Big news for the Penn men's soccer team as freshman forward Duke Lacroix was named to US soccer's U-20 camp ahead next year's U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Lacroix, who has also attended camps at the U-18 level and played at the U-14 and U-15 levels, is attending the camp which began yesterday and will last for a week. The freshman scored five goals this year en route to winning the Ivy League's Rookie of the Year.
The youngster will be coached by Tab Ramos who is one of the most capped US players of all-time and a veteran of Real Betis in Spain and the Metrostars of the Major League Soccer.
The freshman from New Egypt, N.J., will play alongside some established MLS players such as Vancouver's Omar Salgado and Real Salt Lake's Luis Gil as well as other college freshman, outstanding high school seniors and many training academy products from overseas.
It will be interesting to see how Lacroix progresses in the camp. Although he is by no means a lock, he does fit well into the Klinsmann's favored (albeit largely unsuccessful, so far) 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 depending on how you look at it.
It is a system the Rudy Fuller utilizes at Penn where Lacroix is slotted as winger up top, which suits his strengths very well. He is one of the few Quakers who can control the long, diagonal balls and beat you by cutting in and taking a shot or racing down the flank and delivering a good cross. Another key piece of his game is his ability to consistently create his own shot. He is, by no means a lock to make the World Cup roster, but playing in camp will only help Lacroix as he continues to develop.
In other soccer news, midfielder Christian Barreiro was named first-team ECAC All-Star and captain Thomas Brandt was named to the second-team. The plaudits may serve these two well in anticipation of the MLS SuperDraft scheduled to take place on Jan. 12. Check back for more information next week.