CARSON, California – Los Angeles Galaxy’s U14 team stole the show on Day 2 of the west coast Development Academy showcase. The Galaxy squad is stacked with prospects, and they left a strong message with a dominant 10-0 victory over Diablo Futbol Club.
Arsenal and Marin FC also impressed with solid wins on the day.
Los Angeles Galaxy 10, Diablo Futbol Club 0
The Galaxy put on a clinic during Sunday’s game against DFC. From the opening whistle, the Galaxy possessed the ball and passed with conviction. The fulcrum of the Galaxy’s attack was defensive midfielder Ateno Ajeakwa. The U-14 BNT player switched the ball cross field with ease and excellent technique. He also provided bite defensively.
The Galaxy buildup all starts with goalkeeper Eric Lopez, and center backs Marc Farias and Ian Lonergan. These three were incredibly comfortable on the ball, and rarely hit the ball aimlessly up field. Instead, they patiently connected out of the back and allowed their team to hold on to the ball for long periods of time. All three show phenomenal potential. Watching young defenders build out of the back as these players did was very encouraging.
Up top to finish all the possession off is target forward Noa Harrisson, who completed his day with 4 goals in one half. Harrison’s technical ability and speed were a handful for DFC’s center backs. He ironically reminds of a young Gyasi Zardes.
Harrisson was replaced by Jacob Muchnick, who was the youngest and smallest player on the field. What Muchnick lacks in age and height, he makes up tenfold with his soccer IQ and positioning on the field. He is truly a young prospect to track for the future, as he plays with his head on a swivel and always seems to make the correct decision with the ball.
Man of the Match: Noa Harrisson
Arsenal 5, Juventus 2
Like many Arsenal squads before them, this U14 team came out looking to really pass the ball around. Very confident in the buildup, their midfielders set the tone early for the game. Alexander Fragoso and Lucas Holopainen controlled the midfield for Arsenal, and impressed with their technique and passing ability.
Arsenal quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to strikes from Gerardo Martinez and Miguel Huerta and never looked back. Martinez’s goal was an excellent left footed volley that beat a courageous young Juventus keeper named Jonathan Xolocotzi.
Juventus’ opportunities were created in large part due to the thrilling play of forward Manuel Delgado. Delgado turns very well with the ball, and is incredibly skillful when taking on defenders.
Young Arsenal center back Manuel Lopez was locked in an intriguing 1 v 1 battle with Delgado throughout the game. Lopez positions himself well defensively, and was good in the tackle.
Man of the Match: Alexander Fragoso
Marin FC 2, Santa Barbara Soccer Club 1
In what turned out to be a very competitive dual, Marin FC’s back 4 stayed organized throughout the game and gave their team the victory.
Marin FC opened up the scoring with a beautiful strike from outside the box by Thomas Walen, who showed very well on the day. Whalen’s rocket left the keeper no chance.
The second goal of the match came when Marin FC midfielder Fernando Vaca beat 3 defenders and then laid the ball off to an open Owen Schwartz. Schwartz took his opportunity well and buried the finish into the corner of the net.
A second half spark off the bench was provided by Max Levy of Santa Barbara SC. Levy buzzed around the field looking to get involved, and he made a positive impact on the game.
Santa Barbara SC midfielder Carson Vom Steeg was an absolute workhorse in the center of the park. Equally comfortable creating as he was destroying the other team’s attack, Vom Steeg’s engine is remarkable. Vom Steeg scored Santa Barbara’s only goal off a well-timed header from a corner.
A young left back with speed is always going to catch the eye, and such was the case with Santa Barbara’s Tony Garcia. Athletically gifted, Garcia seemed to really understand the position and what it entails.
Marin FC were able to hang on for the victory, but had to weather a storm of last minute opportunities by Santa Barbara SC. Santa Barbara threw numbers forward, but in the end were not able to find the equalizer.
Man of the Match: Carson Vom Steeg