2013 saw the marriage of Bethesda Soccer Club with Olney Boys & Girls Soccer Club.
The two enjoyed quite the honeymoon in 2013/14, with a trip to the USSDA finals. Like all marriages, you must take the up with the down.
The down will be pretty apparent this season, as the club has lost many of its more recognizable faces.
OWTY’s USSDA U17/18 Player of the Year, Jeremy Ebobisee-Ebolo is now starring at Duke. Chase Gasper is playing meaningful minutes at UCLA and was selected to join the US U20s in Argentina. While Jake Rozhansky, Matthew Ledder, Sam Schmidt, Bruno Scodari, Karl Brown, Ismail Lapp-Kamara and Carter Manley all too begin what look to be promising D1 careers.
Not even the most fertile academy squads can afford to lose that much talent and expect to bounce back to where they were the year prior.
With Bethesda-Olney’s veteran U18 roster completely gone, look for many of the Academy’s ’97 U16s to step into big time roles this season.
Bethesda-Olney will promote a solid back line who only let in 28 goals last season at the U16 level. They’ll be led by ’97 outside back Timothy Ekpone who is one of the better left-backs in all of USSDA. His athleticism and ability to neutralize an opposing team’s top offensive player will be critical this year if Bethesda-Olney hopes to return to the play-offs. Ekpone will play in front of experienced goalkeeper ’97 Clay Thomas. Thomas started all 28 matches last season for the U16s and will be the first choice keeper at the U18 level this season. ’97 Lukas Zinngrebe is another talented defender who has spent time with Atalante FC in Mexico as well as teammate of Gedion Zelalem at Walter Johnson HS. Look for ’97 Max Graham to also be involved in the defense. Graham naturally plays in the midfield but could see time as a central defender.
The midfielder will be run by ’97 Thomas Bernhardt-Lanier. The French-American Bernhardt-Lanier has been scouted by multiple European teams and OWTY has heard on numerous occasions that the offensive midfielder could move abroad sooner than later. For the time being Bernhardt-Lanier will be the driving force of the U18s. ’97 Thomas Madden, a veteran of the program will be another key figure for the team this season. Madden was a dependable starter for the U16s and will likely slip right in behind Bernhardt-Lanier. Also watch for ’97 Sam Sergi to make an impact.
Bethesda-Olney lost ’97 Alonzo Clarke, ’97 Stephane Kouame and ’98 Collin Jouan to DC United over the off-season. Those three figured highly into the Bethesda-Olney plans before their move. Bethesda-Olney was able to strike back at DC by convincing ’97 Liam Hoen-Beck to make the move to the Maryland club. Hoen-Beck’s been a very productive outside midfielder for DC United over the last two seasons and looks to be one of the real danger men for the Bethesda-Olney attack this season.
Bethesda-Olney will rely on the athletic tandem of ’97 Ofentse Kale and ’97 Ibrahima Kouyate to bang home the goals.
The U16s are in much better shape going in to the season. Bethesda-Olney is home to a very strong ’98 class that are committed to making a run at play-off success at the U16 level.
The talented ’98 group includes brothers ’98 Ben Di Rosa and ’98 Matthew Di Rosa. The brothers Di Rosa terrorized the U16 Atlantic division last season and will be even more potent this year. Ben is a terrific defender while Matt is a skillful striker who can slip back into the midfield.
The Di Rosa’s are also joined by talented attackers ’98 Francisco Contreras who scored 8 goals last year and was on the cusp of a US Youth Team camp. Injury plagued ’98 Juan Ramirez is back a ready to prove his one of the elite talents on the East Coast. The combination of Ramirez and Contreras gives Bethesda-Olney firepower not many at this level can match. Factor in US Residency forward ’98 Eric Matzelevich and the Bethesda-Olney attack is fierce. Look for Matzelevich to re-join squad for late season play-off push.
The talented ’98s will welcome a few standout ’99 from the U14 squad. Midfielder ’99 Elijah Amo will be looked to regain his goal-scoring exploits from last year. Amo can play as both a wide midfielder and up top. Look for him to play in both spots. In defense or deep midfield role look for US Youth National Team pool player ’99 John Foster McCune III to have an impact on this team. McCune is a solid leader and has excellent passing skills for a defender/defensive midfielder.
In net ’99 Connor Jones will get the nod. Jones started 22 of 23 games for the U14s last season and will be given the #1 shirt for sure.
The U14s will count on uber-talented offensive threat ’00 Shany-Jo Kayo. Kayo will pair with rising star ’01 Gabe Segel who looks a sure bet to not only be one of the top ’01s in USSDA but also a lock to make the 2015 id2 roster.
Striker ’00 Aidan Rocha played minutes last season with the U14s and will be a leader on this team, as will the Scoffield twins, ’00 Brandon Scoffield and ’00 Bryan Scoffield. Brandona and Bryan are dangerous midfielders who enjoy taking on players 1v1.
Club Captain :: Thomas Madden
Impact Player :: Juan Ramirez
Club Talisman :: Thomas Bernhardt-Lanier
Club Star :: Thomas Bernhardt-Lanier
Defensive Stalwart :: Timothy Ekpone
Top Prospect :: Gabe Segel
Pro Prospect :: Francisco Contreras
US Resident :: Eric Matzelevich