One of the biggest upsets of the weekend fell in Florida, where Orlando City U18 got goals from Gorka Aperribay, Danny Lane, Elijah Lockaby and Michael Melvin en route to a massively impressive 4-1 win over the Capital Area RailHawks. That pushed Orlando City up to eighth in the Southeast Division and was just the RailHawks’ third loss in 27 games this season. The Carolina Rapids increased their lead over the RailHawks to five points thanks to a brace from David Lozano in a 3-1 win over Charlotte Soccer Academy. The Rapids’ Tanner Roberts still leads the U18 Development Academy division with 21 goals, while Lozano is tied with Nomads SC’s Saul Aquino in second with 19.
In the same division, the Concorde Fire kept its spot in the U18 playoffs by warding off South Carolina United Battery Academy in a 4-3 thriller that kept the Fire seven points adrift of the RailHawks’ second place spot.
IMG Academy took two of three from Kendall SC, as its U14 and U18 sides were victorious while first-place Kendall nipped the U16 result 3-0 thanks to a brace from Gonzalo Marquez and another from Alexander Moztarzadeh. The Philadelphia Union U14 and U18 teams outscored the Virginia Rush a combined 12-1 in two games, including a U14 game in which Juan Infante put in a brace to guide the 6-0 rout.
The New York Red Bulls went a combined 4-0 on the weekend across all three age brackets to keep its respective top spots in the U16 and U18 classes in the Northeast Division. A Derrick Etienne brace - his two goals came within two minutes of one another - added to tallies from Arun Basuljevic, Malcolm Dixon and Christopher Lema to guide a 5-1 U18 win over Seacoast United. The Red Bulls’ U16 side is now 14-1-0 this season with 51 goals for and six against.
In the Mid-America Division, the first-place Chicago Fire U18 side fought the fourth-place Indiana Fire to a scoreless draw in one of the most intriguing battles of the weekend. It was just the sixth blemish on the Fire’s record in 19 games and narrowed the distance between Chicago and second-place Shattuck St. Mary’s. SSM was idle last weekend but returns to the fray this weekend with a battle against Vardar.
The first-place Vardar U16s were dealt a surprising 4-1 loss over the weekend by mid-table FC Wisconsin Nationals. That left a light open for second-place St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri, which was idle last weekend and has a game in hand on Vardar and two on Crew Academy Wolves, who are tied atop the division with 39 points. With a win over the Crew Soccer Academy this weekend, Scott Gallagher will leapfrog into first in the division by a point.
FC Dallas still holds comfortable leads in both the U16 and U18 Frontier Division standings, and both teams got the weekend off before returning to action this weekend with games against Texans SC Houston.
The West was idle at the top last weekend. Three of the West’s best teams had the weekend off, including the L.A. Galaxy and Real Salt Lake AZ, who put their fight for the Southwest Division’s top spot in both U16 and U18 divisions on hold for a weekend. With the U18 Northwest Division-leading Seattle Sounders and the similarly positioned San Jose Earthquakes U16 also on the bench this weekend, that left a handful of teams to fight for positioning in their stead.
Real So Cal and De Anza Force engaged in a pair of entertaining battles, and the U16 teams split the spoils in a 2-2 contest. Crossfire Premier and San Diego Surf split their matchup, with the Crossfire U18 side taking a 2-1 win and the Surf U16 team snagging a 2-0 victory for its fifth win of the season over a Crossfire team on the outside looking at the Northwest Division playoff picture. The Real So Cal U18s also grabbed an impressive 5-0 win over Santa Cruz Breakers after a brace from Carlos Gonzalez and goals from Collin Liberty, Christian Perez and Adam Olsen, who scored in the second minute of the game.
Arsenal FC marked up a sweep over Santa Cruz Breakers with a 5-3 victory in the U18 game and a 2-0 win for the U16s. One of the battles of the weekend out west came at Kinsell Field in San Diego, Calif., where Nomads SC U18 defeated second-place Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3 in a game with playoff implications. Nomads are fully entrenched in a wild card slot, but the Whitecaps are still in the hunt for the Northwest Division title, and the loss kept the ‘Caps on 42 points, two behind the division-leading Seattle Sounders.