Casa Grande, Arizona – Barça Residency Academy striker Matthew Hoppe leads the DA U-18/19 age group in goals scored and goals scored per games this season. With two months remaining in the regular season, Hoppe tops the charts with an impressive 24 goals scored in 17 games played. Hoppe is averaging 1.4 goals per game at this point of the season.
“It feels amazing to be the top goal scorer in the DA,” said Hoppe. “I have worked very hard to get to where I am today and I am very grateful for the environment I am in. The coaching staff, the boys, and everyone behind the scenes makes this possible for me.”
Being amongst the top goal scores in the DA is no new feat for Hoppe. Last season, he finished fourth on the DA U-16/17 goals scored rankings. He netted 24 goals in 30 games in his first season playing this difficult position.
Hoppe’s prolific goal scoring aided the Barça Residency Academy U-16/17 team to a historic third-place finish at the 2017/18 DA Championships. An amazing accomplishment in the academy’s inaugural season. He earned DA West Conference Best XI honors as a striker and was named a 2018 United Soccer Coaches Youth All-American along with teammate Julian Araujo who signed with LA Galaxy earlier this month.
Hoppe returned to Barça Residency Academy this season as a high-profile goal scorer. J.R. Eskilson of Top Drawer Soccer named him as a top player to watch in the 2018/19 season.
“Hoppe is the best player in the Development Academy who has not been called into a U.S. Youth National Team,” said Eskilson. “The striker for Barça Academy has been a level apart from his nearest competition and his highlight reel is pretty solid demonstration of what he is capable of against the best teams in the U.S.”
Seventeen games into the season, Hoppe has already matched his 2017/18 season total of 24 total goals and has nearly doubled his goals per game average.
“This is only my second season playing striker and I am still learning,” said Hoppe. “The biggest change for me came when I started to focus on the little things. The details, my first touch, my shooting– specifically within the 18-yard box and my movement off the ball.”
Hoppe’s high-powered goal scoring has been the catalyst of the Barça Residency Academy U-18/19s success this season. He has scored over half of the teams’ goals (24 of 45), helping the U-18/19s remain a top of the DA West Conference as they look to make another deep run in the DA playoffs.
Hoppe has netted an impressive four hat-tricks this season, two of which coming from back-to-back games this past weekend on a critical road trip doubleheader against Nomads SC and LA Galaxy Academy. Hoppe paced Barça Residency Academy to two wins as they defeating Nomads SC 4-1 on Saturday and LA Galaxy 4-3 on Sunday.
“On the field, I am able to link up well with our midfielders and wingers who put me in good scoring positions often,” Hoppe added. “The thing that our head coach, Sean McCafferty, puts a focus on is being in the right place “all the time”, this mentality along with repetition of shots in front of goal has helped me tremendously.”
Hoppe’s success with Barça Residency Academy has translated to other opportunities including trials in Germany as well as a trip to trial and train at La Masia – FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy. Hoppe signed with San Diego State University but one of his major goals is to win the DA Championship this year with Barça Residency Academy.
Hoppe and the U-18/19s will be back in action on April 13th and 14th as they host Silicon Valley Soccer Academy and Arsenal FC in a weekend doubleheader at Grande Sports World – Home of Barça Residency Academy.