U9 East Girls Win Prior Lake Futsal Tournament


The East U9 Girls won the first tournament that they have played in by winning the Prior Lake Futsal Tournament.  Congratulations to the girls and coaches Tay Vang and Tiger Thao.


Spring Clinic Registration Closes Soon.  Register Now!


We are excited to announce our Spring Session Dates for our youth programming

Register Now By Clicking Here


West St Paul Regional Athletics Center
1655 Livingston Ave
West St Paul, MN 55118


Days & Times
Option 1: Tuesday's 5:00pm
Option 2: Sunday's at 5:00pm (might change to 2:45pm)
For our Winter Session Players attend 1 Day Per Week

Ages 3, 4, and 5 year olds

Session III: February 25th- April 13th

Cost: $99

Skillzys Program Ages & Days 

ProgramOption 1Option 2
U6 Jr Ball Masters- $99Sunday's 4:00pm 
U8 Ball Masters- $99Sunday's 4:00pm 
U10 Advanced Ball Masters- $115Sunday's 2:45pmTuesday's 6:15pm
U11-U14 Elite Ball Masters- $125Monday's 6:30pm 

*Players attend one day per week.  If you are interested in attending two days per week email Andy at akaasa@mnthunderacademy.org for special pricing!
** We need a minimum of 8 kids in each class.  We will email everyone one week before the start if we do not have enough registrants for a certain day of the week.


Session III: February 25th- April 13th

The Future!  

Days and Times:

Day 1: Sunday 1:15pm-2:45pm
Day 2: Wednesday 6:00-7:30pm
Player's attend both days of The Future!

Ages 6, 7, 8 and 9 year olds


Session II: February 5th- April 13th

  • No Class on February 16th & 23rd
West Summer REC Programs Announced.  Register Now!


DinoMites: Summer Session (June-July)
Tuesday's - New Hope
Link to more information & Registration - http://www.mnthunderacademy.org/RecP/DinoMite/index_E.html

EarlyID: Summer Session (June-July)
Thursday's - New Hope
Sunday's - New Hope 

Link to more information & Registration - http://www.mnthunderacademy.org/RecP/eID/index_E.html



Committing to Play for a College, Then Starting 9th Grade


The New York Times recently ran a story about the recruiting landscape and we wanted to share it with all of our families.



SANFORD, Fla. - Before Haley Berg was done with middle school, she had the numbers for 16 college soccer coaches programmed into the iPhone she protected with a Justin Bieber case.

She was all of 14, but Hales, as her friends call her, was already weighing offers to attend the University of Colorado, Texas A&M and the University of Texas, free of charge.

Haley is not a once-in-a-generation talent like LeBron James. She just happens to be a very good soccer player, and that is now valuable enough to set off a frenzy among college coaches, even when - or especially when - the athlete in question has not attended a day of high school. For Haley, the process ended last summer, a few weeks before ninth grade began, when she called the coach at Texas to accept her offer of a scholarship four years later.



In today's sports world, students are offered full scholarships before they have taken their first College Boards, or even the Preliminary SAT exams. Coaches at colleges large and small flock to watch 13- and 14-year-old girls who they hope will fill out their future rosters. This is happening despite N.C.A.A. rules that appear to explicitly prohibit it.

The heated race to recruit ever younger players has drastically accelerated over the last five years, according to the coaches involved. It is generally traced back to the professionalization of college and youth sports, a shift that has transformed soccer and other recreational sports from after-school activities into regimens requiring strength coaches and managers.


Read the entire article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/sports/committing-to-play-for-a-college-then-starting-9th-grade.html?emc=eta1&_r=0