Rapids coach: Dominique Badji could be “top scorer for many years” in MLS
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – In a season filled with its fair share of struggles for the Colorado Rapids, Dominique Badji has excelled. The 24-year old striker continues to lead Colorado in scoring, adding his eighth goal of the season in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against New York City FC.
“Every day he comes into work he’s a top professional,” Rapids interim head coach Steve Cooke said of Badji. “He puts in his time before training and stays late to work on becoming a good player and a good professional. I’m really pleased for him because he does put in that time.”
Entering 2017, Badji set a personal mark of double digit goals for the season. With six games remaining for the Rapids, he remains eager hit the mark.
“I’m still on track to do it and I’m still planning on doing it,” Badji said. “I’ve got a handful of games left and I’m definitely planning on scoring in those games. I want to hit that target.”
As the 67th overall selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Badji was not expected to earn a golden boot for the team initially.
“People possibly can’t remember because he’s scoring goals these days but he was a fourth-round pick. People probably looked and said this might be one of those fourth-round draft picks who gets pushed aside,” Cooke recalls. “When he started, I don’t think anyone would say he’d be the top scorer for the Rapids within a couple of years and that’s where he is.”
After some hard work and signs of improvement in each of his seasons as a professional, those within the Rapids’ locker room believe the sky is the limit for the young striker.
“I think his ceiling is as high as he wants it to be,” Cooke said “He needs to have ambition to be a top player in this league and I think Dominique Badji could be a top scorer for many years to come.”
Colorado has struggled with consistency in both lineup and results this season, but with latest signing Stefan Aigner starting to get his legs under him and the midfield developing chemistry, Badji is optimistic about the Rapids’ offense.
“The wingers are just looking to create opportunities for me,” he explained. “It’s something that’s been a work in progress, but we’ve got a solid front four that are attacking minded.”
Despite the difficulties of 2017, Colorado still believes it has a lot to bank on for its future. Badji figures to play a big part in that along the way.
Said Cooke, “We said to the guys, if you stay in this game, we’re going to have this moments. If you hit the target, you’ve got a great opportunity to score a goal and Dominique Badji keeps doing that. He’s a real threat now in this league. He’s only 24 so he’s got some good years ahead of him. “
This past Sunday kicked off the Northeast Soccer League’s league matches throughout the area! Here is the first week of matches by the numbers for Commonwealth FC!
Over THIRTY Goals were scored in 16 matches!
SIXTEEN Commonwealth FC teams are itching to get on the training ground this week to prepare for Matchday 2!
TEN teams opened up their 2017 Fall Campaign with an away fixture!
SEVEN teams were able to put the ball into the back of the next multiple times!
SIX teams kept a clean sheet!
FIVE teams scored FOUR goals or more in their matches!
Commonwealth FC came together as ONE to start an exciting fall season!
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Commonwealth FC U18s opened up Group D play against Northern Steel (PA) to kick off the Region I Championships this morning in Spotsylvania, VA.
Northern Steel was able to find the scoresheet in the 10th minute on a turnover by the Rams in their own attacking third. Northern Steel quickly established a counter attack on the left flank, where their left winger dribbled to the end line, and cut the ball back across the 6yard box for a tap in goal.
12 minutes later the Rams started to find their feet underneath them and were able to test the Northern Steel goalkeeper numerous times over the corse of 10minutes. The first chance coming from a whipped in ball by Rams right back Declan Foley that found the feet of Rams forward Liam Kelley who put the ball in the back of the net while colliding with the goalkeeper. The goal was disallowed as the sideline official raised his flag for offsides. After a couple of minutes of both teams going back and fourth with possession, Northern Steel found possession in the Rams defensive third about 25 yards out and struck the ball well enough to get it to knuckle and dip away from the Rams Goalkeeper at the last second to make it 2-0 in the 33rd minute.
Minutes later another chance for the Rams came, as right winger Matt Campbell found the ball on the right flank near the top of the 18 yard box, cut in on his left foot and blasted the ball that was bound for the the bottom right corner, but was ultimately tipped just wide of the net by the Northern Steel goalkeeper for a corner to wrap up the first half.
