CASL and North Carolina Fusion were the last two teams in the Atlantic Division to start division play, but that made no difference over the weekend when the two Academies captured three wins and one draw in four games.
CASL began Saturday with a thunderous 7-1 victory over Virginia Rush U18. Diego Rodriguez was the star of the show with three goals in 30 minutes after coming on as a second half substitute. The remarkable performance was only heightened by the fact Rodriguez was making his first appearance in the Development Academy.
On Sunday, the defense stepped up for CASL in a pair of 1-0 wins over the Richmond Kickers.
NC Fusion also had a great showing in Virginia with the U18 team collecting two wins. The first victory came against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday. Fusion’s star center midfielder Warren Marshall scored in the first and last minute to help his team to a 3-2 win. On Sunday, Fusion claimed a 3-1 victory over Virginia Rush.
For the NC Fusion U16, Andre Fortune, Brandt Bronico, and Julian Montoya all scored in a 4-2 win over the Kickers. The lone blemish for the NC clubs came on Sunday in a 0-0 draw against the Virginia Rush U16.
Despite the absence of head coach Eddie Soto, who is with the U.S. beach soccer national team in Mexico, LA Galaxy U18 continued its winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Pateadores. The U16 Galaxy cruised to a 4-0 victory over Pateadores thanks to a hat trick from Justin Dhillon.
Out in Arizona, RSL-AZ U18 crushed Santa Cruz Breakers 5-0 behind goals from Nick Semintendi, Maikon Orrellana, Casey Arick, and Dylan Kelly. In the U16 game, the Breakers started strong with two first half goals from Lynden Gooch and Hardip Singh.
But RSL-AZ answered in the second half, when Trevor Hyman, Benjamin Lopez, and Jose Navarro all scored within 28 minutes of the start of the second half to give RSL-AZ a 3-2 lead. Yet, an own goal by RSL-AZ in the final seven minutes ended the game in a 3-3 draw. In Northern California, Cal Odyssey U18’s Tren Biswell and Gregory Antognoli each scored in the opening 20 minutes, but Arsenal scored three times over the next 30 minutes to claim a 3-2 win on the road.
Joab Santoyo and Jose Garcia led Arsenal U16 to a 2-0 shutout victory over Cal Odyssey to improve to 8-2-4 on the season.
Out on the coast, San Jose Earthquakes split a pair of games against Real So Cal. In the U18 game, Real So Cal won 2-1, while the Quakes won 3-1 in the U16 clash.
Christian Duarte and Leobardo Vazquez each scored twice for Texans SC Houston U18 in a 4-3 win over Lonestar SC on Saturday. In the later game, Alejandro Labastida and Abraham Lopez contributed second-half goals in a 2-0 win for Lonestar U16.
Out at FC Dallas Sports Park, Daniel Garcia scored early in the game in a 1-0 win for FC Dallas U18 over Houston Dynamo. FC Dallas U16 scored five goals in 30 minutes en route to a 5-1 victory in the later game.
McLean Youth Soccer U18 still holds the top spot in the Atlantic Division after a 1-1 draw against Charlotte on Saturday. McLean is now 5-0-1 in division play this season. In the U16 game, Charlotte won 1-0 over McLean to jump to third in the division standings.
*Note: Not all game scores were available at time of publication.
J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an email.