Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2013) – To open their respective 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) seasons, D.C. United’s U-18, U-16 and U-14 Academy teams took on regional rival Baltimore Bays Chelsea this past Saturday at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va. While the U-16s lost 2-1, the U-18s and U-14s both drew Baltimore 1-1.
The U-18s (0-0-1) tallied first in its match against Baltimore, with Gerson Umana (Lorton, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) knocking one in at the 39th minute. Despite a number of chances on goal to extend the lead, United was unable to convert again. Bays stayed sharp and were able to equalize within the final 15 minutes to level the match. Although the Black-and-Red controlled possession, the squad was unable to capitalize on a number of chances and ended the game even at 1-1.
“Despite creating a number of quality chances, we were unable to find the second goal of the match,” said D.C. United U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “Credit to Bays – they were competitive throughout the match and converted late in the match. As the first Academy match of the season, there are quite a few positives to take away from the game and some good individual performances that we can build upon.”
The U-16s (0-1-0) dropped its match 2-1, despite dictating the pace of the game and creating many quality opportunities. The Black-and-Red’s lone goal came from DJ Reeves (Ashton, Md.; SAC), with Antonio Bustamante (Springfield, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) providing the assist.
“We were pleased with the style the boys played and their effort,” said D.C. United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “The only small disappointment was losing some focus at key moments and not recognizing how small defensive miscues could lead to conceding chances and goals. It's early in the season, and it was a good learning experience for everyone.”
Although the U-14s (0-0-1) went down 1-0 in the first half, the Black-and-Red was able to find the equalizer 15 minutes into the second half through Jordan Saint-Louis (Potomac, Md.; Potomac Academy). The U-14s dominated possession with high-tempo play and hit the woodwork four times, but the game finished in a 1-1 draw.
“I thought the group played dominating possession soccer versus one of our local rivals but we weren't able to finish our chances,” said D.C. United U-14 Head Coach Jonny Frias. “The emphasis this week in training, as we prepare for another local club, Bethesda-Olney, will be to work on our mobility and creativity in the final third of the field. I was very pleased in the build-up play as well as how we approached the match, and we will look to bring that part of the game again this weekend.”