The USSF Development Academy is finally back into the swing of things.
While the Academy limped through the winter with only a couple of conferences playing, the spring brings the return of almost all divisions into play. The second weekend of March offered a bountiful amount of games, as teams from nearly every division were squaring off.
The East Conference showcased the most games with many Academies traveling for out of division contests over the weekend.
What teams did well during the second weekend of March?
Oakwood Soccer Club U18 and New York Red Bulls engaged in the highest-scoring affair in Development Academy action from Saturday in a 4-4 draw. Oakwood’s Stanley Sandoval scored twice in the first half and Anthony LoBello added another while NYRB picked up a tally from Scott Thomsen before half, as Oakwood held a 3-1 lead at the break.
Elsewhere in the Northeast, Met Oval and Potomac played to a 1-1 draw in the U18 clash. 16-year-old Adam Burnaby-Atkins scored for Potomac in the first half, and Matias Ruiz notched his fifth goal of the season late in the second half to split the points. In the U16 game, the two Academies squared off in a 3-3 draw. Alexander Portela, Edward Whitfield, and Darrian Chambers scored for Met Oval, while Kevin Guzman, Matt Danilack, and Rico Lizbinski tallied goals for Potomac.
Albertson SC U18 defeated Match Fit Chelsea 1-0 on a goal by Jake Freeman. The Harvard-bound forward has six goals in five Academy games this season. Albertson U16 won the later contest 2-1 to continue its undefeated run to the start the season.
FC Delco and Empire United settled for a 2-2 draw on Saturday. Brett Campbell and Melvin Snoh scored for FC Delco while Garrett Rauck and Darren Cooper contributed the goals for Empire United. In the U16 contest, FC Delco won 4-2 to improve to 2-2-2 overall on the season.
Down the coast, Weston FC claimed victories in both age groups on the road against CASL. Weston won the U18 game 3-2 and the U16 game 2-0. CASL responded on Sunday though with a beat down on Kendall SC 5-1 in the U18 game, and a 1-0 win in the U16 game.
Kendall faired better the day prior with a 2-2 draw against North Carolina Fusion. Fusion rebounded from a two-goal deficit against with goals from Marco Sunol and Hassan Kouyaten. Daniel Gonzalez and Dario Vanegas scored for Kendall. The U16 teams drew 1-1.
In the Atlantic Division, Virginia Rush U16 grabbed another win and opened a little breathing room at the top of the table. Rush defeated Richmond Strikers 2-1 and now hold a five-point lead over Charlotte SA. Richmond Strikers won the U18 contest 3-1 thanks to goals by Todd Wharton, Luc Fatton, and Gawa Sunang-Sihle.
Chivas USA U18 remains in the top spot in the SoCal Conference, but lost an opportunity to open up the lead on Saturday, as Chivas USA only picked up one point against Strikers FC.
Ben Spencer scored for Chivas USA in his first game back with the Academy after training with the club’s first team for the past few weeks. Sean Dhillon found the back of the net for the Strikers. Strikers claimed a 1-0 win in the U16 game.
In Northern California, California Development Academy U18 topped Santa Cruz Breakers 4-2 over the weekend. Sacramento State-bound Nathaniel Nugen gave CDA the early lead with a goal in the opening ten minutes. University of Indiana commit Tommy Thompson doubled the lead later in the opening half.
Breakers midfielder Lynden Gooch responded with two goals in 11 minutes to put the teams on level terms. But a second half brace from Cody Giddings secured the three points from CDA.
From the U16 contest, Santa Cruz Breakers used two goals from Giovanni Godoy to beat CDA 4-2. Cesar Rocha and Xavier Juarez scored for CDA.
Behind two goals from University of Notre Dame-bound forward Connor Klekota, Crew Soccer Academy U18 defeated Indiana United Fire Academy 3-2. Brett Elder added the other goal for the Crew, which improves to 5-0-1 overall on the season. Indiana United emerged victorious in the U16 fixture with a 2-0 result.
One week after seeing its undefeated run come to an end, the Dallas Texans U16 team returned to its winning ways with a 3-2 victory over Lonestar SC Academy. Brandon Aubrey, Christian Soldat and Jason Machado scored for the Texans, which held onto the win after late goals from Zachary Wright and Andrew Lopez.
In the first matchup between divisional opponents in the Frontier Division, Sporting KC and St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro fought to a 2-2 draw in the U16 age group. Steven Enna and Cole Stevenson scored for Sporting, while an own goal and William Teichman provided the scoring for Scott Gallagher Metro.