In Part 2 of our Chicagoland Academy Round-up, we are covering the Chicago Magic. Part 1 went over the Chicago Fire Academy and in Part 3 we will cover Sockers FC.
The Chicago Magic are in a bit of a Jekyll & Hyde mode when it comes to their academy these days. The younger teams seem to do exceedingly well but the U-15/16 and U-17/18 squads struggled in the 2009-2010 season and 2010-2011 has started out very lackluster as well. However, that didn't prevent the Chicago Magic from recently being ranked No. 25 in Soccer America Daily's Top 30 Boys Clubs. Congratulations to the Magic and we wish continued best fortune. As we warned the No. 7 ranked Chicago Fire Academy though, don't be resting on your laurels now...
We highlight more of Chicago Magic's accomplishments after the break
One of the problems with covering the Chicago Magic successes is most of age groups below U-15/16 and U-17/18 and those levels don't have defined leagues and regular season play. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy website has detailed information on standings, player bios, goals, game starts and other relevant information but only for U-15/16 and U-17/18. In comparison, visit the United Soccer League's website and try and make sense of where the Chicago Magic play. It's nice that they have some information and news listed but you will use the club directory and then a couple of pages over you will see listings for other teams that weren't in the club directory. It's a little confusing to say the least.
On the bright side, the USL site provided a '2010 All-Tournament Team' for the Super Y-League Boys U13 Division North American Finals and three Chicago Magic players were recognized. It was full team approach as defense-man Roberto Rodriguez, forward Adrian Roman, and midfielder Ruben Sanchez received all-tournament honors. Roman and Sanchez scored in the championship game to give the Chicago Magic their 20th National Title in club history on November 23rd. The success continued for Chicago Magic on November 23rd as the U14 team won the Super Y-League Boys U14 Division championship. Forward Simon Aldama, midfielder Francesco Moore, and goalkeeper Gustavo Flores were named 2010 All-Tournament Team. Flores deserves a special mention because he did not concede a goal throughout the tournament and blocked a 7th round penalty kick to give the Chicago Magic their 21st National Title.
That kind of success makes me wonder what is up with the U-15/16 and U-17/18 sides this year. In 7 games played so far, the U-15/16 team is 1-5-1 while the U-16/17 team is 1-4-2. That's a small sample size but both teams have 16 games to go still before the season is over. If they things don't get figured out between now and April when the season starts again, the Chicago Magic teams are in for one long summer. Jonathan Hernandez leads the U-15/16s with 2 goals. Luis Arellano, Josue Chavez, Benjamin Gunhus, and Ian Forlow all have one goal to their name. Philip Huang has been seeing the most time in goal but young Gustavo Flores mentioned above has been getting some playing time in net too. The U-17/18 team has been lead by Miguel Ascota and Luis Ortega who have two goals a piece. Roberto Albuquerque, Spencer Filosa, Arkadiusz Raclawski and Nicholas John Suker all have one goal. Jovani Castanon and Scott Sutarik have been splitting time in goal almost equally with the edge going to Castanon.
Chicago soccer fans should mark April 9, 2011 on their calendars as the Magic take on Sockers FC for the first time this season and on May 1, 2011 the Magic will play the Chicago Fire. We wish all the academies luck in 2011. Who knows, perhaps both Magic squads can right the ship and get that 22nd and 23rd National Titles for the trophy case.