D.C. United Academy dominating group play at 2010 SUM Cup

Washington, D.C. (July 26, 2010) - Seeking redemption for a group stage loss at the 2010 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy National Finals to Chicago, D.C. United’s U-16 side defeated the Fire 5-3 on penalties to open the 2010 SUM Cup in Houston on July 23. United avenged the defeat from two weeks ago, as forward Julian Griggs made his return from mononucleosis to put the Black-and-Red up 1-0. Chicago drew level before the half, but United goalkeeper Dakota Niedermeier ensured Black-and-Red victory by denying Chicago’s Daniel Lojeck an equalizing penalty.

On Saturday, July 24 United’s U-16’s cemented their lead atop Group A with a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. United took an early lead through Yaw Amankwa, but Colorado stormed back before the end of the half with an Eric Kronenberg strike. The game was deadlocked at 1-1 until the final minute of regulation, when United substitute Romain Gall floated a high cross to Patrick Foss. The United forward headed the ball home to give United an emphatic victory over their Western Conference rivals.

With six points from group play, if United wins Monday night against San Jose, it will clinch first place in Group A and a spot in the SUM Cup semifinals. The winner of each of the four SUM Cup groups advances to the knockout stage, with the first set of elimination games to be played on July 27, and the final to be held July 28 at 4:00 p.m. ET ahead of the 2010 MLS All-Star Game. United’s Academy won the 2009 SUM Cup, as well as the inaugural Cup in 2007. Kickoff against San Jose in the final group stage match is schedule for 8:00 p.m. ET in Houston.