The second half started as a back and fourth midfield battle between both sides up until the 60th minute where Northern Steel were able to throw numbers forward in transition that forced Rams center back Larson Keys to step hard into the midfield to slow down the Steel attack. The ball was then played wide to the left winger who served the ball into the box that took a deflection of Rams defender for an unfortunate own goal to make it 3-0 with 30minutes remaining in the half.
In the final remaining minutes of the match, Northern Steel played a ball in the air into the Rams 18 yard box that was poorly cleared and fell to the Steel’s striker who slotted the ball into the back of the net to make extend the score to 4-0 with only a few minutes left remaining in regulation.
BRAINTREE, MA -The Commonwealth FC U18 Boys traveled down to Fredericksburg, Virginia earlier today after they qualified for the Region 1 Championships this past June with a 3-2 victory over Euro United in the Massachusetts State Cup Final.
“We’re very proud of what this group has been able accomplish in a very small amount of time being together. Being able to travel outside of the New England area to play meaningful matches is going to be such a valuable experience for these guys moving forward,” said Commonwealth FC Technical Director Adam Gabbard, “We have three tough matches ahead of us and in order to move on we need to win the group. Knowing our guys, and the grit they bring to the table, they’re not ready to lay down for anybody. Everyone’s excited and really itching to get after it”
The US Youth Soccer National Championships Series caps a year long tournament that features competition for boys and girls teams in the Under 12 through Under 19 age groups. In Region I, the National Championship Series begins with teams in all 15 state associations vying for their State Championships titles. State Champions in these age groups and champions of the Region I Eastern Regional League-Elite Division are eligible to compete in the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships.
“We’re incredibly excited and honored to represent the whole state of Massachusetts at the region 1 Championships. It’s such an honor for Adam and I to coach this team that has accomplished so much and is competing at such a high level.” explained Director of Coaching Mike Madden. “Its a little bittersweet to be here down the region 1 championship to finish the last chapter for the Boston Rams, but at the same time, we are so optimistic and excited to coach this team playing in its first competitive competition under the Commonwealth FC brand. We’ve been drawn into a tough group with Pachuca, Northern Steel & AC Connecticut, that being said it will certainly be interesting to see who comes out on top of the group. Our goal for the week is to come down and play some attractive, competitive football and win the group.”
Playing under the Boston Rams name, the Commonwealth FC U18s will open up the groups round robin play tomorrow morning vs Northern Steel (47th in the Nation) at 8am, for the first match in the Group D play. Northern Steel enters the Region 1 Championships coming off a Pennsylvania West State Cup Final win over Beadling SC as well as finishing second in the table in the Region I Eastern Regional League.
Saturday will be the second Group D match for the U18s that will kickoff at 3pm vs AC Connecticut (719th in the Nation). AC Connecticut arrive in Virginia after finishing their spring season 5th in their league table, followed by falling short in the 2017 Oakwood Premier Invitational Semi-Final losing 4-1 to Williamstown Berkshire Ajax.
The group stage will conclude for Commonwealth FC on Sunday against Pachuca FC USA (13th in the Nation) at 1:15pm. Pachuca, the front runner to win the group, comes to Fredericksberg after reaching the Jefferson Cup Final, where they ultimately fell short to Parsippany SC, and more recently lifting the Maryland State Cup over Baltimore Celtic SC to punch their ticket to the Region I Championships.
Baltimore Celtic SC Christos (MD)
FC Buffalo Academy (NY)
Timberwolves SC (NH)
Capital Premier (VT)
Dix Hills Hurricanes (NY)
Patriot FC (PA)
Cedar Stars Academy (NJ)
Rams FC (RI)
Far Post Premier (VT)
Delaware Rush (DE)
Boston Rams (MA)
Northern Steel (PA)
AC Connecticut (CT)
Pachuca UFC (MD)
For Updates, News and behind the scenes action, make sure to follow Commonwealth FC on Twitter (@Commonwealth08), Instagram (@Commonwealth08), Facebook (Commonwealth Football Club) & Snapchat (Commonwealth08)!
