WESTFIELD, Ind. — As the U18s took a break from tournament play on Wednesday, both the U16s and the stormy weather took the headlines once again. The U16s continued to show remarkable defensive performances on day three of the Development Academy Showcase and Playoffs.
Here's a glance at a couple of the day's most notable games.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 Houston Dynamo
The storms returned for round two as the afternoon games were about to kickoff, causing a 45-minute push back to start times. The weather soon cleared over and the heat of the games began to rise as the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in Wednesday’s match.
A beautiful string of passes by Vancouver led to the first and only goal of the game just ten minutes in. Hayden Simmonds-O’Grady started off the display by advancing the ball to Daniel Sagno who then picked up the assist by passing to Dario Zanatta who blasted the ball right past the keeper.
Houston’s goalkeeper Johan Welch had one of the best saves so far this week by diving across the goal to stretch out and prevent the Whitecaps from going up 2-0 in the final minutes of the first half.
Vancouver and Houston fought for possession most of the second half, and strong defenders Nixon Urrutia and Andre Baires made it difficult for either team to produce any second half goals.
Both teams will take the field again Friday, with Vancouver facing Weston FC and the Houston Dynamo against Match Fit Academy.
Kendall SC 3-2 Albertson SC
Kendall SC remains undefeated in tournament play after Wednesday’s win against Albertson SC 3-2. While Kendall SC is on a roll, Albertson SC is looking for answers after two straight losses to open up its Academy Playoff experience
Conrad Nowowiejski’s goal in the sixth minute not only gave Albertson a sudden 1-0 lead, but also set the bar very high for this week’s best goal. From about 25 yards out Nowowiejski scored a free kick that was placed perfectly over the wall above the keepers reach.
Kendell SC would eventually answer with a transition goal scored by Gonzalo Marquez to tie things up 1-1. Each team showed their aggression as the last 20 minutes of first half contained five yellow cars.
At the midpoint of the second half Rockwell Harwood’s goal gave the lead back to Albertson 2-1. Two minutes later a mental mistake by Albertson’s defense gave Kendall’s Marquez a penalty kick, which he scored on tying the game once more.
Marques completed his hat trick in the final minute of the regulation to give Kendall SC the win over Albertson SC 3-2.
Albertson SC will look to get past Wednesday’s heart wrenching loss in Friday’s match against the Philadelphia Union. Kendall SC will hope to finish the week without a loss heading into Friday’s game against the Chicago Magic PSG.
De Anza Force 3-0 New England Revolution
De Anza Force and the New England Revolution were both searching for a victory Wednesday after tying their showcase openers. De Anza was able to smoothly sail to a 3-0 victory behind forward Jonathan Navarro.
Keanu Mendoza got De Anza off to a fast start scoring just four minutes into the game. But it would remain a defensive battle the rest of the first half yielding a 1-0 Force lead.
The second half would remain an offensive struggle until midway through when De Anza Forward Jonathan Navarro scored making it 2-0.
Navarro would score once more in the final minutes of the game, securing a 3-0 win for De Anza.
Nicholas Woodruff had a strong defensive showing for New England, but their defense was unable to hold off the Force attack.
Dallas Texans 0-0 BW Gottschee Academy
Reliable defense and spectacular goalkeeping kept Wednesday's game between Dallas and BW Gottschee scoreless. BW Gottschee may view the game as a step up from Monday's 2-0 loss, but for the Texans it might be back to the drawing board after a second consecutive draw.
The U16 squads continued to show sturdy defenses as the second half proceeded. With just ten minutes to play BW Gottschee’s Shawn Bartholomew attempted a header for the go-ahead go, only to be swatted away by Dallas goalie Brayan Garcia.
Dallas quickly responded on the offensive end with a desperate header in the final seconds that soared over the goal and ended the game in a tie.
Matthew Allen Constant of Dallas and Jackson Najjar of BW Gottschee were the lead defenders for each of their respective teams keeping opponents away from scoring opportunities.