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Academy Update - March 25, 2013

U-18s easily defeat the Richmond Strikers 5-1 while U-16s play to 1-1 draw

The D.C. United Academy U-18 and U-16 teams continued play in the 2013 U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season this weekend, as the sides took on the nearby Richmond Strikers.

The U-18s (11-5-1) – positioned fourth in the USSDA U-18 East Conference’s Atlantic Division – squared off against the 10th-placed Richmond Strikers (3-9-2) this past Saturday, routing Richmond in a 5-1 victory. The U-18s got off to a flying start, scoring four of its five goals in a span of 15 minutes, with all four of these strikes coming in the first 30 minutes of the match. Jorge Calix (Alexandria, Va.; Team America Premier) took a free kick in the 15th minute that rebounded nicely for Graydon Hester (Middleburg, Va.; Lee Mt. Vernon), who finished the play and netted the first goal for the U-18s. Ian Harkes (Fairfax, Va.; Herndon Youth Soccer) tallied just four minutes later to put United up 2-0. And three minutes later, Calix took a chance from 25 yards out to beat the Strikers’ goalkeeper, before Christophe Koffi (Potomac, Md.; Team America Premier) added the fourth goal of the half in the 30th minute. Bashir Hooper (Haymarket, Va.; McLean Soccer Academy) would cap off the five-goal tally in the 75th minute to put the U-18s up 5-0. However, Richmond was able to grab a consolation goal before the final whistle, ending the game with a 5-1 scoreline.

"We had better urgency to go and score goals, which was a positive from the match,” said U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “It is the second straight game we've conceded a goal just moments before the final whistle, so that is a concern we need to address moving forward. But overall, it was a good team performance."

Meanwhile, the U-16s (13-1-3) – first place in its age division – had to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Richmond Strikers (4-8-2), despite dominating possession and creating more chances throughout the match. The U-16s went up early in the 6th minute as Milton Juarez (Woodbridge, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) linked up with teammate Noah Pilato (Oakton, Va.; Chantilly Youth Soccer) with quick combination play to open the scoring. Richmond would answer quickly, though, tallying in the 10th minute to level the score 1-1. As play carried on, the United U-16s maintained quality possession, but simply could not break down the Strikers’ defense to grab a game-winner.

“Overall, it was a solid a group effort,” said U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “Despite attacking the entire game, we were unfortunate to not find that second goal.”

The U-18 and U-16 Academy teams will have the next week off before returning to training ahead of the teams’ next matches against the PA Classics in Manheim, Pa., on Sunday, April 7.

Academy Update presented by Korrio.

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