CARMEL, Indiana — Day two of U.S. Soccer Development Academy U13/14 action on Sunday saw some great play by some of the best youth teams in the United States, and the weather was almost as beautiful as the soccer. Conditions were perfect for the athletes to show off their skill at the Shelbourne Soccer Complex, with no wind and sunny skies.
Here are a few highlighted games from among the twelve played Sunday:
Dallas Texans 1, Chicago Fire 1
Goals bookended action here, as Dallas scored in the opening minutes of the game and held fast until Fire were able to answer with a late penalty. Again and again the Dallas strikeforce clashed with the Chicago defense, and the defenders came out on top – and in the end, that resilience paid off for the Fire.
The first goal was as messy as the rest of Chicago’s play was tidy. The Fire goalkeeper missed an outlet pass and gave it straight to Dallas’ Julio Castillo, who crossed to Josh Bandopadhyay for the easy finish. It was 1-0 after two minutes, and the Fire were in trouble. But they recovered well to keep in the game, in the face of attack after attack by Bandopadhyay, Castillo, and Paxton Pomykal. Chicago’s centerbacks played well, particularly Noah Kettle, and a bit of luck helped as well.
That defensive stand ended up giving Chicago a chance to get something out of the game. With only five minutes left a Chicago striker took an elbow and the referee pointed to the spot. The penalty was converted by David Portugal, and shortly thereafter the game ended a 1-1 draw.
Man of the Match: Josh Bandopadhyay
Lonestar SC 2, Cincinnati United Premier 1
A back and forth game ended with a Lonestar win, but Cincinnati were a bit unlucky to come away with nothing as they posed a major threat throughout. Both teams attacked well and often, but the Lonestar defense was able to snuff out just one attack more than United’s.
Lonestar found a lot of luck running the game through their pair of attackers through the middle, with Elias Lara playing just in front of Alonzo Mata. Lara scored the opener in the first half, on a header from a Jose Rodriguez corner. He nearly scored several more times, creating chances through movement and his ability to bring down aerial balls calmly. But as the half drew to a close, the Lonestar chances hadn’t materialized into more scoring. That would hurt them after the break.
Cincinnati started to find a foothold in the game, building possession and attacking down the flanks. Then quick as a flash, they had their equalizer – like they had done for much of the second half, a run down the right wing, with a cross into the box, only this one was perfectly placed for the finish.
But the equalizer stood up only for ten minutes. After a good run of play, Lonestar’s Franklin Lassandro found the ball at his feet, charged into the box, and fired a laser shot into the top of the net. It was 2-1, and for Lonestar the best defense was a good offense, as they killed the game off by peppering the Cincinnati goal for the game’s last fifteen minutes.
Man of the Match: Elias Lara
Sockers FC 5, Colorado Rush 0
Colorado Rush played significantly better than the 5-0 loss to Sockers FC might have indicated, but weren’t clinical as their opponents were in what turned into a runaway win for the Chicago club.
Both teams fashioned a plethora of attacking opportunities, but Sockers’ attacks ended with goals early and often. Most of their forays into the attacking third started on the right wing and came through Ryan Coleman, whose pace and skill created space for his teammates each time he was on the ball.
Three goals in the first half – a chip from Holden Rank, a Jack Davis finish from close, and Patrick Ajdukiewicz slotting home a rebound – seemed to put the game away almost before it had really gotten underway. They scored twice more after the break just to solidify the point, with both goals coming from Jared Sparacino.
But Colorado created chances almost as often – circumstances simply conspired against them. An early penalty shout was denied. Midway through the first half the Sockers goalkeeper gave the ball directly to a Colorado striker who managed only to hit the post on an open goal. Griff Dorsey made run after run, and was denied each time – most frustratingly by the post, just before halftime. The scoreline was lopsided – but the quality of play was not.
Man of the Match: Ryan Coleman