D.C. United’s Youth Academy kicked off the 2012 U.S. Soccer DevelopmentAcademy season with the U-18 and U-16 sides facing the New England Revolutionand FC Greater Boston this past weekend.
United’s U-18 team began the 2012 season on a high note, earning a 4-2victory over New England on Saturday, March 10. The Black-and-Red were able totake the lead in the first half with goals from Marcus Salandy-Defour andJannick Eckenrode, giving United a 2-0 advantage. The course of the match wouldchange in the second half, however, as New England managed to level the score. Inthe end, United’s pressure paid off with an own goal from the Revolution,followed by a tally from U-20 USMNT player Collin Martin.
The U-18’s finished weekend play unbeaten, earning a 3-3 draw againstFC Greater Boston. United finished the first half with a 2-1 lead thanks togoals from Jose Porteria and Patrick Foss (penalty kick). The Black-and-Redwere able to extend their lead to 3-1 in the second half with another tally byPorteria, but Boston was able to fight back and score two late goals, sealingthe final result to 3-3.
“We had extended periods in both matches that showcased the quality ofthis team,” said United U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “Our build-up play wasexcellent, which resulted in numerous opportunities to score goals and closeout the games. We were able to build a two-goal lead in each of the matches,but lacked the killer instinct to close out the games. That will be the focusin this week’s training.”
United’s U-16’s had a disappointing opening weekend, falling 0-3 to theNew England Revolution and 1-2 against FC Greater Boston. United’s lone goal ofthe weekend was scored by Rafael Fagundo, who connected a left-wing cross fromHeyner Pajaro.
“Theboys continue to put in decent performances for two thirds of every match,”said United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “Unfortunately, if we are not one ortwo goals ahead, we end up getting exposed defensively. Our possession was goodand that’s important, but finishing and keeping our defense tight will be a bigfocus this week”.