The D.C. United U-18s and U-16s played at home against Match Fit Academy FC this past weekend. Both teams were able to keep clean sheets in their wins against the New Jersey club on Sunday, March 16.
The U-18s (10-3-4) netted two goals against Match Fit Academy FC in its victory on Sunday. Jorge Calix (Alexandria, Va.; Team America) scored the first goal off a penalty kick in the 17th minute after being taken down in the box. The Black-and-Red had several other scoring opportunities, but went in to halftime only leading 1-0. The second and final goal of the match came from Julian Cummings (Fredericksburg, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) in the 77th minute to give the U-18s a 2-0 win.
“Overall, it was a match that took a lot of energy from the attacking unit to eventually break down the opponent’s defense,” said D.C. United U-18 Assistant Coach Tom Torres. “The boys had a lot of quality possession and were eventually able to find pockets to create some dangerous attacking opportunities. A stingy defensive unit deserves the credit as they kept scoring chances to a minimum and were rewarded with the clean sheet.”
The U-16s (10-3-4) were deadlocked with Match Fit Academy FC for 35 minutes until Owen Marshall (Bethesda, Md.; DC Stoddert) was able to break through for the first goal of the match. The Black-and-Red went in to halftime leading 1-0, but the score line quickly changed when Lucas Mendes (Arlington, Va.; Arlington Soccer Association) scored the second goal in the 53rd minute. Antonio Bustamante (Springfield, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) and Christophe Koffi (Potomac, Md.; Team America) each added a goal to give D.C. United the 4-0 win.
“It was a dominant performance from the group versus a very physical and well-organized opponent,” said D.C. United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “Our transition to defense was excellent. Our midfielders, Bustamante, Jean-Gilles and Koffi were instrumental in the group’s overall performance. We are excited about the boy’s progression from the fall to the spring. They deserve a lot of credit for the work they put in during the offseason. With plenty of tests ahead, we will continue to keep the boys focused on maintaining this positive mentality.”
All three D.C. United Academy teams will be in action on Saturday, March 22 against Baltimore Bays Chelsea. The U-14s play at 1 p.m. at Hammond High School, while the U-18s play at 5:45 p.m. and U-16s at 8 p.m. at Harford Community College.
D.C. United Academy Men of the Match Selections for Week Three:
U-18s Man of the Match: Hiram Munoz-Cantu
“Hiram’s composure and intensity in the back made him the top choice this week,” said Torres. “His communication and his sacrifice for the group proved to be instrumental in breaking up the opponent’s attacks and keeping the group organized. The back line was able to keep a clean sheet and there was no doubt that his leadership was the key factor.”
U-16s Man of the Match: Antonio Bustamante
“Antonio’s creativity and work rate balanced out almost every possession that went through the middle third,” said Torres. “Each time the ball was at his feet, he was able to provide the rhythm in possession that was necessary to unbalance the opponent. On the defensive side, he worked very well in each phase and was a key part to making the opponent’s play predictable.”