ECNL Boys 2023 Texas National Event Day 2 Recap
The ECNL Boys Texas National Event continued Saturday with the second day of competition. See below for a rundown of a few of the day’s top matchups.
MVLA vs Rio Rapids 3-1
In the 06 age group, MVLA rallied from down a goal to get past Rio Rapids 3-1 on Saturday.
“I thought the guys did well to get the result. We weren’t super sharp in the beginning, but they adjusted and responded well in the second half to put a couple goals in,” said MVLA Head Coach Keith Lambert.
Rio Rapids got on the board first with a goal from Teryk Webber in the 15th minute, but it only took two minutes for MVLA to respond with a goal of their own from Manny Portillo.
In the second half, David Hernandez fired home a shot from inside the box to give MVLA the lead in the 63rd minute. Then 10 minutes later, Alexis Cervantes was brought down inside the box, giving MVLA a penalty that was put in by Markus Beck to secure the victory.
Lambert talked about the resiliency his team showed throughout the game, and how that is something that has characterized this side.
“It’s been kind of a trademark of this group for a couple of years now that we continue to go, so that’s the expectation,” Lambert said. “Obviously, you don’t want to concede early, but it was a good response to a poor start.”
Lambert also noted a number of players who really stood out to him, including Portillo and Cervantes in the attack, but also praised how well Alex Hofman played in the midfield.
“Alex Hofman had a really great day today,” said Lambert. “He stepped up well and was an engine for us in the midfield.”
Dallas Texans Academy vs LAFC So Cal 0-0
In the 08 age group, Dallas Texans Academy and LAFC So Cal battled to a scoreless draw, but the game was not lacking in exciting moments.
Just 10 minutes into the game, Dallas Texans conceded a penalty, but their keeper made an outstanding save to keep the game scoreless.
Dallas Texans saw one of their best chances to score 30 minutes into the game when LAFC’s defense had to clear a shot off the line and block multiple chances from the Texans attack.
In the second half, LAFC began to create more of the chances and hold more of the possession, but the Dallas backline held strong throughout the game and were able to keep out numerous scoring opportunities.
“I think it was an even game. We had a little bit of momentum in the first half, and I think in the second half it went both ways,” said Dallas Texans Head Coach Marcio Leite. “It’s two good teams.”
Leite also emphasized how important it was that his side continued to stay in the game, even in the parts where LAFC saw more of the possession.
“They’re kids and the intensity goes up and down as well as the concentration, but the good part is that they stayed in the game and they had a good opportunity to win the game.”
“I’m very happy with their effort. Gearing toward the end of the season they have to keep the mental aspect and work on the weaknesses that we have and the things we do well, to try to make a good run and try to repeat what we did last year.”
New Mexico Rush vs Santa Rosa United 1-0
On Saturday in the 07 age group, New Mexico Rush defeated Santa Rosa United behind a late second half goal from Matteo Franco.
After an extended run of pressure in the second half from New Mexico Rush, Franco fired a shot from the top of the box in the 67th minute that took a deflection and found its way over the keeper to put New Mexico on top.
On the defensive end, New Mexico Rush was able to see out the clean sheet in the final minutes to come away with the 1-0 victory.
“I thought they played well,” said New Mexico Rush Manager Myles Kraenzel. “Good possession in the first half, got a little pressure in the second half, but played well and connected well.”
Kraenzel also noted how well the midfield looked throughout the day, and how well Franco played throughout the course of the game.
Sporting California USA vs Classics Elite 2-2
In the 08 age group, Classics Elite jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Sporting California USA, before a second half rally saw the two sides finish with a 2-2 draw.
Classics Elite jumped off to a fast start when Santos Nava scored five minutes into the game, and followed that up with a second goal when Alexander Valdez found himself open at the far post on a corner kick and tapped home the second goal of the game.
Sporting California responded with a much better effort in the second half though. Esteban Ruiz led the charge with two goals in the 61st and 73rd minutes to give his side the comeback and help earn the 2-2 draw.
“They’re a good physical team and we just didn’t do our job on the set pieces, but this team is working its way up the ladder and had a good fight back in the second half,” said Sporting California Head Coach Jeff Irwin. “Definitely could have won the game, but a draw was a decent result.”