D.C. United youth academy splits games with PDA in Zarephath
Washington, D.C. -D.C. United’s U-16 squad capped off the fall season with a tight 1-0 win over the Player Development Academy (PDA) U-16’s while the PDA U-18’s edged out the Black-and-Red U-18’s 1-0 this past Saturday in Zarephath, NJ.
In a tough-as-nails defensive battle, the U-18’s fell 1-0 to PDA, conceding the match’s only goal in the 48th minute off of a quick counter-attack from a turnover at half-field. Despite controlling the ball for much of the game, United was unable to consistently create or convert its chances.
“The team had good moments against a defensively disciplined team,” said Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “At this level, mistakes in the back result in goals and that, unfortunately, was the case today. We’re going to put the past two matches behind us and work to get back on track in Bradenton at the Winter Showcase.”
Although the U-16’s were slow to find a rhythm in its eventual 1-0 victory, a formation adjustment saw the squad control more possession and put PDA on its heels. In the 34th minute, Gerson Umana (Lorton, Va.) beat a defender and crossed the ball to the back post where a leaping Julian Cummings (Fredericksburg, Va.) headed it down into the net past the diving PDA goalkeeper. It was Cummings’ 5th goal of the season, good for third-best on the team behind Umana (9) and Jean-Christophe Koffi (6; Potomac, Md.). United continued to dominate play after the interval, but a fast-paced final 10 minutes saw both sides create several chances. Black-and-Red netminder Arie Ammann (Round Hill, Va.) made a couple of crucial saves to preserve the shutout and help his team grab three points.
典his was certainly a difficult test versus a quality opponent for the boys, and they responded very well,・said Head Coach Tom Torres. 展hile the match showed that there is still plenty of work to be done on both sides of the ball before Bradenton, the group is confident, competing and playing quality soccer.”
The U-18’s finished its fall campaign fourth out of 12 teams in the division, having averaged 1.90 points per game and compiling a 6-3-1 record. The U-16’s went unbeaten in the autumn, averaging a League-best 2.80 points per game and posting a 9-0-1 mark in the process. Both sides also led the nation in scoring, notching 31 strikes apiece, in each age category.
Both the U-18’s and the U-16’s next play at the Development Academy Winter Showcase, which is taking place from November 30-December 4 in Bradenton, Fla. The U-18 and U-16 Academy teams will each match up against North Carolina Fusion, FC Dallas and Chivas USA in their respective age divisions.