D.C. United’s U-15 Academy team recently traveled to Orlando, Fla. to participate in the annual Disney Soccer Showcase. The Black-and-Red finished the tournament in third place with an unbeaten record of 3-0-1, barely missing the championship game due to a two-goal differential.
United kicked-off the tournament with a match against YMS Premier. The Black-and-Red were able to overcome a one-goal deficit and a missed penalty attempt, resulting in a 3-1 victory. After going down 1-0, D.C.’s Jonathan Sousa tied the match by scoring on United’s second penalty kick attempt. The second goal came off a header by Austin Pelto, following a corner kick from Gregory Snigur. Finally, Fola Adetola sealed the victory with the game’s third goal, from an assist by Snigur.
United faced Brentwood FC in the second match of the tournament, earning a 2-2 draw. In a closely contested match, the Black-and-Red tallied the first goal with a header from Snigur after connecting with a cross from Liam Hoen-Beck. Brentwood scored two goals to take a 2-1 lead in the second half, but United kept pressing and found the back of the net with a strike by Patrick Jean-Gilles, securing the final result.With the opportunity to play on Day 4 of the tournament at stake, United faced Norcross Premier in the third match. The Black-and-Red went into the game knowing it needed four goals to reach the final, but was not able to overcome the goal differential following a 1-0 victory. The match’s lone goal came from a free kick-goal by Jimmy Filerman.
United finished the tournament by playing Davis SC in the third place match. In a fast-paced contest, both teams had several opportunities, but neither could find the back of the net during regulation. The match went to penalties and it was United goalkeeper Derek Thomas who stole the show by stopping two strikes. Thomas’ teammates converted four strikes to capture third place.
“It was a solid performance from the boys,” said Pre-Academy Coordinator and U-15 Head Coach Tom Torres. “You don’t come across many teams that struggle to play at this tournament, and the players stepped up to the challenge against teams that they don’t get a chance to face in Development Academy league play. Considering that there were three age groups and two combined teams represented, the consistency of all age groups training in the same system was evident. Overall, there is a lot of excitement in the Academy about our youngest group.”
D.C. United’s Youth Academy would like to thank the Dulles Sportsplex for their assistance with the trip.
About the Disney Soccer Showcase
Held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., the Disney Soccer Showcase is a highly rated tournament that gives young athletes the chance to showcase themselves in one of the biggest stages set for youth soccer in the U.S.