Braintree, MA – This past Friday former Commonwealth FC Midfielder Leandro “Geo” Alves officially signed his letter of intent to play the last two years of his collegiate career at the University of Vermont. The former New England Revolution Academy standout begins the next chapter of his footballing career as he leaves Dean College for a new challenge. During his two seasons as a Bulldog, Alves played and started in 33 of the 37 contests and left his mark on every match.
Prior to playing at Dean College, Alves played at Shea High School and earned Rhode Island Gatorade Player of The Year in 2015 and joined an elite class of Gatorade Player of The Year award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel HS, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick HS, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West HS, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire HS, Mass.).
The 5-foot-7 forward scored 29 goals and passed for 16 assists his senior season, leading the Shea Raiders (16-2) to the Division I state championship game. An All-New England selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Alves was a Providence Journal First Team All-State honoree in his lone season of high school soccer. That following summer, Alves played for the Boston Rams USL-PDL team which was at the time the unofficial New England Revolution U23 team where he continued to develop his game even further to prepare for the college ranks. He then went on to sign a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Dean College in Massachusetts.
During Alves’ freshman year, he played an instrumental role in Dean’s attack as he found the back of the net 14 times in 13 matches and was also racked up 7 assists in the process to end the year with 33 points. Alves later went on to receive All-American honors as he was recognized as one of the top players in the country as a freshman. Following his first year of playing college soccer, Alves was offered a roster spot on the New England Revolution Inaugural U23 team, in addition to training alongside the Argentinian National Team which included world renowned footballers such as, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain, Javier Mascherano, Marcos Rojos, Ezequiel Lavezzi. Alves took advantage of his opportunity and did not disappoint as he was brought in that same summer to train with the New England Revolution first team, ultimately leading him to receive an invitation to attend preseason camp in Arizona as well.
Concluding his sophomore season at Dean College, Alves continued to develop as one of the most dynamic players in the country as he scored 25 goals (5th in the nation), handed out 14 assists (2nd in the nation), in 19 games, nearly doubling his points total from the previous year to 64 (3rd in the country). Alves lead Dean College to the national tournament as a #4 seed but ultimately fell short without qualifying to move into the Semi Final round, beating Berkeley College of New Jersey 6-0 and falling to Florida National 2-1. During the National Tournament, Alves was recognized as a First Team All- American and came just short of being named National Player of The Year. Upon the end of the academic school year, Alves continued to play for the New England Revolution U23s and was called in to train with the first team on a consistent basis.
Via Ekenäs IF Website:
Nice play by the EIF gave a deserved victory against GrIFK. The match was helped Felix de Bona with his three goals and a hattrick. Head coach Jens Mattfolk wanted to see more goals but was happy with his pupils.
EIF – GrIFK 4 – 1 (1 – 0)
Initially, the game was very even. GrIFK started the game with a high tempo and tried to create dangerous situations as soon as the referee blew to start the match. After 10 minutes, the EIF began to create more and more situations. They kept the ball and attacked up the edges by different fitting combinations. A player who constantly created concerns in GrIFK defense was Felix de Bona . Through its mobility, it becomes difficult for the opponents, he creates a lot of space for other teammates. Among other Juuso Aalto came several times to great locations but that is not paid off.
In the 23 minutes injured Cheick Camara and In came Olli Jalli . What’s up with Camara is in writing, unclear. But, of course, is that the team does not need multiple injuries when the list is already long and the next 10 days to play three games.
Målkalaset began with 37 minutes played when Zacharias Ekström was knocked tackled in grani target area resulting in a penalty. Felix de Bona went up to eleven meter point and put the ball calmly into the right corner. Several goals would not come this half but dominated the EIF, however, the end, it did not visiting GrIFK a chance to level the score. Felix and Juuso had their chances alone with the keeper, but the ball did not go in. It was notable opponent was the clearance gap limped properly. Lots of passes went wrong and the EIF easily access breaking their playbacks.
