D.C. United Academy Update
Washington, D.C. (September 24, 2013) – In the third weekend of the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season, D.C. United’s U-18, U-16 and U-14 Academy teams took on the Richmond Kickers with the U-18 and U-14 teams picking up wins and the U-16 squad earning a draw.
The U-14s (2-0-1) got off to another fast start as Kidus Lemma (Fairfax, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) scored his first goal of the season in the 18th minute thanks to an assist by Sahr Felix Sandy (Woodbridge, Va.; North Virginia Soccer Club) as the team went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. In the second half, both teams went back and forth, but Luis Rodriguez-Luna (Woodbridge, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) tallied his second goal of the season in the 58th minute off of a header from an Andrew Nicholas (Nokesville, Va.; North Virginia Soccer Club) cross to double the Black-and-Red’s lead. With time winding down, Jordan Saint-Louis (Potomac, Md.; Potomac Soccer Association) sealed the victory with an unassisted individual effort for his second goal of the season as United went on to win 3-0.
“The boys are beginning to find their rhythm in the final third and are capitalizing on their chances, which is something we've been stressing the last few weeks in training,” said D.C. United U-14 Head Coach Jonathan Frias. “It was also good to see a very strong effort defensively to keep a clean sheet against a side like the Kickers who came at us and didn't just sit back. Credit to the boys on another dominating performance on both sides of the ball.”
In a hard fought game, the U-16s (0-1-2) tied its second straight match of the new USSDA season. Despite many chances to score, the Black-and-Red couldn’t convert, but thanks to a strong defensive performance, the squad was able to seal a 0-0 draw with the Kickers.
“We were unfortunate not to score a goal,” said D.C. United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “I was happy with the boys’ performance and relentless pressure in the first half, and credit to their goalkeeper who made several outstanding saves. We will continue to focus on the final third and attacking unit this week in training. Defensively, the goalie and back four did an outstanding job of shutting down counter attacks, and their build up play was consistently useful in keeping a fast attacking pace.”
The U-18 Academy team (1-1-1) got its first win of the 2013-14 season with a dominating 5-0 victory over the Richmond Kickers. Jimmy Filerman (Vienna, Va.; Vienna Youth Soccer) opened the scoring for the Black-and-Red on a diving header off a cross from Steven Gandy (Gainesville, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) to put United up, 1-0. Christophe Koffi (Potomac, Md.; Team America) followed with a goal of his own on a great individual effort to beat the backline and doubled United’s lead before the half. The Black-and-Red broke the game open in the last 15 minutes of the game with goals by Bashir Hooper (Gainesville, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association), Julian Cummings (Fredericksburg, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) and Mike Monahan (Falls Church, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) en route to sealing its first victory of the season.
“The group had a strong offensive output and finished their chances,” said Torres.. “The defensive unit was tested a few times, but did an excellent job in recovering the ball and beginning new attacks. Overall, it was a good performance and we expect the outcome to push players to compete even harder in training.”