After the First Team claimed victory in its home opener, extending the club’s home-undefeated streak to 19 games, the D.C. United U-18 and U-16 Academy teams faced two tough Richmond Kickers academy opponents. Additionally, the U-13, U-14 and U-15 Pre-Academy squads participated in the Annandale Premier Cup this past weekend.
The U-18s (9-5-1) squared off against a competitive Kickers side and conceded goals in each half to fall 2-0. Despite improved play after the interval, United was unable to convert on a number of chances and had two goals called back due to an offside and a handball call. Richmond was able to find the back of the net via a first-half converted penalty kick and a counter-attack in the second half. Although the U-18s lost yesterday, the team is holding strong onto fourth place in the Atlantic Division of the East Conference.
"Full credit to Richmond on the win and clean sheet – they played well and deserved to win,” said U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “From our perspective, this was a disappointing result with disappointing performances. Our mentality in the match is accurately reflected in the scoreline.”
The U-16s cruised to a 2-0 win, courtesy of goals from Gerson Umana (Lorton, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) and Michael Monahan (Falls Church, Va.; D.C. United Pre-Academy / McLean Youth Soccer Association). In the 23rd minute, Umana received a long pass from center back Josh Bender (Baltimore, Md.; Baltimore Bays Blues), cut in towards the 18-yeard-box and shot a ball in past the Richmond goalkeeper from 20 yards. The Black-and-Red went into halftime with a 1-0 lead and would find its second goal only nine minutes after the interval. Monahan and midfielder Noah Pilato (Vienna, Va.; Chantilly Youth Association) combined well and Monahan streaked along the endline before tallying the second strike in the 49th minute. It was a good overall team performance, with possession markedly in United’s favor and many chances created. The victory improved the side’s record to 12-1-2, which keeps the Black-and-Red in first place in the Atlantic Division of the East Conference.
“Overall, it was a solid performance in every phase of the game,” said U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “The boys held possession for long periods of each half and created many scoring opportunities. This week, we will address finishing those chances and prepare, defensively, for what will be a competitive match in New Jersey versus Matchfit Academy FC.”
Meanwhile, the U-13, U-14 and U-15 Pre-Academy squads all participated in the Annandale Premier Cup, with each side playing up in age division and registering different tournament records. The U-13s finished the highest out of the three teams, tallying a 2-1-1 mark and making it to the U-14 final match, losing out to Virginia powerhouse Loudoun 2-0. The U-14s and U-15s did not experience as much success as the U-13s, but had strong showings on their own accords. The Black-and-Red U-14 squad ended the tournament with a 1-2-0 record while the U-15s registered a 0-1-2 mark.