Day three of the United States Soccer Development Academy playoffs pitted the D.C. United U-16s against Sockers FC out of Chicago. More torrential rain delayed the kickoff by 45 minutes at Grand Park Sports Complex and changed the field conditions from grass to turf, but United was ready to go.
United started off strong, scoring twice in the first five minutes. Owen Marshall finished a Lucas Mendes cross in the first thirty seconds to open the United scoring spree. Donovan Pines headed in the second goal off of an Antonio Bustamante corner a mere four minutes later. Mendes notched a goal of his own in the 27th minute after beating the Socker’s defense with some fancy footwork and a nicely placed shot. The Sockers scored their only goal of the game in the 32nd minute, but United’s Daniel Reeves promptly dribbled down the sideline, beat three defenders and the ‘keeper to put the Black-and-Red up 4-1 going into halftime.
Players at halftime put ice bags and water soaked towels on their necks and heads to cool off from the intense heat coming off the turf field. The heat didn’t quell United’s scoring spree in the second half as Reeves scored his second goal in the 57th minute that began with nice combination build up play between Jonathan Sousa and Milton Juarez. Young gun Jose Carranza scored the final United goal after combining with Bustamante and Juarez to get into the box and beat the goalkeeper. DCU beat the Sockers by a final score of 6-1.
The D.C. United U-16s are 2-0 in their playoff group, setting up a pivotal final match against LA Galaxy on Friday, June 27. The Galaxy are also 2-0, but United has a better goal differential at +7 compared to LA’s +5. United needs a tie or a win in this game to advance out of group play and into the quarterfinals.
The U-18s will play their final game of the playoffs on Thursday, June 26 vs. Nomads SC at 10 a.m. on field 5. For all playoff updates, follow @DCUyouth and check the D.C. United Facebook for photos!
Box Score vs. Sockers FC: 6-1 win
Goals: Owen Marshall (Mendes) , Donovan Pines (Bustamante) , Lucas Mendes , Daniel Reeves , Reeves (Milton Juarez)  and Jose Carranza (Bustamante) 
Starting XI: Antonio Bustamante, Brennan Ireland, Patrick Jean-Gilles, Christophe Koffi, Zachary McMurrer, Owen Marshall, Lucas Mendes, Donovan Pines, Daniel Reeves, Jonathan Sousa and Trey Vinson
Next Game: Friday, June 27 vs. LA Galaxy at 9 a.m. on field 13