Academy Kneeling Huddle

D.C. United Academy Update

 Washington, D.C. (September 17, 2013) – In the second weekend of the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season, D.C. United’s U-18, U-16 and U-14 Academy teams took on Bethesda-Olney with the U-18 team losing, the U-16 team drawing and the U-14 side coming away with a win.

Despite a strong first half performance by Bethesda-Olney, the U-18s (0-1-1) went into halftime tied 0-0 thanks in part to a big performance by Jimmy Knoebel (Warrenton, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association), who made two strong saves to keep the score line even. In the second half the Black-and-Red pushed the tempo in the hopes of finding goal-scoring opportunities. After a good attacking sequence, United finally found the back of the net, but the goal was called back due to offside. An own goal in the 55th minute by Steven Gandy (Gainesville, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) put Bethesda-Olney up 1-0. United created several more chances in the second half, but couldn’t break though as Bethesda-Olney scored twice more in the 72nd and 86th minutes to win the game 3-0.

“Credit to Bethesda-Olney – they are a good team, with some very good players,” said D.C. United U-18 Head Coach Nolan Sheldon. “This was a tough match for us that will provide some perspective on areas that we need to work on to improve. We'll get back to work tonight and get better and prepare for our match versus Richmond.”

The U-16s (0-1-1) drew with Bethesda-Olney 1-1 in its second match of the season. DJ Reeves (Ashton, Md.; SAC) opened the scoring in the 16th minute on an assist from Antonio Bustamante (Springfield, Va.; McLean Youth Soccer Association) to give Reeves his second goal and Bustamante his second assist of the young season. Bethesda-Olney equalized with a quality strike from the corner of the 18-yard-box to tie the game. The Black-and-Red couldn’t convert on its goal-scoring opportunities in the second half, and goalkeeper Tyler Beaudoin (Montgomery Village, Md.; Bethesda Soccer Club) came up with a big save in the final 10 minutes to preserve the tie.

“Overall, we were pleased with the group’s effort in the match,” said D.C. United U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “Credit the stingy Bethesda-Olney defense and goalkeeper that made several saves. There was a solid mentality from the boys in terms of competitiveness and they showed a lot quality on both sides of the ball for a complete match. They were unfortunate not to find the net on a couple chances, so composure in front of the goal will be a big topic in this week’s training.”

The U-14s (1-0-1) put together a complete team performance to down rival Bethesda-Olney 3-1. Taking control of the game from the start, Alexis Cerritos (Beltsville, Md.; Cerritos Academy) opened the scoring in the first half to give the Black-and-Red a 1-0 lead going into halftime. After the interval, Andrew Nicholas (Nokesville, Va.; North Virginia Soccer Club) scored off a free kick to double the lead, and Luis Rodriguez (Woodbridge, Va.; Prince William Soccer Inc.) scored in the 58th minute to put United up 3-0. Bethesda-Olney scored late in the second half as the game finished 3-1.

“It was great to see the level of play the team displayed against a strong regional rival like Bethesda-Olney,” said D.C. United U-14 Head Coach Jonathan Frias. “As opposed to our last game, the boys were rewarded for their strong work in training this past week in the final third and put three goals in the net.”