Development Academy Showcase: Day Three Recap
The last day at the U-14 Development Academy Showcase started with the threat of rain and the pressure to play well against another MLS Academy squad. The D.C. United U-14s were undefeated going into their clash against the Colorado Rapids on Monday morning. The young Black-and-Red was looking for their first win at the showcase after tying their two previous games 2-2. This would be the last game together at this age group and emotions were running high.
Learning from past games, United locked down the game early and did not allow a single shot on net in the first 30 minutes of the game. They played out of the back and worked the ball along the wings and through the middle to penetrate the Colorado Rapids’ defense early and often. Even though United had the majority of the possession during the first half, they were not able to capitalize on their dominant performance and went into halftime tied 0-0.
Halftime allowed United to regroup and make some changes that would insert some spark into the lineup. After 54 minutes of peppering the Colorado Rapids’ goal, Luis Rodriguez-Luna was able to break the deadlock and give United the first goal of the game. Rodriguez-Luna’s lone strike proved to be the winning goal after 80 minutes of intense and dominant play from DCU.
The D.C. United U-14s ended their showcase weekend undefeated, with one win and two ties against some formidable opponents. The USSDA Showcase provided an excellent ending to a season full of success, development and fun for a very talented group of players. After the game, players smiled and hugged each other, realizing how much they had accomplished in their first season as official D.C. United Academy players. The U-14s ended their season with a 17-6-4 record in overall competition, traveled to U.S. Soccer Regional and National Showcases, played an entire season of Futsal and created a legacy for the next generation of United U-14s.
“This is a special group,” said D.C. United U-14 Head Coach Jonathan Frias. “There’s a lot of talent and drive in this group of players. They worked day in and day out for each other and with each other to create a season they’ll never forget. I’m excited to see these players develop even more with D.C. United. What they accomplished this season is something special.”
Goal: Luis Rodriguez-Lune 
Starting XI: Luke Campbell, Alexis Cerritos, Chris Durkin, Oscar Flores, Kyle Frye, Derin Kokuuslu, Andrew Nicholas, Luis Rodriguez-Luna, SahrFelix Sandy, Jacob Velvel and Andres Villanueva
Full USSDA U-14 Showcase Roster: Rudy Acree, Luke Campbell, Alexis Cerritos, Chris Durkin, John Eberle, Zvi Ferrari, Oscar Flores, Kyle Frye, Conor Gill, Jason Goldstein, Derin Kokuuslu, Kidus Lemma, Andrew Nicholas, Luis Rodriguez-Luna, SahrFelix Sandy, Jacob Velvel, Chandler Vaughn and Andres Villanueva