After the break started happening for real. EIF, created several chances ahead, the crowd did cheer several times but did not sing sadly. The ball did not finish. In 63 minutes, however, took just waiting for the end. GrIFK slopes took a bad pass into the middle where Paul Akouokou came to mine and match up Felix de Bona calmly shot the ball past the keeper no chance.
Same Felix was on the go in 67 minutes. The attack started on the left edge where speed and form strong Zacharias Ekström got hold of the ball. He brought the ball in the breakneck speed toward the center of the plane. Gave a short pass on the Felix de Bona who did than turn and hit a quick turn shot in the left corner past granimålvakten. The score 3-0 and a hattrick of Felix de Bona.
In the 70 minutes played dropped EIF defender Joel Akpini ball and granispelaren Samuel Langhoff get the ball as he lay calmly into the net behind Santeri Aaltonen , 3-1 acknowledgment of GrIFK.
It would appear that the EIF was not at all happy with this. After the 3-1 goal GrIFK tried to increase pressure on the EIF goal. But the EIF’s defense was once again very tough and easily took out the balls. However they created countless chances ahead. Among other things, Paul Akouokou, Ville Sevón and Juuso Aalto had several situations where you would be able to increase målskörden significantly. Ultimately, it was Zacharias Ekström who scored 4-1 goal wonderfully presented played by Juuso Aalto in 77 minutes. Juuso Aalto chipped the ball over the defender to be rushed Zacke as the eminent futsal mannerism took the ball round the keeper and hit the ball into an empty goal.
A well-deserved win against a very weak GrIFK.
De Bona Awarded Match Ball After First Professional Hattrick
Ari Asukka , Grankulla IFK’s coach, how was the match of your part?
The first 25 minutrnarna was ok, we created some dangerous target situations. But as I said for 25 minutes lasted this nice game. Then something happened that I can not really understand. EIF began to have more say in the plan. This pressure resulted then in the penalty that made the game for us even harder. If a penalty was right or wrong is hard to tell from there I stood notes Asukka.
Grankulla IFK goalkeeper Toni Vuorinen , as the last man in Kauniainen team noted during the press conference that the first 25 minutes adjusters was good for us. I did not need to do much more than receiving the ball a few times with the foot and pass the ball on. After that we started losing a lot of ball. We gave the game to the EIF had many special situations such as corners and free kicks.
We had to chase the ball all the time says Vuorinen, really felt any EIF attack as a very dangerous attack that could result in anything.
EIF’s keeper Santeri Aaltonen noted that on some occasions in the first half burst little communication with defense. But it still felt safe the whole time. Obviously Akpinis case an unfortunate mishap where GrIFK came to making a goal.
EIF’s coach Jens Mattfolk noted that it took a long time for the team to get started. We had planned to start aggressively and take care of the game from the beginning, that we managed not to. But when we finally got hold of the game we played a fantastic football notes Mattfolk. We had several jättefina sequences in the first half. I’m super happy with everyone’s effort. We should even have made several goals, several of the trades were not as good as they should have been.
Next match play EIF Wednesday, 12.06. at 18:30 against TPS at Veritas Stadium in Turku. The match can be seen on Elisha viihde and Fanseat.com
EIF played with the following squad:
Camara Cheick Ibrahim (23 min Olli Jalli), Geffrard Jems, Akouokou Paul, Heinonen Riku (80 min Theo Lundström), De Bona Felix, Aaltonen Santeri, Doumbia Mohamed , Ekström Zacharias, Akpini Joel Konan Kouame Sakpa Yves (53 min Ville Sevón), Aalto Juuso
Braintree, MA – On June 17th four players of the Commonwealth U18 team along with Director of Coaching Mike Madden, traveled to Bedford, New Hampshire to attend ID Sports USA’s College Identification Camp. Founded in 2015, ID Sports USA has emerged as a leader in the college soccer recruiting industry. Their showcases provide players with a cost effective option for exposure to a handful of college coaches throughout the northeast.
