With a new rule put in place by the U.S. Soccer Federation, the local landscape may never be the same. Starting in 2012, U.S. Soccer is asking players with its Development Academy teams to no longer play for their high schools. As a result, a number of the top players from this area might stop suiting up for their schools as they train more toward earning a spot on the national team. "If this rule continues and is upheld it will change high school and especially our league [the MIAA] -- considered by many to be one of the best in the country -- dramatically," said McDonogh coach Steve Nichols, whose Eagles (above) won their sixth A Conference title this season. "The best players will no longer play high school soccer, which will change our player pool drastically. It's just a shame because our area and especially our league is so talented and a lot of people won't be able to see these kids compete in a special environment where they are representing their school and their community. "It's a shame because Mike Gamble and Malcolm Harris will tell you that Saturday night at Spalding when we beat Gilman in overtime was one of the most special moments in their life."
Brian Krista, Patuxent Publishing