The D.C. United Academy teams played the Richmond Kickers this past weekend in their first home games of the season. The U-18s and U-16s both put in impressive multiple goal performances, while the U-14s were unable to score in its 1-0 defeat to the Kickers.
The U-18s (9-3-4) won 6-1 against the Richmond Kickers over the weekend. Jorge Calix (Alexandria, Va.; Team America) opened the scoring in the 13th minute for the Black-and-Red and Christian Rodriguez (Alexandria, Va.; FC Groningen) added two goals in the first half to put D.C. United up 3-0 at halftime. Calix scored early in the second half to complete his brace for the day, while Gerson Umana (Lorton, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) and Bashir Hooper (Gainesville, Va.; Mclean Youth Soccer Association) both scored goals late in the second half. The Richmond Kickers pulled one goal back by converting a penalty kick late in the match to make the final score 6-1.
“Although it took us 25 minutes to get in to a good rhythm, we were able to capitalize on a few chances early,” said D.C. United U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “Those early goals allowed us to settle in to the game and control the tempo for the remainder of the match.”
The U-16s (9-3-4) scored eight goals against the Richmond Kickers on Sunday en route to the 8-1 win. Owen Marshall (Bethesda, Md.; DC Stoddert) recorded a hat trick and DJ Reeves (Ashton, Md.; Soccer Association of Columbia) had a brace in the first half. Patrick Jean-Gilles (Lorton, Va.; Arlington Soccer Association) also added a goal by converting a penalty kick to put United up 6-0 at halftime. The Richmond Kickers scored one goal in the second half, while Christophe Koffi (Potomac, Md.; Team America) and Lucas Mendes (Arlington, Va.; Arlington Soccer Association) each added a goal.
“It was great to see the attacking unit perform well for the entire match,” said D.C. United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “However, the quality of the group’s build up play was the catalyst to finding several situations where we had a clear numbers advantage to open up the opponent’s defense. We will continue working on the attack, but much of our focus will be on defensive phases for the upcoming matches.”
The U-14s (10-3-1) were unable to score in its 1-0 loss to a well-organized Richmond Kickers team. The score was 0-0 at halftime, with D.C. United having the majority of possession during the first half. The Kickers scored the lone goal of the game on a breakaway counter attack in the 62nd minute.
“Despite the end result, the boys put in a good performance, controlling possession and creating many chances,” said D.C. United U-14 Head Coach Jonathan Frias. “The group had many scoring opportunities, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. The focus for the next couple of weeks in training will be to capitalize on chances that are created and minimize mistakes in the buildup.”
The U-18s and U-16s will play their next match on Sunday, March 16 at Spingarn High School against Match Fit Academy FC. The U-18s play at 12 p.m. and the U-16s at 2:30 p.m., respectively. The U-14s have the weekend off and will return to action on March 22 against the Baltimore Bays Chelsea.
D.C. United Academy Men of the Match Selections for Week Two:
U-18s Man of the Match: Jorge Calix
“Jorge had a strong individual performance to score our opening goal of the match,” said Sheldon. “He showcased his attacking qualities and exhibited a strong commitment to defense throughout the match.”
U-16s Man of the Match: Owen Marshall
“Owen was able to convert his chances and keep the opponent unbalanced with his work rate,” said Torres. “His timing and touch were all factors in his scoring of three quality goals for the group.”
U-14s Man of the Match: Andrew Nicholas
“Andrew filled in admirably as an outside back, not his natural position, and was involved heavily in the attack by giving us a strong outlet in the build up,” said Frias. “His versatility on and off the ball made him stand out in this game.”