FC Dallas, Vancouver advance to U18 final
FC Dallas 3-2 Solar Chelsea SC
FC Dallas edged out city rival Solar Chelsea SC 3-2 in an entertaining affair to take the top spot in Group 2 of the U18 age group. FC Dallas advances to play Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday night at 8 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium for the 2011-12 U-17/18 Development Academy Championship.
Solar Chelsea SC, needing only a draw to advance to the championship, got a dream start when Trevor Haberkorn put the team in front in just the 13th minute. FC Dallas would respond through a pair of Jonathan Top strikes four minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead into the break. A rejuvenated Solar Chelsea SC side restored parity in the 53rd minute and looked increasingly able to maintain the scoreline until FC Dallas captain and left back Michael Ambrose found Mark Ashby with a free kick in the 69th minute. Ashby took back the lead with a powerful header and FC Dallas never looked back, taking its place in Sunday’s showcase match.
“To come here and play against such quality competition, on successive days on little rest in games you have to win is an opportunity for each of our kids to grow individually and collectively,” said FC Dallas head coach Chris Hayden. “We are very happy about the result and look forward to playing Vancouver. The boys will recover in the next 48 hours and we’ll get our legs back under us and be ready to compete.”
The Dallas-based squads, familiar with each other after meeting three times during the regular season, started energetically with FC Dallas carving out a chance for Top to blaze over in the second minute. It was FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta’s turn next, striking a direct free kick that took a slight deflection on its way over the wall and shaved outside of Oshick Shams’ post.
With both teams still settling into the first quarter hour of the match, Solar Chelsea SC pounced on their first opportunity and took the lead through an impressive Haberkorn volley from well outside the area. A dangerous free kick was initially hit into the wall but Solar was able to knock the ball back toward the area. FC Dallas half cleared and diverted it to Haberkorn who took one touch on the bouncing ball and struck it out of the air and into the top corner.
Knowing it had to score at least two goals to capture first place in the group, Dallas responded emphatically, sustaining long periods of possession in the Solar half and putting its counterparts under pressure. The plan paid off in the 31st minute after a fortuitous bounce from a long throw on the right fell invitingly for Top inside the six. He made no mistake from that distance, smashing it in for the equalizer.
The second goal, a product of an exceptional passing move, came just four minutes later and bolstered FC Dallas’ confidence having drawn itself up from being down early. After moving the ball deep into the Solar Chelsea attacking third on the left, Ambrose was set up for a bending cross to the far post where Nicholas Rochowski sent a header crashing of the post. The rebound came straight to Top at the penalty spot. He took a settling touch and powered in his volley high into the net, not giving Shams a chance for the save.
Solar Chelsea started the second half pushing higher up the pitch in an effort to deny Dallas the space to build an attack from the back. The strategy paid dividends in the 53rd minute after suffocating a Dallas effort to break out of its own half. Solar Chelsea regained the ball, creating a mismatch on the left, which allowed flanker William Webb to beat his man and cross to the far post. Right side midfielder Ryan Condotta arrived at the far post, having created a yard of space between himself and his defender, to finish first time and restore Solar’s hope of advancing as the group winner.
The match trudged into the final 30 minutes with Solar continuing their high pressure game plan. FC Dallas, despite the pressure, would find its goal through set piece in the 69th minute. Ambrose, turned provider once again, whipped in a left-footed cross from the left channel to the near post where fellow defender Ashby powered his header into the back of the net, sending the FC Dallas bench into elation.
Wrought with tension, the final minutes of the match saw Solar Chelsea throw everything forward in search of a late equalizer. Ashby and central defense partner Aaron Guillen stood tall dispelling ball after ball bombed into the FC Dallas area.
When all looked finished and the result sealed, Solar forward Zach Mathers stepped up in the 93rd minute to bend a free kick over the Dallas wall only to see it glance off the near post and out for a goal kick.
SOL – Trevor Haberkorn 13th minute
FCD – Jonathan Top 31
FCD – Jonathan Top 35
SOL – Ryan Condotta (William Webb) 53
FCD – Mark Ashby (Michael Ambrose) 69
FCD: 22-Eduardo Cortes; 6-Nicholas Rochowski (28-Marco Ortiz, 66), 2-Mark Ashby, 5-Aaron Guillen, 3-Michael Ambrose; 21-Marco Carrizales (17-David Robledo, 57), 14-Kellyn Acosta, 8-Flavio Guzman; 11-Danny Garcia, 9-Jonathan Top (13-Alonso Gallegos, 80), 27-Jose de la Tejera (39-Bobby Edet, 83)
SOL: 0-Oshick Shams; 10-Murphy Short, 4-Reagan Dunk, 7-Trevor Haberkorn, 12-William Webb; 8-Mason Miller (26-Jonathan Guzman, 75), 16-Ryan Condotta; 2-Chandler Crosswait (23-Jesse Toledo, 61; 6-Adam Bonville, 90), 21-Zach Mathers, 15-Colton Missimo (11-Alan Winn, 66); 3-Sam Hayward (19-Hayden Partain, 70)
Baltimore Bays Chelsea 2-0 Chivas USA
Baltimore Bays Chelsea’s U-17/18 team ended its two-game slide with two second-half goals en route to a 2-0 victory against Chivas USA on Friday at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. Bays finished third in Group 2 and advance to Sunday’s fifth-place game of Academy Finals Week.
