The Houston Dynamo Academy announced award winners for the 2017-18 season Monday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Midfielder Marcelo Palomino, fresh off a training camp with the U-18 U.S. youth national team at the National Development Center in Kansas City, was named Dynamo Academy Player of the Year for the third consecutive year. In 24 Development Academy games, Palomino compiled 17 goals and eight assists – all while training with the Dynamo first team on a regular basis and taking part in preseason training camp.
Ricardo Garcia won the Brian Ching Golden Boot Award after scoring 24 goals in 29 games for the U-13s, while U-17 defender Erik McCue earned the Ricardo Clark Leadership Award as well as U-17 Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year.
"Despite moving to Houston at the start of the season and not knowing anyone, he quickly established a leadership role within the team and delivered some fantastic performances on the field," U-17 head coach Tom Harris said of McCue. "He constantly demands excellence of himself in school, training and matches and in addition drives the players around him to do the same. His call up to train with the first team has been an excellent reward for the hard work and dedication shown all year."
Taking home the Memo Rodriguez Iron Man Award was U-13 midfielder Sebastian Pacheco, while U-19 defender Mujeeb Murana was recognized as the Mentoring Program Student of the Year. Earning U-19 Player of the Year was Jesus Ortiz, who scored eight goals in 24 games in Development Academy play as a midfielder. The U-19 captain was also voted Players' Player of the Year by his teammates.
"[Jesus] embodies everything a coach could want in a player and captain," head coach Kenny Bundy said. "His work rate, leadership and willingness to improve have set the bar within the Dynamo Academy."
The Dynamo Academy U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams will continue their seasons in two weeks at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Showcase and Playoffs before all teams reconvene in August for the start of the 2018-19 season.
|Academy Player of the Year||Marcelo Palomino (U-19)|
|Brian Ching Golden Boot||Ricardo Garcia (U-13)|
|Ricardo Clark Leadership Award||Erik McCue (U-17)|
|Memo Rodriguez Iron Man Award||Sebastian Pacheco (U-13)|
|Mentoring Program Student of the Year||Mujeeb Murana (U-19)|
|Team||Player of the Year||Players' Player of the Year|
|U-13||Iyke Dafe||Alex Oropeza|
|U-14||Daniel Hernandez||Ronaldo Guzman|
|U-15||Bryce Willoughby||Gerardo Martinez|
|U-17||Erik McCue||Erik McCue|
|U-19||Jesus Ortiz||Jesus Ortiz|