Two area players are joining the move to the United Kingdom to advance their game.
James Straus, Springfield Catholic’s goalkeeper, will sign paperwork on Tuesday according to Irish Reports. Robert Neathery, from Nixa, signed earlier this month with the Academy program based in Leeds, England. The two players are teammates at Springfield SC where they won the U16 Missouri State championship in 2011.
Straus, who won two Missouri High School state championships with Springfield Catholic, was named the Class 1 Goalkeeper of the year along with 1st Team All-State recognition.
Catholic goalkeeper James Straus will sign with Richmond International Academic Soccer Academy, Leeds, England Tues. 3:45 in SCHS library.
— Dante Rebori (@Irishreports) January 24, 2013
Neathery, who earned 2nd Team All-State honors in Class 3 (one of five area players) was also named Co-Offensive Player of the Year for the Southwest Region while establishing new Career Scoring marks for the Eagles.
A program begun in 2010 in Leeds, England has now recruited 7 players from this region (list below). As noted on the RIASA website, “the program is great for students who are looking to play year round. This is something the NCAA soccer does not allow, which leaves the players with a gap in their development opportunities. RIASA fulfills this gapâ€.
Naki Wells, a RIASA alum, plays for Bradford City, the Div 2 side that just made history by making it to the Capitol One Cup Final to face Swansee at Wembley – this is the old Carling Cup. They got to the Final by beating Wigin, Arsenal, Aston Villa
1. Joe Curti – from Carthage, 92 Missouri ODP State Team and Springfield SC coached by Jeremy Alumbaugh
2. Doug Stevenson – from Kansas City, 92 Missouri ODP State Team and Regional Team from Kansas City, played for KCFC and KC Wizards coached by Gareth Hughes
3. Jackson Patillo – from Willard, on 93 Missouri ODP State Team and Springfield SC coached by Jeremy Alumbaugh
4. Reid Harbach – from Springfield Catholic, 94 Missouri ODP State Team and Regional Pool Team, Springfield SC coached by Carl Rose
5. Austin Hart – from Springfield Glendale, on 94 Missouri State ODP team and a Regional Pool team Player and a Springfield SC coached by Carl Rose
6. Drake Trease – from Nixa, on 93 Missouri ODP State Pool Team, played for Springfield SC coached by Carl Rose
In addition to our local boys, Taylor Ries (95 Illinois ODP State Team and Regional ODP Pool Team) from Quincy HS (IL) will sign his letter of intent to RIASA on Feb. 7.
A nice story on the Springfield SC connection can be found on the RIASA website from October 2012.