Gearing up toward the end of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season, the U-18 and U-16 D.C. United Academy teams both dropped their respective matches 1-0 to New Jersey Soccer Academy (NJSA).
The U-18s (15-6-2) played NJSA (11-7-4) to an even match and had good moments of possession, but were unable to effectively threaten the NJSA defense. NJSA won a golden opportunity to open the scoring early in the second half, as the referee awarded the side a penalty kick, but NJSA missed its chance from the spot. With 15 minutes remaining in the match, NJSA converted to take the game 1-0.
"Despite strong moments of possession, we lacked the final creativity to generate good opportunities to score,” said D.C. United U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “We have two matches remaining in our regular season against two very good opponents. We will continue to work hard and put ourselves in a position to get two good results before departing for Academy playoffs in June.”
The NJSA U-16s (9-11-2) defeated United’s U-16s (15-3-5) by a 1-0 scoreline as well. While the Black-and-Red created plenty of opportunities to score, the side was caught off guard by an NJSA counter-attack, which led to a goal. United dominated the second half, but could not convert on any of its chances.
“We had enough opportunity to score, and the boys were just unlucky not to come away with anything,” said D.C. United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “Our play was at a high-paced tempo for the entire match, and we got caught out of spots a bit on a break. Credit to NJSA for being stingy and breaking up plays. Our goal for the next two matches before Dallas will be to continue the quality and emphasize our attention to key moments in the game on both sides of the ball.”
With two games to play in their respective 2012-13 USSDA campaigns, the U-18s and U-16s next take on the first-placed Players Development Academy squads on Saturday, May 11 at Prince George’s Community College.