At the halfway point of the 2018-19 Development Academy season, Beachside's U-17 team sits second in the Northeast Division.
Much of that is the byproduct of players who have been together for several years, taking care of business against non-pro academies and competing with MLS ones when opportunities arise. The group has drawn New York City FC and beaten Montreal Impact, then went 2-0-1 at the Winter Showcase in early December.
However, a sizable part of the team's success is also due to Olivier van Spaendonck, a forward who's tied for third nationally in goals (13) at his age group. Recently, van Spaendonck turned heads when he verbally committed to Yale University, one of the region's first Class of 2020 commits.
"In terms of soccer, I really like the coaches and the guys," van Spaendonck (Westport, Conn.) said.