D.C. United’s U-16 team advanced to the 2012 USSDA National Championship after finishing their playoff run undefeated. The USSDA National Championship will take place at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium, beginning on July 16.
United’s U-16’s earned a spot in the National Championship by finishing in first place on Group 6, with victories against Concorde Fire and Colorado Rush, and a draw with the LA Galaxy.
United kicked off the playoff group stage in Frisco, Texas with a 3-1 victory over Concorde Fire. Jorge Calix (Ft. Washington, Md./St. Stephens Episcopal HS) maintained his top form by scoring a brace, assisted by Michael Sauers (Glen Arm, Md.) in the first goal, and burying a free kick in his second tally. Michael Seaton (Capitol Heights, Md.) also contributed with a goal, assisted by Jorge Calix.
The next match saw the U-16’s earn a valuable point against the LA Galaxy, one of the tournament’s candidates. Michael Seaton, assisted by Ian Harkes (Fairfax, Va./Gonzaga HS), tallied United’s goal to earn a 1-1 draw against the California side.
The U-16’s needed to win their third match in order to advance to the nationals, and they did so with a resounding 4-2 victory over Colorado Rush. After going down 0-1 at halftime, United displayed tremendous character to earn a come-from-behind win with a brace from Nigel Robinson (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park HS) - assisted by Ian Harkes in his second tally - and goals from Michael Monahan - assisted by Rafael Fagundo (Herndon, Va./Paul VI HS) - and Robert Palmer (Bethesda, Md.).
“It was a great playoff week for the boys,” said United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “They earned a spot in the Nationals with sacrifice, hard work and dedication, and they should be proud that they represented the club well. The team played with style and dictated much of the tempo of each match in their opponent’s end.”
In other Academy news, United’s U-18’s wrapped up the 2012 USSDA Summer Showcase with a win and two losses. The U-18’s defeated Birmingham United by 5-1 with a brace from Collin Martin (Chevy Chase, Md./committed to Wake Forest) and a hat trick by Bernardo Majano (Woodbridge, Va.). United then fell to Arsenal FC by 3-2 with goals from Emmanuel Kanneh and Collin Martin. Finally, the U-18’s lost to Oakwood Soccer Club by 3-1 with Collin Martin tallying United’s lone goal.