All-American Game ignites new rivalries

When North Carolina high school seniors Kyle Parker and Jonathan Campbell meet Friday, they will have a little bit more to talk about than most teammates in the inaugural High School All-American Soccer Game, which is being held Saturday evening in Birmingham, Ala.

Parker, who verbally committed to UNC-Charlotte, and Campbell, who committed to North Carolina, will get to see their future programs in person since the All-American event organizer arranged for tickets to Friday night’s NCAA Men’s College Cup semifinals.

UNC-Charlotte takes on Creighton and North Carolina faces UCLA on Friday. The winners advance to Sunday’s NCAA final, and members of the All-American Game will be in attendance at that match, as well.

“I’m sure we’ll joke around with each other and give each other a hard time depending on who wins,” Parker said.

For Campbell, the event will be a family affair. He said his entire family is heading to Birmingham to watch both the NCAA tournament and the All-American game this weekend.

The NCAA matches kick off Friday at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. EST and will be shown live on ESPNU. The High School All-American Game is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST Saturday.

East vs. West

The High School All-American Soccer Game is the brainchild of Eric Stratman, who also organizes the popular Gateway Soccer Classic, a fall high school boys’ soccer showcase that annually features many of the nation’s top teams.

Unlike the previous All-American Game that existed for high school soccer, this contest is limited to players who represented their schools during the fall season and have thus ended their high school careers.

Stratman was able to pull together this All-America event with a high number of major college prospects, despite several players from the US Soccer Development Academy having to decline an invitation to play due to Academy commitments.

The East team features six players bound for ACC schools: Campbell (North Carolina), Dakota Edwards, Donovan Fraser and Ntozoko Tshuma (Maryland), Darius Madison (Virginia) and Alex Kapp (Boston College). The West team has five players headed to Big Ten programs: Sean Conerty (Michigan State), Femi Hollinger-Janzen (Indiana), Joe Naughton (Wisconsin) and Chase Rau and Jason Stacy (Michigan). In addition, Akron commit Matt Foldesy, Portland commit Dustin Munger and Virginia Tech commit Deven Mason – playing for the West – will participate.

Getting To Know The Players

The following players helped their high school teams to a POWERADE FAB 50 ranking at some point during the 2011 season: Campbell at Greensboro Day School (Greensboro, N.C.), Brad Carbajal and Deven Mason at Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.), Sean Conerty and Jason Stacy at Forest Hills Central (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Vince Conti and Michael Parker at DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), Ben Citrin and Curtis Oberg of Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.), Matt Foldesy at St. Ignatius (Cleveland), Donovan Fraser at Half Hollow Hills East (Dix Hills, N.Y.), Ryan Gross at Davis (Davis, Calif.), Karsten Hanlin at Cherry Creek (Englewood, Colo.), Neil Henley at St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.), Ryan Howe and Victor Zamora at Boylan Catholic (Rockford, Ill.), Darius Madison at La Salle (Philadelphia), Jared Martinelli at Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Joe Naughton at Marquette University (Milwaukee), Jeff Rose, Jesuit (Carmichael, Calif.), Jacob Scearce at Ballard (Louisville, Ky.), Dalton Stark at Quincy (Quincy, Ill.), Ntozoko Tshuma at Episcopal (Alexandria, Va.) and Austin West at Canterbury School (Ft. Wayne, Ind.).

Injury Update

Lochhead and Kapp recently sustained injuries and will not play in Saturday’s All-American Game. Rose suffered an ACL injury during the high school season, yet was named to the team and will be there as an honorary team member.

View It Live

The game will be streamed live on a pay-per-view basis.