It was another weekend with only three conferences in action; there was a lack of suspense and drama for the most part. The storyline continues to come from the South Conference where the North Carolina Academies are once again fighting and clawing against the Virginia clubs to regain top spots in the division standings.
Charlotte SA U18 made a massive push to jump to the top of the standings with a pair of wins over the weekend. On Saturday, Roland Minogue, Kyle Parker, and Benjamin Burdon each scored a goal in a 3-1 victory over Richmond Kickers. The next day, the Charlotte offense overran the Virginia Rush in a 7-0 win.
RSL-AZ U18 continued to close the gap on the top two teams in the SoCal Division with a 5-0 win over Pateadores on Saturday. Danny Gavin, Nick Semintendi, Maikon Orrellana, Ricardo Velasco, and Etiandro Tavares all scored for RSL-AZ in the victory. The MLS residency program trails LA Galaxy by three points in the standings.
In the U16 game, Pateadores upset the previously undefeated RSL-AZ with a 2-0 result. RSL-AZ still leads the division with a 6-1-0 record, but LA Galaxy is now within six points with the two teams scheduled to play twice in April.
In the Home Depot Center derby, both Academy games ended 1-1 in two unremarkable affairs.
In Central California, Santa Cruz Breakers escaped Fresno with four points. The two U18 teams played to a 2-2, while the Breakers emerged as victors in the U16 game.
Out on the coast, San Jose Earthquakes and De Anza Force split a pair of games. De Anza Force won the U18 game by a 3-1 score, but lost the U16 game 2-0.
In British Columbia, Vancouver Whitecaps made quick work of Strikers with three points from both games. In the U18 game, Caleb Clarke scored twice for the home time, while Sean Dhillon netted the lone goal for the visitors.
The later game had a few more scorers with the Whitecaps U16 pounding the Strikers, 5-1. Brody Huitema scored twice, and Sebastian Cabrera, Titouan Chopin, and Jordan Haynes all added one goal a piece in the win. Paul Salcedo Borrego had the lone tally for the Southern California Academy.
Texans SC Houston U18 seized control of second place in the Texas Division with a 2-0 victory over Houston Dynamo. Texans SC Houston trails FC Dallas by 11 points with nine games remaining in division play.
In the U16 game, Texans SC Houston defeated Houston Dynamo 2-0 and leapfrogged into fifth place in the standings.
Erick Suarez scored twice in the second half to help North Meck U18 overcome Virginia Rush on Saturday. Sunday’s contest was not as fruitful for North Meck, as Richmond Kickers knocked off the road team, 3-1.
In the U16 game, Virginia Rush defeated North Meck 2-0 to hold onto the top spot in the division for one last day. On Sunday, Charlotte SA U16 defeated Virginia Rush 3-0 and overtook Rush for the top spot in the division.
NC Fusion U16 stormed its way past the Richmond Strikers on Saturday with a 5-0 victory. Ethan Wells, Andre Fortune, Brandt Bronico, Ryeong Choi, and Alex Requarth all scored for the home team. Fusion are in fifth place in the division, yet have only played three games with a 2-0-1 record.
Eric O’Brien continued his fine run of form with two goals over the weekend. The star of CASL U16, who has already verbally committed to UNC, scored in the first half against McLean Youth Soccer on Saturday for the game-winning goal in a 1-0 result.
O’Brien followed up his Saturday heroics with a late goal against Richmond Strikers on Sunday for his second game-winner of the weekend.
CASL U18 drew 0-0 with McLean on Saturday, as the latter side continues to hold the top spot in the division standings. On Sunday, William Thompson netted his first goal of the season in a 1-0 win for CASL over Richmond Strikers.J.R. Eskilson is a staff reporter at TopDrawerSoccer.com. Follow him on or send him an email.