Last week, Seattle Sounders U16 became the first team in the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Development Academy to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
On Saturday, FC Dallas U18 did the Sounders one better.
With a 2-0 win over Solar Chelsea SC, FC Dallas clinched the Texas Division crown with five games remaining on the schedule for the MLS Academy. FC Dallas is 21-2-3 on the year overall, and 17-1-1 in division play with an impressive plus 56 goal differential.
The top finish in the division guarantees FC Dallas a spot in the playoffs, which are set to begin June 25 from FC Dallas Park, but the Hoops’ youngsters won’t be taking their feet off the gas just yet.
With playoff seeding determined by points per game, the final five games of the season are still meaningful for Dallas to clinch the top seed. Chicago Fire is even with the Texas club for best in the nation with 2.54 points per game played. LA Galaxy is nipping on the heels at 2.53.
TopDrawerSoccer.com Development Academy Team of the Week:
F: Kyle Bisceglia (Seacoast United U18), Junior Rosero (NY Cosmos Academy U16), Justin Dhillon (LA Galaxy U16)
M: Yassin Essa (Vancouver Whitecaps U18), Jason Hackett (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U18), Alexander Olofson (CASL Chelsea FC U18), Paul Arriola (Arsenal U16)
D: Neil Guzman (PDA U16), Robert Sagel (Shattuck-Saint Mary’s U16), Keaton Albert (Chicago Fire U18)
GK: Joseph Melong (Shattuck Saint-Mary’s U16)
LA Galaxy U18 is on a roll. In the last four games, Galaxy has notched four wins and 17 goals, while only conceding two. On Saturday, the MLS Academy benefitted from a weakened Surf roster and cruised to a 5-0 victory. Home Grown players Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal combined to score three times in the win.
The Galaxy U16 is also steamrolling through opponents right now with a ten-game undefeated run to start the calendar year. Justin Dhillon was the catalyst of the attack on Saturday with a pair of goals in a 5-1 win over Surf. Galaxy U16 trails RSL-AZ by four points for the top spot in the SoCal Division. The two MLS Academies play twice in Arizona next weekend.
Vancouver Whitecaps U18 clinched a spot in the playoffs over the weekend with a pair of 3-2 wins over De Anza Force and Santa Cruz Breakers. Caleb Clarke notched his 20th goal of the season in the win on Saturday against the Force. Caps only need three points from the final four games to seal the division crown for the Vancouver club.
Whitecaps U16 are also in the playoffs after a pair of 3-1 wins over the weekend. The Canadian club trails Seattle Sounders U16 at the top of the table by three points, but Whitecaps have a couple of games in hand. The two Academies meet on June 6.
Colorado Rapids U18 suffered its first loss of the season in a 2-1 loss to local rival Colorado Rush. Rapids remain in the top spot, but Shattuck-Saint Mary’s and Rush are closing in on the MLS Academy.
Shattuck-Saint Mary’s U18 had a slip up of its own over the weekend. After defeating St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro 2-0 via goals from Eddosa Muhammed and Patrick Barnes, SSM dropped Sunday’s game to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri 2-1.
SSM U16 remained perfect in division play with a pair of 1-0 wins over the weekend. Steve Eneme netted his seventh of the season in the 1-0 win over St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro.
It was not a lost weekend for Crew U18s though, the Academy bounced back with a 6-0 thrashing of Chicago Magic PSG on Sunday. Cheick Diawara, Nicholas Parianos, Rhodes Moore, Alexander Ranalli, Zachary Leedom, and Alexander Crognale scored for Crew in the big win.
Crew Soccer Academy Wolves U16 remained undefeated on the season with a 3-0 win over rival Vardar SC Freiburg. Zack Atwood scored twice in the win to push his season tally up to nine goals in 14 games.
In Texas, Dallas Texans U16 moved one step closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 5-2 win over Houston Dynamo. The Texans only need a win against FC Dallas on May 5 to seal their spot in the playoffs.
Players Development Academy U16 continued its hot streak with a pair of wins over the weekend against New England Revolution (3-0) and FC Greater Boston (4-1).
PDA improved to 14-1-1 on the season, which is tied for the best record in the nation for the younger age group with Crew Soccer Academy Wolves. Alec Neumann, Leandro Lemache, and Neil Guzman found the back of the net in the win against the Revs.
The New Jersey club also trotted out a few youngsters in Saturday’s win, with 14 year olds Daniel Barbir and Roberto DeAlmeida making appearances.
The New York Red Bulls U16 is trying to keep pace with PDA with a 12-3-1 record after a pair of wins over the weekend. Ismar Tandir notched his seventh goal of the season for the game-winner against FC Greater Boston on Saturday. NYRB and PDA face off on May 5.
The race in the U18 Atlantic Division is heating up, as the North Carolina clubs make up games on the Virginia clubs. CASL and Charlotte Soccer Academy are leading the charge for the NC clubs.
CASL U18 ran its shutout streak to three games with a 2-0 win over North Meck on Sunday. Olofson and Diego Rodriguez scored for CASL in the victory.
Charlotte SA U18 also claimed a 2-0 win on Saturday, and closed the gap on McLean Youth Soccer to only six points. CSA faces CASL in a showdown between two of the three undefeated teams in the division.