D.C. United Academy’s U-18 and U-16 teams resumed play in the 2013 U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season this weekend, with both sides nabbing wins against Match Fit Academy FC.
The U-18s (10-5-1) squared off against Match Fit Academy FC (3-9-2) yesterday, bringing home a 2-1 victory over the 11th-place team in the USSDA U-18 East Conference, Atlantic Division. After a 45-minute snow delay at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, NJ and an ensuing venue change, the game finally kicked off. In the 42nd minute of the match, Michael Sauers (Glen Arm, Md.; Baltimore Bays Chelsea) drew a penalty in the box, with Ian Harkes (Fairfax, Va.; Herndon Youth Soccer) converting the penalty kick chance to open the scoring account. Jorge Calix (Alexandria, Va.; Team America Premier) would make it 2-0 for the United Academy U-18s in the 70th minute, Match Fit Academy FC getting on the score sheet late to end the game 2-1.
“This was a better team performance,” said U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “We've placed a lot of emphasis on finishing the final 10 matches of the season strong, improving each match, so this was a positive result to that end.”
Meanwhile, the U-16s (13-1-2), who currently sit atop its age division, grabbed a 2-0 victory over Match Fit Academy FC U-16s (4-9-1) with a splendid display of set piece scoring. Coming up from the center back position on corner kick opportunities, central defender Josh Bender (Baltimore, Md.; Baltimore Blues) connected on two Gerson Umana (Lorton, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) corner kicks in the first half and dominated possession throughout the match, creating multiple chances to increase its lead throughout the game.
“Overall, it was a great away showing for the boys,” said U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “They showed a lot of quality with their style of play and were able to put [Match Fit] under a lot of pressure. We would have liked to see them finish one of their chances in the run of play, but that will take a little more training to fix the timing in the final third.”
The U-18s and U-16s will head to Richmond, Va., next to face the U-18 and U-16 Richmond Strikers at West Creek Fields on Saturday, March 23.