Article Written by Andy Villamarzo
Published: December 27, 2016
ORLANDO- The opening day of the Disney Soccer Showcase at the ESPN Wide World of Sports started off with warm weather and the day was filled with competitive games down the stretch and some beautiful Florida sunshine. Here are some of the key matchups from Tuesday's action.
McLean YS Hotspur Green U17 (VA) 2-1 Gwinnett SA 00 U17 (GA)
It is always important to start the Disney Soccer Showcase with a win under your belt on the opening day and in the matchup between McLean YS Hotspur Green and Gwinnett SA 00, both teams were heavily vying for that Day 1 victory. It would be the club from Virginia coming away with the hard fought victory against the boys from Gwinnett, Georgia.
McLean YS Hotspur Green and Gwinnett SA 00 were both very aggressive offensively from the get, as both clubs were battling for position at midfield and hoping to nab the game's first goal. McLean YS Hotspur Green centerback Raphael Leslau had the contest's first real scoring opportunity in the 16th minute, when he shot rolled harmlessly to the left and kept the game tied at 0-0.
Exactly seven minutes later, McLean YS would finally find the back of the net. Forward Gustavus De Andrade ran ahead with numbers and was able to notch his team's first goal of the morning. McLean YS would take the 1-0 lead into halftime and coach Jamil Walker spoke to his club about the importance of pushing numbers ahead and adding another goal to its total.
The much needed second goal would come in the second half, as Walker's crew would get its second goal and take the much needed 2-1 lead they acquired would never be relinquished.
Baltimore Celtic SC 2000 U17 (MD) 4-0 United Futbol Academy 00 Premier U17 (GA)
If you went completely by the first half of play, you would've thought that the contest between Baltimore Celtic SC 2000 and United Futbol Academy 00 Premier was definitely going to end in either a tie or first team scores, wins. The first team that score did end up winning, but it sure wasn't the defensive battle many of the parents on hand thought it might turn into. Baltimore Celtic SC 2000 ended up turning this match into a laugher and running away with a 4-0 victory over United Futbol Academy 00 Premier.
The opening half was a quiet one at best for both teams, as defensively each team wasn't budging for the other and giving up any field position. Baltimore Celtic had a few opportunities to attack the net, but was not able to convert and had to settle for a halftime score of 0-0.
In the second half, however, the game turned for the worst for United Futbol Academy 00 Premier and Baltimore was able to take advantage. Amongst the four scorers for Baltimore was Justin Gielen, Anthony Dragisics, Ben Stitz and David Owens.
"I didn't think we played very well in the first half," Baltimore Celtic SC 2000 coach Barry Stitz said. "We took a half to get adjusted to the warmer weather. We moved the ball much quicker and when that happens. Really important to win on Day 1. You can't afford to lose the first day. I think it gives the team a lot of confidence. I think we've done OK offensively. I thought we felt once we got that first goal, they'd have to open up."
Davie United SC Sharks 2000 Blue U17 (FL) 3-1 Nationals Union 00 Black U17 (MI)
It would be 'Comeback City' for the Davie United SC Sharks 2000 Blue against the Nationals Union 00 Black. After trailing 1-0 in the first half and going into intermission, David coach Ramiro Vaile Guerrero spoke to his team passionately about cleaning up some of the mistakes his club made in the opening.
It must've worked, because his squad ripped off three goals in the second half en route to a 3-1 victory over Nationals Union 00 Black.
The Nationals Union 00 Black grabbed the early 1-0 advantage when Alejandro Steinwascher blasted a shot past goalkeeper Francesco Montali for the lead.
Gronthik Chatterjee's club had numerous opportunities to blow the game open in the first half, including a near-goal by Cooper Haskin, who's shot was blocked by Montali midway through the first half. Despite all of Davie's troubles trying to score goals in the first half, they would have no such problems in the second.
Kendall SC USSDA 01 U15 (FL) 4-0 Indiana Fire Academy USSDA 01 U15 (IN)
The drive up I-95 to Orlando was probably the most challenging task for Kendall SC USSDA 01 going into Tuesday'smatch against Indiana Fire Academy USSDA 01. That continued to be likely the most challenging act to date, as Kendall made quick work of the Indiana Fire Academy in a 4-0 route.
"Defensively we had a pretty good game," Kendall SC USSDA 01 coach Luis Calix said. "The defenders weren't really challenged because the offensive players held possession for most of the game. The game wasn't the greatest test."
Kendall jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening half, as centerback Fredrico Mion scored two goals and led the charge defensively. After jumping out to a big first half lead, Calix opted to play some of his U14 players that were brought along on the trip to Orlando.
"The win is very good and it gives this team confidence to keep going," Calix said. "(Mion) did a great job not only offensively, but defensively as well. Our younger players also did a great job stepping in and playing some minutes."