Washington D.C. (Nov. 18, 2013)—The D.C. United academy teams were in action this past weekend in New Jersey and North Carolina. While the U-14s traveled to Advance, N.C., to play in the U.S. Soccer Eastern Regional Event, the U-18s and U-16s played away against Match Fit Academy FC.
The U-18s (5-2-3) won 5-1 over Match Fit Academy FC this weekend. Match Fit scored in the 2nd minute, but D.C. United’s Ronald Ventura (Kensington, Md.; Potomac Soccer Association) and Steven Gandy (Gainesville, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) scored later in the half to put the Black-and-Red up 2-1 going into halftime. Adam Burnaby-Atkins (Washington, D.C.; Potomac Soccer Associations) converted a penalty kick to start the second half and Bashir Hooper (Gainesville, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) and Gradydon Hester (Middleburg, Va.; Lee Mt. Vernon Sports Club) scored two more to secure the 5-1 victory for United.
“Overall, the group had a dominant performance,” said D.C. United U-18 Assistant Coach Tom Torres. “Despite giving up the early goal, the defensive and midfield units shutdown the attacks that followed. They controlled the entire match with quality tempo in possession, which led to many attempts in their opponents half. The attacking unit played with confidence and was able to break down the opposition often, which was evident by the score line.”
The U-16s (3-3-4) lost 2-1 to Match Fit Academy FC on Sunday. Match Fit scored just before halftime to go up 1-0 on the Black-and-Red after a defensive error. Antonio Bustamante (Springfield, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) leveled the score in the 57th minute, but Match Fit put in another goal in the 69th minute to win 2-1.
“The boys did everything they were asked to do, but were unfortunate to come up just short,” said D.C. United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “They had several bouts of quality possession and had plenty of chances to score in both halves, but could only breakthrough once. A couple of defensive miscues with tracking and communication put us in tough spots at times, but Match Fit only needed to capitalize on two of them. The boys will bounce back and we will get them competing this week for their final fall match.”
The U-14s (8-0-1) traveled to Advance, N.C., this weekend to play in the U.S. Soccer Eastern Regional Event at BB&T Park. The squad suffered their first two losses of the season this weekend against Georgia United and the New England Revolution. In the first game, D.C. United trailed 1-0 at halftime to an organized and disciplined Georgia United team. The Black-and-Red bounced back and had a better second half where Luis Rodriguez-Luna (Woodbridge, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) connected with Alexis Cerritos (Beltsville, Md.; Cerritos Academy) for a goal. The game was tied at 1-1 until the 80th minute when Georgia United scored to eventually win 2-1. In their second game, D.C. United allowed an early goal by the New England Revolution, but tied the score on a Cerritos penalty kick just before halftime. The Revs put in two more goals in the second half to beat D.C. United 3-1.
“It was a very good experience for the group to play against teams from outside our division, including another MLS academy,” said D.C. United U-14 Head Coach Jonathan Frias. “We took many positives away from the weekend, but most importantly we were able to see players outside their comfort zones, and the lessons from the weekend will help us further develop in the future.”
All three D.C. United academy teams will play their final home games of the first half of the season at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va., against the Richmond Strikers on Sat., Nov. 23. The U-18s and U-14s will both kickoff at 12 p.m. while the U-16s follow at 2:30 p.m. respectively.