Day One of 2011-12 Development Academy Playoffs provides surprises and exciting finishes
The opening day of the 2011-12 Development Academy Playoffs provided its share of surprises, clutch goals and exciting finishes as the U-17/18 age group kicked the tournament into high gear on Monday at the FC Dallas Stadium Complex.
That sets the stage for Tuesday’s first games among the U-15/16 group, with the Academy Playoffs portion kicking off at 4 p.m. CT. The U-17/18 teams begin their second day of games with several interesting matchups as teams jockey for position at the top of their groups. The U-17/18 group will take a break Wednesday before returning for their final day of games on Thursday.
Among some of the standout results during Monday’s play was Pateadores’ come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Group 2. Vancouver, the top seed of its group and a first-time participant in the Academy Playoffs, carried a 2-1 lead through 80 minutes. But Pateadores’ TJ Casner scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season, netting an equalizer in the 81st minute and the game-winner four minutes into stoppage time.
It was a big victory for Pateadores, the defending U-17/18 champion, as the team qualified for this year’s Academy Playoffs as one of the final wild card teams.
LA Galaxy’s U-17/18 Academy team had the biggest offensive performance of the day with five goals in the game’s first 67 minutes during its 5-1 win against Vardar SC Freiburg. Jose Villarreal paced the Galaxy with two goals.
A recurring theme on Day 1 was late charges down the stretch. Along with the win for Pateadores, Concorde Fire overcame a second-half deficit with goals from Drew Morgan (70th minute) and Alexander Kowalski (88th minute) to defeat Group 7 top seed Chicago Fire by a 2-1 margin. Chivas USA’s Mark Verso scored a 90th-minute goal to lead his team to a 2-1 victory against Charlotte Soccer Academy in Group 6, and De Anza Force earned a positive result in a difficult 2-2 draw against CASL Chelsea FC Academy, bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit with Max Ornstil’s 82nd-minute tally and Travis Pillon’s equalizer two minutes into stoppage time.
By the numbers: The YNT Blog breaks down the Day 1 numbers and accomplishments from the U-17/18 age group.
U.S. Soccer workshops, initiatives in focus: Tuesday is not only about the games on the field, as the technical staffs from all 78 Academy teams will attend an afternoon workshop focused on a technical overview of the directives and new initiatives that the U.S. Youth National Teams are going through, as well as the best ways to integrate U.S. Soccer’s curriculum into Academy teams.
Dave Chesler, Director of Coaching Education for U.S. Soccer, is scheduled to provide an introduction to the topics and a general overview of the conference before teams split up into separate groups hosted by Development Academy Technical Advisors Hugo Perez, Tim Regan, Chris Brewer and U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore.
The second portion of the workshop will be a presentation on a new concussion program focused on prevention and testing set for the 2012-13 Academy season. Dr. Ruben Echemendia, Chair of Major League Soccer’s concussion program and the consulting clinical neuropsychologist to the U.S. Soccer Federation and the U.S. National Teams, will lead the presentation.
What to watch on Day 2: The U-15/16 age group kicks off group play, while the U-17/18 group heads into its second day of matches.
U-15/16 Games to Watch:
Real Salt Lake AZ vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 4 p.m. CT: One of two matchups of MLS-affiliated sides during the day, this figures to be a fiercely competitive contest between two teams that advanced to the 2010-11 Finals Week. Real Salt Lake AZ took third in last year’s Finals Week and the Sounders finished fifth in 2010-11.
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rush, 5 p.m. CT: The defending U-15/16 Development Academy champion LA Galaxy sets out to defend its title. Led by Justin Dhillon, who scored 20 goals in 26 games during the regular season, the Galaxy takes on a Rush team that finished in fourth place in the Frontier Division.
Arsenal FC vs. PA Classics, 6 p.m. CT: PA Classics, the U-15/16 runner-up last year, earned the Mid-Atlantic Division’s second berth by the slightest of margins. The club squeezed into the divisional berth on goal differential over FC DELCO. A tough task is ahead, though, as PA Classics faces Arsenal FC from the always strong SoCal Division. Arsenal features two double-digit goal scorers – Paul Arriola (14 goals) and Jose Garcia (13 goals).
