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Boys DA Nov 20, 2012

Development Academy: Richmond Strikers, NJSA 04 split games

By Jimmy LaRoue

The Richmond Strikers and NJSA 04 split Development Academy games over the weekend at Striker Park, with the Strikers taking the U-16 matchup, and NJSA 04 winning the U-18 encounter.

In the U-16 matchup, neither side was able to broach the scoresheet until late in the match, when the Strikers’ Jesus Duran-Reyes scored the lone goal of the match in the 80th minute to give the home side the win.

The win for the Strikers (4-3-0, 12 pts.) puts them in fifth place in the East Conference’s Atlantic Division, trailing D.C. United (9-0-1, 28 pts.), FC DELCO (6-1-1, 19 pts.), Baltimore Bays Chelsea (5-2-1, 16 pts.) and PA Classics (5-4-0, 15 pts.). Just behind the Strikers are a logjam of teams, including NJSA 04 (3-3-1), who are sitting on 10 points. United’s U-16s took a 1-0 decision over Players Development Academy, as Julian Cummings’ 34th minute goal, heading in a cross from Gerson Umana, stood up, with United goalkeeper Arie Ammann coming up with key saves late in the match to hold onto the shutout.

“This was certainly a difficult test versus a quality opponent for the boys, and they responded very well, said coach Tom Torres via the club’s website. “While 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.”

In other U-16 matchups Sunday, McLean Youth Soccer held NJSA 04 to a 2-2 tie, with all four goals scored before halftime. McLean’s Karim Zebdi opened the scoring in the 2nd minute, with Kyle GUrrieri tying the match in the 14th minute. Eight minutes later, McLean regained the lead on Daniel Levetown’s goal, but NJSA 04’s Michael Papakonstantinou tied the match just before halftime on his 44th minute goal.

The Richmond Kickers U-16s won 1-0 over Match Fit Chelsea for their first win of the season on the strength of Julian Ngoh’s 18th minute goal, while Baltimore Bays Chelsea fell 3-2 to FC DELCO, who raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes before Connor Smith scored for Bays in the 57th minute, but DELCO regained a two-goal advantage seven minutes later before Mani Walcott’s 68th minute goal for Bays cut the lead to one. However, Bays couldn’t find the equalizer.

In the U-18 matchup Saturday, the Strikers took the early lead over NJSA 04 on Ian Jones’ 11th minute goal, but they weren’t able to hold it, as NJSA 04 scored twice by halftime on goals by Conor Nichols in the 25th minute and Thomas Farell in the 30th minute. Two more goals early in the second half from Nichols in the 50th minute and Brandon Kolczynski four minutes later secured the match for the visitors, though the Strikers Alfonso Speed pulled one back in the 87th minute, providing for the 4-2 margin in NJSA 04’s favor.

The win for NJSA 04’s U-18s moves them to 4-2-1 on the season, seventh in the division with 13 points. The Strikers (0-5-2), meanwhile, have just two points on the season, sitting just above Virginia Rush (0-5-1, 1 pt.) and Potomac (0-9-1, 1 pt.). PA Classics is in first place at 7-1-1, while D.C. United (6-3-1, 19 pts.) and Players Development Academy, at 6-0-0 and 18 pts., are just behind the leaders. PDA defeated United 1-0 on a 48th minute goal from Max Kroschwitz.

In other U-18 matches Sunday, McLean and NJSA 04 played to a 1-1 tie. After a scoreless first half, Rahim Dorsey scored seven minutes after the break to give McLean the lead, which held until the waning moments of the match, when Conor Nichols scored in the 90th minute to pull out the tie for the visitors.

The Kickers’ U-18s fell to Match Fit Chelsea 1-0, an 11th minute goal from Ryan Schelderman holding up for the home side, while Bays and DELCO played to a 1-1 tie, with both goals coming inside the first 10 minutes of the match. Yaw Amankwa’s 10th minute goal was his team high ninth of the season for Bays.

This weekend’s schedule is a light one in the Development Academy, and for local teams in particular, as just Bays are in action, traveling to face PA Classics Sunday.

The academy’s Winter Showcase takes place  Sat. Nov. 30 through Tues. Dec. 4 in Bradenton, Fla., with all of the local academy clubs–Baltimore Bays Chelsea, Richmond Strikers, Richmond Kickers, McLean Youth Soccer, D.C. United, Virginia Rush and Potomac–taking part. U-18s will begin play Nov. 30, with the U-16 and U-18 teams playing Saturday. On Sunday and Tuesday, the U-16s will take center stage, while on Monday, the U-18s will close out play.

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