D.C. United's U-23 team did manage to play their first game Sunday, a hard fought 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls U-23 team which was ultimately forfeited as the Black and Red used an unregistered player as part of a 15-man travel squad. Ahead of a couple of coming home dates at the Evergreen Sports Complex in Leesburg, the team has released their full roster to the public.
The team includes ties to the parent club starting with staff, with U-18 and U-15 Head Coach Tom Torres serving on the coaching staff (Torres is also the Head Scout of the Academy). First Team assistant coach Amos Magee will serve as an advisor on the staff, led by Richie Burke. Burke was an assistant under Ray Hudson and served as Technical Director of the Youth Academy at that time. He returned to Coach the Academy Program in 2007, and took the team to the MLS Youth Cup Final in 2007 and 2008, winning once (current D.C. player Bill Hamid was among those on the squad).
As far as the players go, the team includes local players, some of whom are Academy Graduates. Among them is Arie Ammann, son of former D.C. United goalkeeper Mike Ammann. Arie is going to Penn State in the fall and has been gaining training experience at Watford. Ammann will not be without challenge as Steffen Kraus (not an Academy grad) will push Ammann for playing time. Kraus is coming of an injury that ended his season early last year at George Mason but did earn an All-American berth with the Patriots in his freshman year. Suli Dainkeh is currently at Maryland and has seen time at the National U-18 and U-20 levels. Speaking of the U-20 team, Chase Gasper, who appeared in Tab Ramos' U-20 camp in the Winter, will join the team in June.
"Two other standout Academy graduates are Nigel Robinson (attending Cal-Northridge) and Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest) and they will certainly give us some quality in our matches this term," Burke said.
When asked about players on the roster so far who fans should note, Burke said, "For me the two or three outstanding players are Jake Rozhansky (Virginia), Colin Bonner (UNC Wilmington, goal scorer on Sunday) and Jamie Luchini (Lehigh) - all of whom have been excellent during the past two weeks of training."
The team plays a friendly Thursday with Fort Pitt Regiment before their home opener Saturday night against the Ocean City Nor'Easters.