U-17/18 Games to Watch:
Real Salt Lake AZ vs. FC Dallas, 8 p.m. CT: This Group 5 clash features two MLS-affiliated sides coming off big wins on Day 1. Real Salt Lake AZ defeated Sockers FC 2-0 and the hometown side FC Dallas earned a 3-0 shutout over McLean Youth Soccer. The winner of this match will be in the driver’s seat of the group.
Concorde Fire vs. Solar Chelsea SC, 8:30 p.m. CT: Winner of its opening match in Group 7, Solar Chelsea SC leads the group on goal differential after Day 1. Solar Chelsea SC put on a strong offensive showing with a 4-1 win against Albertson SC. Concorde Fire earned a 2-1 win against MLS-affiliated Chicago Fire. Including the regular season, Solar Chelsea SC is now unbeaten in five straight matches.
Crew Soccer Academy vs. Baltimore Bays Chelsea, 8:30 p.m . CT: These two sides both earned clean sheets in their opening matches. Crew Soccer Academy beat New Jersey-based Players Development Academy 3-0 while Baltimore Bays Chelsea shut out Lonestar SC Academy 1-0. Baltimore Bays Chelsea conceded just seven goals in 12 Mid-Atlantic Division games this season.
2011-12 Development Academy Playoffs:
All times Central
U-15/16 age group:
4 p.m.: CASL Chelsea FC Academy vs. Georgia United (Field 6)
4 p.m.: New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas (Field 7)
4 p.m.: Dallas Texans vs. Pateadores (Field 9)
4 p.m.: New England Revolution vs. Albertson SC (Field 11)
4 p.m.: South Carolina United Battery vs. Charlotte Soccer Academy (Field 12)
4 p.m.: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Greater Boston (Field 14)
4 p.m.: Chicago Fire vs. Clearwater Chargers (Field 15)
4 p.m.: Real Salt Lake AZ vs. Seattle Sounders FC (Field 17)
5 p.m.: Crew Soccer Academy Wolves vs. NJSA 04 (Field 4)
5 p.m.: Texans SC Houston vs. Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy (Field 8)
5 p.m.: LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rush (Field 13)
5 p.m.: Concorde Fire vs. D.C. United (Field 16)
U-17/18 age group:
6 p.m.: North Carolina Fusion vs. Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy (Field 7)
6 p.m.: Crossfire Premier vs. FC DELCO (Field 9)
6 p.m.: Weston FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Field 12)
6 p.m.: Pateadores vs. Texans SC Houston (Field 15)
8 p.m.: De Anza Force vs. LA Galaxy (Field 4)
8 p.m.: Vardar SC Freiburg vs. CASL Chelsea FC Academy (Field 5)
8 p.m.: Colorado Rapids vs. Empire United (Field 7)
8 p.m.: Dallas Texans vs. South Carolina United Battery (Field 9)
8 p.m.: Real Salt Lake AZ vs. FC Dallas (Field 11)
8 p.m.: McLean Youth Soccer vs. Sockers FC (Field 14)
8 p.m.: Charlotte Soccer Academy vs. New York Red Bulls (Field 15)
8 p.m.: New England Revolution vs. Chivas USA (Field 17)
8:30 p.m.: Albertson SC vs. Chicago Fire (Field 6)
8:30 p.m.: Concorde Fire vs. Solar Chelsea SC (Field 8)
8:30 p.m.: Crew Soccer Academy vs. Baltimore Bays Chelsea (Field 12)
8:30 p.m.: Lonestar SC Academy vs. Players Development Academy (Field 14)
U-17/18 age group:
Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy 0, Crossfire Premier 0
FC DELCO 1, North Carolina Fusion 1
Pateadores 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
Weston FC 3, Texans SC Houston 2
LA Galaxy 5, Vardar SC Freiburg 1
CASL Chelsea FC Academy 2, De Anza Force 2
Empire United 1, Dallas Texans 1
Colorado Rapids 4, South Carolina United Battery 1
FC Dallas 3, McLean Youth Soccer 0
Real Salt Lake AZ 2, Sockers FC 0
New York Red Bulls 1, New England Revolution 1
Chivas USA 2, Charlotte Soccer Academy 1
Concorde Fire 2, Chicago Fire 1
Solar Chelsea SC 4, Albertson SC 1
Baltimore Bays Chelsea 1, Lonestar SC Academy 0
Crew Soccer Academy 3, Players Development Academy 0