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Flown The Nest: D.C. United Academy Alumni News & Notes

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Our weekly roundup of alumni news is back, focusing this time on the Black-and-Red’s former academy talents now plying their trade in NCAA soccer.

Ned Dishman

Now the snow seems to finally be abating, NCAA men's soccer is entering its period of spring exhibitions, with several former D.C. United academy players making news in the college game.

Seven Academy graduates sign National Letters of Intent for 2014

National Signing Day took place on February 5, and D.C. United will once again be sending a number of young talents to top NCAA schools around the country.

Forward Julian Cummings and defender Steven Gandy both head to the University of Virginia, while forward Bashir Hooper stays local by committing to George Mason University.

Elsewhere, defender Josh Golob heads to Lafayette College, midfielder Christian Kershaw commited to Marshall, midfielder Michael Monahan to the New Jersey Institute of Technology and midfielder Noah Pilato to Penn State.

Every player spent at least three years with United's youth sides, with all but one also having represented youth sides in either Virginia or Maryland.

Mikias Eticha Stars in Maryland Win Over Richmond Kickers

The start of the spring schedule was a successful one for 2013 College Cup runners-up Maryland, as the Terps beat USL PRO side and United affiliate Richmond Kickers 1-0 on March 7.

Maryland's goal came courtesy of midfielder Mikias Eticha, a junior who played for the Black-and-Red's academy and reserve sides.

As part of United's affiliation agreement, the Kickers fielded academy product Collin Martin, who was brought in on loan for the game along with Joe Willis and former Terp Christiano Francois.

Virginia Take Comfortable 2-0 Victory Over Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Another school to have plenty of United Academy graduates is the University of Virginia, and the Cavaliers opened their spring schedule with a 2-0 win against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL PRO.

Black-and-Red academy product Patrick Foss featured in the game, as did Marcus Salandy-Defour and Sean Murnane.

The Cavs will next face the Richmond Kickers at City Stadium on March 22.

Samir Badr Keeps Clean Sheet For Energy FC in Preseason Opener

One of three new clubs to be joining USL PRO this year, Oklahoma City Energy FC played their first preseason game on March 8 against the University of Nebraska-Omaha at Norman North High School.

In goal for Energy FC was Samir Badr, a player who spent time in United's academy and also played for the United States U-15, U-17 and U-20 National Teams.

The hosts held on for a 1-0 win thanks to a goal in the closing minutes from Paul Wyatt, with Badr playing 64 minutes before being replaced by Jennings Clark.

First game in Oklahoma City Energy history. Great way to start with a win and a clean sheet. Back to work this week. @EnergyFC #ENERGY

- Samir Badr (SamirBadr) March 9 2014

One notable team to not play any spring fixtures yet is Georgetown, featuring United Academy product Tyler Rudy. They were forced to cancel their game on March 1 against American University, and will commence on March 22 against Temple University