Development Academy: FC Dallas U-18s debut in title defense
By Jimmy LaRoue
FC Dallas U-18s begin their Development Academy title defense this weekend as it travels to Classics Elite Saturday.
The MLS-based academy side finished the 2011-12 season by defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC to win the championship and is the only team in the Frontier Division that has yet to play a game, as Sporting Kansas City has raced out to a 3-0-0 start and has only conceded one goal while scoring 10.
In the Mid-America Division, Chicago Magic PSG (3-0-0) and Vardar SC Freiburg (2-0-0) U-18s both put perfect records on the line this weekend in matches against FC Milwaukee (0-3-0) and Indiana Fire Academy (2-1-0), respectively.
Magic PSG has yet to give up a goal and has scored nine in two matches, getting three from Dzenan Nezirevic and two each from Keenan Busse and Xavier Gomez.
Chicago Fire’s U-18s (2-0-0) take their perfect record on the road against St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro (0-1-1), having scored 11 goals in two matches while conceding just one goal, with Jeffrey Farina tallying a hat trick in both games last weekend. Farina (11 goals in 2011-12) and Marcus Epps (14 goals in 2011-12) moved up to the U-18s this season after combining for 25 goals last season.
In the East Conference, McLean Youth Soccer and PA Classics’ U-18s have started strong, both with 3-0-0 records, while Baltimore Bays Chelsea has started 2-0-0. McLean has scored 12 goals and given up one in three matches. Bays Chelsea, while scoring five goals, have yet to concede a goal.
McLean takes on a typically strong D.C. United (2-1-0) Saturday, while PA Classics is off this weekend. Bays Chelsea plays Sunday against Players Development Academy.
The U-16 matchup with McLean and United should be interesting as well, as United (3-0-0) will be the ones looking to preserve its perfect start, while McLean (1-2-0) looks for its second win of the season. United’s U-16s feature Gerson Umana, who had a hand in all five of United’s goals in a 5-0 win over PA Classics last weekend.
In the Northeast Division, the U-18 BW Gottschee Academy (2-0-0) looks to continue its strong start, going on the road to play FC Bolts Celtic (0-1-1) Saturday. Meanwhile, Seacoast United’s U-16s are off to a 2-0-0 start and faces Revolution Empire (0-1-0) this Saturday.
Weston FC (2-0-0) and Kendall SC (2-0-0) U-18s will try to stay undefeated in a pair of games each this weekend, both hosting North Carolina Fusion (1-1-0) and CASL Chelsea FC Academy (1-0-0).
However, even though some academy sides have played three or four matches by this point, FC Dallas isn’t the only club making its 2012-13 academy season debut this weekend, as Cal Odyssey hosts the San Jose Earthquakes in a Northwest Division matchup. In U-18s, Crossfire Premier has the early lead with a 2-1-0 record, with Miguel Medina leading the way for Crossfire with three goals, though it will be off from league play until Oct. 20.
In the Southwest Division, Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake AZ U-18s, both undefeated at 2-0-0, face off.
Note: Jonathan Navarro, a forward with De Anza Force’s U-16s (3-0-0), was chosen as U.S. Soccer’s week three player of the week, scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 win on the road against Santa Cruz Breakers last Saturday.