By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Three future Green Bay men’s soccer players – Conner Sendobry (Grover, Mo.), Eddosa Muhammad (Faribault, Minn.) and Valdis Upmalis (Riga, Latvia) – will compete at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Finals Week from July 14-20 in Houston, Texas, as their U-17/18 clubs were among the eight to qualify from their respective playoff groups.
St. Louis Gallagher Missouri, which features Sendobry, and the Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy, which features Muhammad and Upmalis, both qualified by placing first in their four-team playoff groups, and will begin Finals Week matches on July 14 at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. The U-17/18 Championship is set for July 20 at BBVA Compass Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.
“Reaching the Development Academy finals is a great accomplishment,” Phoenix head coach Dan Popik said. “I’m proud to have three future Green Bay student-athletes representing our program at this event.”
The top 32 U-17/18 teams in the country qualified for the Development Academy Playoffs based on their 10-month regular-season records. The teams were divided into eight groups of four and played three group games from June 24-28 in Frisco, Texas. The winners of each group advanced to Finals Week, with U.S. Soccer covering all expenses.
Sendobry has played in 26 of 30 matches as a midfielder for St. Louis Gallagher Missouri this season. He has started 14 times, including two of the playoff contests, and has scored one goal on the year. His team posted a 1-0-2 record en route to winning the playoff group, defeating Real Salt Lake (2-1) and tying with D.C. United (2-2) and CASL Chelsea FC Academy (1-1).
Muhammad ranks third on Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in scoring with nine goals on the year. The forward has suited up in 27 of 30 games and has made 12 starts. Muhammad scored a goal in a 4-0 rout of Pateadores in the opening match of the playoffs, and helped Shattuck-Saint Mary’s to a 2-1 win over Kendall SC to secure the group title.
Upmalis also played a key role in Shattuck-Saint Mary’s’ trip to Finals Week, starting at defender in all three playoff matches. He has played in 27 total contests this season, making 25 starts and scoring one goal.
Sendobry, Muhammad and Upmalis are three of 16 new players that Popik has added to the Phoenix roster for 2013. Green Bay men’s soccer, which will be releasing its schedule soon, is set to begin its 45th season this August.
For more on the 2013 Finals Week, visit the U.S. Soccer and U.S. Soccer Development Academy websites.
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