Rick Yeatts

Fernando Piña to compete in U-19 Junior Cup in Germany

Dynamo Academy goalkeeper Fernando Piña has been named to an 18-man U.S. roster that will compete in the 2012 U-19 Stuttgart Junior Cup from Jan. 6-7 in Stuttgart, Germany. The team will leave on January 3 to train in the Crystal Palace Arena in London, England.

The U.S. has been drawn into Group A and will compete against clubs teams from Lechia Danzig (Poland), VFB Stuttgart (Germany) and FSV Mainz 05 (France). Group B includes Lazio (Italy), Celtic Glasgow (Scotland), SC Freiburg (Germany) and Hamburger SV (Germany). 

The competition features multiple 15-minute mini-games in six-a-side soccer game on a 50 x 30 meter field with no walls. The U.S. team features players born on or after Jan. 1, 1993, and will be coached by Mark Litton (an assistant coach with the U.S. Futsal National Team). 

After graduating from the U.S. Residency program last summer, Piña returned to Houston to play for the Dynamo Academy. The promising goalkeeper won the Golden Gloves award at the 2010 SUM Cup as the tournament's top goalkeeper and has trained with the Dynamo first team in 2011. In a July 10 friendly against the Monterrey U-20s, Piña made seven saves, included a penalty kick, in a 3-1 win for the Dynamo Reserves. Piña will enroll at the University of Akron in the fall and play collegiate ball for head coach Caleb Porter.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeffrey Joseph Gal (Sockers FC), Fernando Piña (Houston Dynamo)
DEFENDERS (4): Jonathan Campbell (North Carolina Fusion), Holden Fender (Concorde Fire), Luis Hernandez (Atlas Merced No Cal), Nico Rittmyer (South Carolina United Battery)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Diego Lopez (Atletico Santa Rosa No Cal), Casey Macias (Pateadores), Stefanos Stamoulacatos (Empire United), Cooper Vandermass-Peeler (North Carolina)
FORWARDS (2): Mario Rodriguez (LA Galaxy), Jonathan Top (FC Dallas)