In early December, Oakwood's showing at the Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., wasn't even remotely up to snuff.
It's fact that Matt Cameron, last year's Coach of the Year in the Development Academy's East Conference, freely admits. Across the U-17 and U-19 age groups, losing all six matches to clubs such as Crossfire (Wash.), FC Dallas (Texas) and Legends FC (Calif.) caused some heavy introspection.
"For us to be exposed like that is a blessing in some ways," Cameron told New England Soccer Journal. "Now we come back here and have had some honest, real meetings where it's, 'Crossfire can do all of these things and we can’t collectively and individually.'
"How do we get closer? How can we narrow the gap?"