D.C. United Academy Update - April 10, 2009
Tiffany Trophy Cup Results - The D.C. United Academy U16 side recently participated in the Tiffany Trophy Cup, facing international youth teams from Real Madrid (Spain) and Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica).
United Academy standouts Julio Arjona and Shaq Phillips returned from the U.S. Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. to play in the match against Real Madrid on April 4 at RFK Stadium, hours before the first team played their MLS match. While D.C. controlled a good portion of the first half and played well in defense, they were unable to score, and an early goal in the second half was enough for the visitors to come away with a narrow 1-0 victory.
“It was a great chance for us to measure ourselves against one of the top clubs in the world,” said United Director of Youth Development, John Maessner. “These experiences are invaluable for young players who aspire to play at the highest level. I thought that we showed very well as a club and I believe we made a big statement to the growth this country has made on the soccer field with our youngsters in the last several years. I was very happy with our first half performance in particular. We were able to combine well throughout the field, get forward and create scoring opportunities.”
United next faced an older Pachuca FC USA from Potomac, MD on April 6. It was another close match, ending in a narrow 2-1 defeat for United, with forward Iyassu Bekele getting on the scoreboard for D.C. In their final game of the Tiffany Trophy Cup, the United U16s fell to Costa Rican power Deportivo Saprissa, 3-1.
“Overall, it was a great experience for our boys to get to play in two quality international matches in against Real Madrid and Deportivo Saprissa,” said Maessner. “These games are a critical piece to developing players who have aspirations to play at the highest level. This is one more notch in their belts that adds to the experience they now have as a soccer player and they will be able to use that experience for the rest of their careers to help them reach their goals.”
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