On Saturday, a handful of Development Academy clubs returned to the field after a few weeks off for winter break. If there was any concern about rust, most of the teams put those doubts out of mind with explosive offensive performances.
In the nine U18 games, the teams combined to score 40 goals with both LA Galaxy and Solar SC contributing six a piece. The nets were burning in the three conferences that returned to play this weekend. So who came out on top in these high-scoring contests?
In Texas, Solar Chelsea SC enjoyed a high-scoring Saturday with its two teams combining for 11 goals in a pair of wins over Andromeda FC. For the U16 team, Mitchell LaGro grabbed top honors with two goals in a 5-1 rout.
Chivas USA U18 handed the Whitecaps its second defeat of the season with a 4-1 result, but the U16 did not fare as well in a 1-3 loss. On Sunday, Chivas USA U18 crushed California Development Academy 5-1, and then the U16s destroyed CDA 7-3 in the later clash. Forward Ben Spencer led the charge for the U18s over the weekend with four goals in the two games.
Not to be outdone by its cross-town rivals, LA Galaxy U18 smashed CDA 6-1 on Saturday behind a hat trick from Drew Murphy and a pair of goals from Willie Raygoza. U.S. residency product Nathan Smith made his debut with the Galaxy after spending the first half of the Academy season with Cal Odyssey. Kenny Arena’s U16 side claimed a 2-0 victory on the day.
On Sunday, Whitecaps rebounded from the loss against Chivas USA with a 1-0 win over Galaxy U18, which ended the LA club’s 10 game undefeated streak.
In the lone matchup between two teams from the SoCal Division, Pateadores recorded victories over Strikers SC in both age groups by a 2-1 and 1-0 score line, respectively.
Up the coast, De Anza Force U18 climbed to second in the Northwest Division with a 1-0 victory over Cal Odyssey. Nicholas Lima’s goal ten minutes before the final whistle provided the separation in a fixture riddled with three red cards. For the U16 sides, goals from Geoffrey Dunn and Shane Luna were the difference in a 2-0 win for De Anza Force.
Elsewhere in Northern California, Santa Cruz Breakers U18 seized its first division win of the season with a 4-2 victory over San Jose Earthquakes. John Chronopoulos was key in the result with three goals in the game to bring his season tally to 12.
Due to weather conditions, the Seattle Sounders Academy was unable to travel for its scheduled game against RSL-AZ.
Eli Dent and Nestor Jaramillo continued their torrid scoring pace with a goal a piece in a 2-1 win for South Carolina United Battery over North Meck U18 on Saturday. The U16 sides settled for a 1-1 draw.
On Sunday, Battery and Charlotte Soccer Academy U18 battled to a 2-2 draw. Charlotte’s Alex Givens registered both goals for the home side. The younger Battery team won 3-2 in the later contest to improve to 14-3-3 on the year.