GREENSBORO, North Carolina – The little club that could has done it again.
Cal Odyssey, a group from obscure Clovis California, that charged its way into the U16 Academy Final as a Cindarella last year
continued to fortify its program with a hard-earned Group H triumph and an another invitation into the U.S. Development Academy Finals week.
Odyssey is much more highly regarded this year having won the Northwest Division title, but they still play with the same underdog heart that fuels their success. They needed two ties during the week to move on - including a final one against Charlotte Soccer Academy on Monday in the finale of the U15/16 Academy Playoffs.
Odyssey will be joined by seven other clubs who have their sights on a national title: Chicago Fire, De Anza Force, D.C. United, Sockers FC, CASL Chelsea FC Academy, Internationals and the Baltimore Bays.
South Carolina United's Dakatoah Millard battles for control against the Nomads.
Here’s how it all concluded in Greensboro, North Carolina:GROUP A
Arsenal 4, Concorde Fire 1
Chicago Fire 2, FC Westchester 1 Standings:
Chicago Fire (2-0-1, 7 pts); Arsenal (2-1-0, 6 pts); FC Westchester 1-2-0, 3 pts); Concorde Fire (0-2-1, 1 pt)Notes:
With Arsenal lurking and hoping for a slipup, Chicago Fire had to win in order to move on and they did. Victor Pineda scored the game-winner.GROUP B
De Anza Force 3, South Carolina United FC 0
Texas SC DTH 2, Nomads SC 0 Standings:
De Anza Force (3-0-0 9 pts); Texas SC DTH (2-1-0 6 pts); Nomads SC (1-2-0 3 pts); South Carolina United FC (0-3-0 0 pts)Notes:
James Huffer scored twice as De Anza capped a forceful week of domination. They’ll be tough to beat during Finals Week.GROUP C
D.C. United 2, Real Colorado 1
LAFC Chelsea 2, Vardar 1 Standings:
D.C. United (2-0-1, 7 pts); Real Colorado (1-1-1 4 pts); Vardar (0-0-3, 3 pts); LAFC (0-3-0 0 pts)Notes:
D.C. United had to hold off a furious attack by Real Colorado in order to clinch their group. Jalen Robinson was huge on defense while Julian Griggs netted two goals in the triumph.GROUP D
Sockers FC 2, Greensboro Youth Soccer 1
New England Revolution 3, Lonestar Aztex 0Standings
: Sockers FC (2-0-1, 7 pts); New England Revolution (1-0-2, 5 pts); Greensboro Youth Soccer (0-1-2, 2 pts); Lonestar Aztex (0-2-1, 1 pt)Notes:
Kei Glaser provided the game-winner in the 70th minute to break a tie game and give Sockers FC its invitation to California.GROUP E
Crew Soccer Academy 3, Weston FC 0
FC Dallas 0, CASL Chelsea FC Academy 0Standings:
CASL Chelsea FC Academy (2-0-1, 7 pts); Crew Soccer Academy (2-1-0, 6 pts); FC Dallas 0-1-2, 2 pts); Weston FC (0-2-1, 1 pt)Notes:
Goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita kept a clean sheet to help CASL earn the point it needed. Crew earned an impressive win but fell just short of CASL despite a great performance by striker Christopher Davis.GROUP F
California Development Academy 3, Birmingham United 1
PDA 1, Internationals 1 Standings:
Internationals (2-0-1, 7 pts); California Development Academy (2-1-0, 6 pts); PDA (0-1-2, 2 pts); Birmingham United (0-2-1, 1 pt) Notes:
Tie goes to Internationals. Center back Vlad Lekarev led the way while Nicholas Parianos scored the team’s lone goal.GROUP G
Baltimore Bays Chelsea 3, Dallas Texans 0
Kansas City Wizards 2, Chivas USA 0Standings:
Baltimore Bays Chelsea (3-0-0, 9 pts); Kansas City Wizards (2-1-0, 6 pts); Chivas USA 0-2-1, 1 pt); Dallas Texans (0-2-1, 1 pt)Notes:
The Baltimore Bays have to be one of the favorites to win the title. They capped a perfect week with another strong outing from their two leading attackers; Michael Gamble and Malcom Harris.GROUP H
Cal Odyssey 2, Charlotte Soccer Academy 2
Real So Cal 2, FC Greater Boston 2 Standings:
Cal Odyssey (1-0-2, 5 pts); Charlotte Soccer Academy (0-0-3, 3 pts); FC Greater Boston (0-0-3, 3 pts); Real So Cal 0-1-2, 2 pts)Notes:
Odyssey had a 2-0 lead but ran out of gas a little before holding on for the important tie. Leading attackers Gregory Antognoli and Villyan Bijev wreaked havoc while J.P. Medina and Tren Biswell stepped up to score goals.