LAKEWOOD RANCH, Florida – The Under 16 club teams wrapped up the 2012 Winter Showcase on Tuesday. Here’s a look at some of the best action from the final day:
Surf cruise past McLean Youth Soccer
A three-goal outburst in the game’s first ten minutes paved the way for San Diego Surf in a 5-0 win over McLean Youth Soccer.
Anthony Wright, Pablo Pelaez and Bryce Flores all tallied in the early sequence, punishing some defensive miscues by McLean that more or less put the game out of reach.
“That was good to get a start like that,” Surf head coach Mike Nicholson told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “But I think when those goals went in, at that point it was great to be up by three, it was still a close game. They made things very difficult for us, and a couple of our goals were pretty fortunate.”
An early turnover in the game’s first minute opened up the scoring for Wright, who obliged with a cool finish in McLean’s six-yard box. Pelaez continued the scoring rampage with an accurate shot from outside the 18-yard box that lofted over the goalkeeper, before Flores drove home a low, left-footed free kick that buzzed along the ground and snuck into the far corner.
“We were happy to take the three goal situation, but I felt like we had to keep working hard, they had opportunities too,” Nicholson said.
After the flurry of goals, McLean settled into the game and even made a couple nice movements to threaten the Surf at the back. But the offensive onslaught led by Wright, Pelaez and Luca de la Torre – who subbed on in the first half after leaving his uniform at the hotel – was too much for the Virginia club to overturn.
The Surf would eventually strike twice more later in the second half, Zachary Lagotta scoring an impressive right-footed effort across the ‘keeper, and Pelaez adding a second goal to wrap up the scoring.
Hat trick guides Orlando City to win over Match Fit Chelsea
Orland City forward Richard Prestridge put in a dynamic, exciting and match-winning performance, scoring three goals and chipping in an assist in a 4-2 against Match Fit Chelsea.
It was a tale of two halves in many ways, as Prestridge scored twice and setup forward Gorka Aperribay to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the break, as Orlando controlled most of the ball and were rarely troubled by Match Fit Chelsea.
That didn’t deter Match Fit from making a game of it, however, as Nicholas Sica and Tarek Fayed each scored goals from close range to cut the deficit to 3-2 with around 20 minutes remaining in the game.
Prestidge stepped up and scored a hat trick to calm Orlando City’s nerves, as he stole the ball away from a defender, carrying it into the box, finishing nicely with his left foot.
“I thought we were very good in the first half, passed it well, but at this level you need to keep it going, because even though we scored three goals first half you can see [their goal] in the second and the game became different again,” Orlando head coach Sean Murphy said after the win.
Wild ending sees Revolution Empire, Charlotte Soccer Academy draw
When midfielder Peter Teis scored in injury time for Charlotte Soccer Academy, it looked like the Carolina side was heading home on a high, securing a last minute victory over Revolution Empire, taking a 2-1 lead.
But less than 30 second later, Empire midfielder Ben Derleth turned home a cross that the CSA back line failed to deal with, leading to a wild finish and a 2-2 draw instead of the win Charlotte thought they might get.
Impact secure win in frenetic finish
Concorde Fire forward Dembakwi Yomba’s two goals looked good enough to send the Montreal Impact to a third straight defeat at the Winter Showcase.
The Impact’s Claudio Di Zazzo instead had other ideas, bundling home the equalizer to tie the game at 2-2. And just when it looked like the two teams would split the points, Gino Temgula popped up to grab the game winner with just under five minutes remaining.
Concorde had two great looks to tie it again in stoppage time, but failed to convert in front of Montreal’s goal.
Chicago Fire wraps up strong week against Portland
Luca Giovine scored twice, while Alex Underwood tallied and had an assist as the Chicago Fire eased past the Portland Timbers 3-0. With the win, the Fire’s U16 side made it a perfect 3-0 at the Winter Showcase.