In the race for the Southwest Division U18 title, it’s advantage Galaxy.
After a frenetic game out at Casa Grande, LA’s U18s knocked off Real Salt Lake-AZ 3-2, winning in dramatic circumstances, with Bryan Guzman finding the back of the net in the 90th minute to seal the win.
The last gasp goal canceled out a star performance from Benji Lopez. The RSL forward (and Syracuse recruit) scored goals in the 51st and 75th minute, only to see LA’s Sebastian Velasquez cancel out those tallies.
RSL holds a one-point advantage in the standings for the moment, but with two more games played than LA at this point in the Academy season.
It was disappointment for RSL in the U16 game as well. Goals from Damian German and Sebastian Saucedo bolstered the side to a 2-0 lead, only to see LA’s Steve Martinez tally in the second half to snatch a point for the Galaxy.
A number of teams had busy weekends, with a few of the more prominent clubs traveling from the Pacific Northwest to California for a flurry of matches.
Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers all made the journey, to varying degrees of success.
Seattle’s stops were games against San Jose Earthquakes and Cal Odyssey. The U18 clash of the Earthquakes and Sounders provided no shortage of goals, as Seattle edge the encounter by a 5-4 score, negating a hat trick by San Jose’s Elisama Padilla. The two U16 sides drew 1-1. The Sounders U18s continued their goal scoring ways with a 7-2 win over Cal, while the U16s also won 2-0.
Playing Cal Odyssey and also the Earthquakes – albeit on separate days – were the Portland Timbers. Currently doing fairly well in their first year in the Academy, the Timbers notched wins against the Odyseey, with the U18s winning 4-3, and the U16s winning 4-0. Against the Earthquakes, the Timbers could only split those games, as the U18s lost 2-1 and the U16s won 2-0.
Traveling to Colorado, Solar Chelsea continued to prove they are one of the best Development Academy sides in the nation. The U18s in particular shined against the Colorado Rapids, winning 4-0 behind a pair of goals from Jonathan Guzman. Colorado’s U16s did pick up the three points with a 3-1 win, denying a six-point trip.
Marcus Epps and Anthony Smith provided the goal scoring punch, while the defense did enough for Chicago Fire’s U18s in a 2-1 win against St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Missouri.
The undefeated run continued for the New York Red Bulls U18s, this time winning 2-0 against Oakwood SC. Georgetown-bound forward opened the scoring in the 8th minute, all that they would need on the day, although Ismar Tandir also found the back of the net in the first half. New York’s U16s also maintained an undefeated record with a 3-1 win over Oakwood.
Two matchups between D.C. United and PDA produced two extremely close matches. PDA’s Max Kroschwitz tallied for the U18s as they won 1-0, while D.C. United’s U16s returned the favor with a 1-0 victory of their own.