North Texas SC starts off its 2020 season on Saturday against Forward Madison at Globe Life Park at 8pm.
The team has been training hard in order to replicate its great inaugural season. However, with only 13 players signed and rostered for the 2020 season, the club will need some players from the academy.
Academy (or former) academy players such as Gibran Rayo, Tanner Tessmann, and Imanol Almaguer all played pivotal roles last year, so it makes sense that there will be other players that will take the huge step from the academy level to the professional level.
All of these players have been with North Texas SC in camp, which means these are all players Head Coach Eric Quill has an eye on for the incoming season.
Justin Che (Center back, U9)
Out of all the players that are in the academy right now, Justin Che has been the one that has trained the most with North Texas SC over the course of the year. The young academy player has been in the running for a major role in NTSC and has been involved since the preseason game against NTX Rayados.
Currently, it looks like Che is behind Lamar Bautista and Phillip Ponder on the depth chart, but from what Coach Quill said in the latest 3rd Degree podcast, it looks like the young center-back will have a major role on the squad.
Beni Redzic (Winger, U19)
The other player mentioned on that aforementioned podcast, Beni Redzic is one of two returning U19 Academy players. The Boznian Youth National team player has been a constant starter for most of the academy teams he has been on, and it seems like he will have an opportunity this year to fill Arturo Rodriguez’s shoes.
Antonio Carrera (Goalkeeper, U17)
Out of the three players under this column, Carrera has the smallest chance of actually having a big role in the squad. However, with the current pandemic, it is unclear if first-team players can actually go down to second team matches. Inter Miami’s feeder team, Ft Lauderdale CF, had no Inter Miami players on the roster on their first match of the season against Greenville Triumph. Meaning, in all likelihood, with Alivez’s promotion to the first team a month ago, Antonio Carrera might be on the roster tomorrow.
Philip Akem (Forward, U19)
One of the biggest academy players, Akem has all the physical attributes to be a pro right now It will be interesting to see if he can make an appearance, with the attacking side of the North Texas roster already filled to brim.
Collin Smith (Forward, U19)
Another attacking player, Collin Smith was the top goalscorer for the U17s last season, with 9 goals. Tall and fast, Smith looks like a replica of Tesho Akindele, manliness, and all. His inclusion in North Texas SC training was surprising, but access to professional training might help him grow into his full potential.
Diego Hernandez (Attacking Mid, U17)
One of two new U17 academy players that has featured in North Texas SC training (that we know of). He really impressed many in his few minutes in training, but it will be a while until we see him on the field.
Anthony Ramirez (Winger, U17)
The other U17 found in camp, Ramirez trained earlier in the year with North Texas. Will be interesting to see if he will get an opportunity with the squad soon.
Other Academy Players That Might Be on the Roster
Luis Medina (U19), Eduardo Ruiz (U19), Jose Gutierrez (U19), Santiago Ferreira (U19), Ty Reynolds (U17), Matthew Concoran (U17), Jordan Jones (U17), Cesar Elizande (U17)
What do you think of the list?
Are you as excited as I am for the start of professional soccer in DFW again?
Featured Image: 3rd Degree