The Capelli Select Squad, a group of players from USA clubs, recently competed in the Capelli Sport Cup in Denmark. The opportunity was available to players who play locally for Capelli clubs. Throughout the club season, Capelli had regional scouting events to identify players for the U17 and U19 teams that went over to Europe in July for the tournament against professional academy teams.
The U19 team finished the tournament with a 1-2 record. However, the results were closed than the record would indicate. In the opening game against Pogon Szczecin, a Polish club, Capelli USA was level at 2-2 through the 90 minutes, but the professional academy scored twice in added time to grab the victory. Matthew Vazquez and an own goal were the two scorers for the Capelli Select Team in that game. The lone win for Capelli Select came against Aiolikos, a Greek club, in the second game. Ethan Wirtschafter, Ethan Leary,, and Jose Luna scored in the victory. Capelli Select wrapped up the tournament with a 3-1 loss against host HB Koge. Santiago Castaneda scored the goal in that game.
For the U17 team, the event started on a sour note with a big loss to Pogon Szczecin, 6-1.scored the lone goal for the USA team in that game. The group responded well with a 7-0 win over Aiolikos in the second game. Daniel Baran scored twice to lead the team to the win. Jayden Gins, , Mario Flores, Jack Brown, and Mrowka each chipped in with a goal. Mrowka ended the event as the top scorer for Capelli Select, as he added two more goals in the final game against HB Koge. Brown also scored twice in the final game, as he ended the event with three goals. Leo Burguete, Baran, and Zachemski each scored a goal in the final game as well. The U17 team finished the event with a 2-1 record.
Leary stood out for the U19 team for his passing. The right center had a couple of outstanding switch-the-field passes in the first half of the game against HB Koge. He showed excellent technique on the ball and good vision to pick out the runs from his teammates with the timing of his pass and placement. The tall center back had a couple of good tackles too. He did well in recognizing when to step into a challenge and when to back off. The performance against the professional academy showed a couple of areas for improvement too. Leary lost out on an aerial duel early in the game, a strength of his in the offense but a point where he could grow as he learns how to track the flight of the ball better when forced to back-pedal. He also had trouble with the speed of one of the attackers when faced up on the dribble. His footwork went a little sideways and his hips were slow to turn. Overall, Leary is a good prospect from the center back spot and put in an impressive showing during the tournament against players on the professional pathway in Europe.
Norales is a divisive prospect. The positive attributes are easy to see. He is a HIGH work rate player. He will run his tail off to help his team. He easily covered the most ground for the Capelli squad against HB Koge. He has quick feet and does like to dive into challenges. He is aggressive in his defensive approach and would be an ideal fit for a playing style that puts emphasis on the midfielder to cover ground and press high up the field – think Eryk Williamson’s role with the USA U20 team coached by Tab Ramos. The flip side of Norales’ unrelenting pursuit of the ball is that he tends to leave gaps in the center of the field when he chases the play. Understanding the tactical nuance of his role will really take his game to the next level. He has a lot of great qualities that made him standout from this select team.
Castaneda scored a header goal on on a corner kick from Mason Jimenez in the first half against HB Koge. Beyond the tally, Castaneda showed his quality in the game. He is highly ranked in the PrepSoccer National Rankings and lived up to that reputation with this select team. He is one of the best passers in club soccer. He does an excellent job in connecting the lines between his side. He is good at playing one or two-touch, as his previous experience training with professionals is obvious from his quick decision-making.
Madore had players falling over themselves throughout the week. He is a gifted dribbler and some outside backs learned that lesson the hard way during the event. Josh Collins and Madore combined to make the left side a strength for the Select Team against HB Koge. Madore was dangerous throughout the half, but he was denied a goal by a good save. Madore’s ceiling is very exciting and one of the reasons why the Penn State 2023 recruiting class is highly ranked.
Zachemski was a bright spot for the U17 Select Team. He is another product of the storied Sockers program. Zachemski lined up as the No. 9 (or center forward) in the traditional 4-3-3 formation. The 2024 prospect is a target playmaker – he is very unselfish for a forward. He prefers to link with his teammates and get other options running off of him. He has a good first touch and good strength to keep defenders away from the ball. His style of play fit in really well with Jack Brown and, who both found success in the attack thanks to the linking play from Zachemski.
The right center back from New York had an impressive showing for the Select U17 team. He was good on both sides of the ball. He was strong in the tackle, and did well in duels. He was intelligent with his passing and found good outlets. He established a good right side to the defense with Charles Greene. Violone’s performance with the Select Team should earn the attention of scouts looking for a center back.
Capelli Select U19 Roster: Josiah Odhiambo, Shattuck St. Mary’s; Matthew Vasquez, Florida Premier FC; Ian Nunez, Miami Rush Kendall SC; Benjamin Madore, Pipeline SC;, Sockers FC; Santiago Castaneda, Florida Premier FC/Tampa Bay Rowdies; Luke Dunne, Maryland United FC; Jose Luna, RGVFC Toros; , Cedar Stars Academy; Ethan Wirtschafter, South Florida FA; Mason Jimenez, Albion SC; Ethan Leary, SC del Sol; Diego Avelar, Loudoun Soccer; Josh Collins, PA Classics; Kaden Proa, Chargers SC; Peter Beil, Alexandria SA; Owen Allegro, Maryland United FC; Maxwell Ionita, Sockers FC
Capelli Select U17 Roster: Cameron Farrell, Loudoun Soccer; Mason Christiansen, Beachside SC; Simon Molinares, Miami Rush Kendall SC; Leonardo Burguete, South Florida FA; Samuel Martell, PA Classics; Charles Greene III, Pipeline SC; Luca Violone, New York SC; William Schroeder, Sockers FC; Mario Flores, Plantation FC; Daniel Baran, Sockers FC; Jayden Gins, Albion SC; Jack Brown, PA Classics; Nathanial Hovan, PA Classics;, Sockers FC; Kobe Keomany, Pipeline SC; , Sockers FC