“It was great to see the guys from our club competing and showing well against some excellent collegiate level talent in front of some of the best college programs in the north east,” said Director of Coaches Mike Madden, “A very special thank you to former Commonwealth FC center back Matt Keys and ID Sports USA who did a wonderful job running the showcase and giving our boys a chance to showcase their talent.”
Players are supplemented with realistic feedback and evaluations after events that will aid in their development and transition to college soccer. The event is capped with a staff ratio of 6:1 to ensure a personalized experience that compares to no other in college recruiting.
“These type of opportunities are great for players who are trying to play at the next level. What makes ID Sports USA so unique is that the players are getting honest feedback in real time from some of the top college programs,” said Technical Director Adam Gabbard. “They are now able to take all of that information home with them to help improve their development as they prepare for their collegiate careers.”
With college coaches in attendance from University of New Hampshire, Holy Cross, Umass Lowell, Quinnipiac University, Northeastern University, Assumption College and many more, our U18 players took full advantage of their opportunities performing in front of some of the top programs in the country!
For more information on ID Sports USA, please visit their website: https://www.idsportsusa.com/
Braintree, Mass. – Commonwealth Football Club has announced the hiring of Adam Gabbard as Technical Director for the Club. Gabbard joins Commonwealth FC while serving as Associate Head Coach for Dean College’s mens program & New England Revolution Academy Staff Coach.
A professional with a wealth of experience in developing players at the youth, club, collegiate and semi-professional level, brings a great deal of passion and knowledge of the standards for elite player development.
Prior to joining Commonwealth FC’s Technical staff, Gabbard spent the last two seasons at Dean College as an assistant and more recently as the Associate Head Coach for the men’s soccer program. In the past two years, he has helped lead the Bulldogs to their most successful seasons in school history with a combined record of 33-3-1 (.917 ).
“We are very excited for Adam to join our staff and begin working with our club,” Commonwealth FC Club Director Gary Burke said. “We’ve hired an experienced leader who shares our passion and a commitment to key principles for elite player development. His wealth of knowledge from every level of youth soccer up through the semi-professional ranks, and leadership experience in the NCAA and the PDL makes Adam a great asset for our club.”
Before his most recent roles, Gabbard was an assistant coach for the Boston Rams (USL-PDL ) as well as Director of Operations, Community Outreach Director, Communications Director & Youth Academy Staff Coach for the club from 2012-2015. During this time, the club was able to help develop over numerous players reach the professional ranks, both domestically and internationally.
“I have been lucky enough to have been coaching alongside Adam for the past 5 years at all age levels. Adam and I have coached youth camps and clinics, high school soccer, club soccer and the PDL team together.” Commonwealth FC Director of Coaches Mike Madden said, “Adam will be a valuable member of the staff in taking Commonwealth FC in the direction we want to go. I am excited to have Adam on as our technical director and to continue our working relationship as Directors at Commonwealth FC.”
Working closely with the Technical staff, coaches, players and families, Gabbard will be responsible for all technical matters regarding Commonwealth Football Club, including technical planning of each team and direction for player development and education within the club at all levels. Gabbard will also play a critical role in marketing and producing development programs to evaluate and enhance the quality in training, games and overall player development for Commonwealth FC.
“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Commonwealth FC family and Technical Staff. This organization is dedicated to the advancement of player development, and its core values are something that really stood out to me,” said Gabbard, “I look forward to working with all of the players, coaches and families to help bring this club to the next level. Commonwealth FC has given me an opportunity to use my experiences to inspire the next generations of young footballers, that being said, my ambition is to help cultivate and change the culture of football in New England for the better, and that certainly starts with our youth.”
We would like to congratulate Commonwealth FC’s Club Director and U11 Girls Coach Gary Burke for being selected as the Boston Globe Division 1 Boys HS Soccer Coach of the Year. The Braintree High Boys soccer team under Coach Burke earned national ranking on it’s way to both a Bay State League and South Sectional Championship.
This is Coach Burkes third such award, he was twice previously awarded the EMSCA Coach of the year. Congratulations to Coach Burke and his team on an unbelievable year!