Baltimore was aided by a Chivas USA red card midway through the first half, and in the second half, midfielder Jacori Hayes and Christian Morales tallied goals to pace Baltimore.
“In the second half we were much, much better,” Baltimore Bays Chelsea head coach Steve Nichols said. “We moved the ball, our energy level was high and defensively we were much sharper.”
The game-winner proved to be Hayes’ 59th-minute goal as Malcolm Harris set him up down the left side. Hayes aimed toward the inside of the right post and his clinical finish gave Baltimore Bays Chelsea the 1-0 lead.
“I just ran into the box and just hoping that I’d get the ball and create havoc,” Hayes said. “When it fell to me, it was a little bit behind, but I pushed it forward with my left, tried to slot it at the back post and luckily enough it hit the post and went in.”
Bays second-half sub Morales added to the lead in the 79th minute as Baltimore quickly countered against the Chivas USA defense. Morales’ shot found the left side of the goal and essentially put the match out of reach for shorthanded Chivas.
Entering Friday’s game, Baltimore had only scored one goal in its first two games, which were losses to Solar Chelsea SC and Group 2 winner FC Dallas.
“Sooner or later you’ve got to finish your chances, or you’re going to have the same fate as the first two games,” Nichols said. “Hats off to them, they found a way to get a couple goals, which we didn’t get in the first two games when we should have.”
From Chivas USA’s perspective, the game took a dramatic turn in the 26th minute when it was ruled that Chivas USA’s Jose Dheming head-butted a Baltimore Bays Chelsea player. Dheming was issued a straight red card and Chivas played the remainder of the match with 10 men.
“Certainly the tournament hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to,” Chivas USA head coach Dan Calichman said. “They wanted to win this last game before whatever place we end up in. Obviously the red card changed it, but the guys had a lot of character and they worked really hard and made it tough for Baltimore. Baltimore’s a good team. The more we tried to push, the more they countered us, and they’re awfully fast up front. They made us pay.”
With the early red card, the Goats’ best scoring opportunities came in the first half off the foot of Marco Delgado. The homegrown player was responsible for both of Chivas USA’s shots on goal in the first half, including a 16th-minute strike that forced Bays goalkeeper Andrew Harris to make a diving save to his right.
Harris made two saves and Chivas USA goalkeeper Jake McGuire had five saves on the night.
Next up, Baltimore faces the Colorado Rapids in the fifth-place game at 10 a.m. CT on Sunday, July 22. Chivas USA will battle De Anza Force in the seventh-place match at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Both games are at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
BBC – Jacori Hayes (Malcolm Harris) 59th minute
BBC – Christian Morales 79
CHV: 1-Jake McGuire; 41-Julio Chavez (44-Brian Kennedy, 67) , 49-Stephen Copley, 35-Alex Heilmann (65-Josue Garcia, 83), 54-Eric Gonzalez; 37-Eduardo Quezada (50-Rene Santos, 64) , 39-Marco Delgado (70-Adam Arana, 52), 95-Daniel Moreno (31-Mark Verso, 70); 63-Ever De La Torre, 79-Romario Lomeli (83-Adonis Amaya, 79), 3-Jose Dheming
BBC: 1-Andrew Harris; 14-Matthew Shinsky (5-Alex Ponvert , 64), 27-Tanner Vosvick, 6-Michael DeGraffenreidt, 21-Malcolm Harris; 4-Jacori Hayes (19-Christian Porras, 83), 10-Romilio Hernandez, 8-Rick Greensfelder (20-Sam Tana, 46); 13-Michael Gamble (11-Christian Morales, 75), 3-Logan McHugh (17-Ryan Kennedy, 56), 9-Yaw Amankwa (12-Jeremy DeGraffenreidt, 78)
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-1 Colorado Rapids
Vancouver Whitecaps FC will play for the 2012 Development Academy championship in the U18 age group, finishing on top of Group 1 following a 1-1 draw with Colorado Rapids at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
With two wins and a draw, Whitecaps FC will conclude its first season in the Academy by facing 2011 runner-up FC Dallas in the final Sunday, July 23, at 8 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium, the newly minted home of the Houston Dynamo. Fans can watch the match live on ussoccer.com, or follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
Colorado finished in third place and will face Baltimore Bays Chelsea FC in the fifth-place match on July 22 at 10 a.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
“I think this was our best performance in terms of keeping the ball and trying to out-possess our opponent,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Craig Dalrymple. “The nerves were out of the system two games in. It’s hard to keep the players not thinking about the next game, but I think they did a good job of it tonight. They still had the competitive spirit and wanted to win the game.”
Needing only a draw to ensure advancement, Whitecaps FC began the match with more composure than its previous two outings. The team enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening minutes, but failed to seriously threaten the Rapids goal. Colorado gamely matched their effort, once again trying to play off striker Idi Camara. Just before the quarter hour, Whitecaps midfielder Yassin Essa used his speed to gain space down the right flank, delivering a menacing cross that eventually found Caleb Clarke. He appeared to have a juicy chance, but his effort was blocked out for a corner.
As the half progressed, Vancouver looked to play early balls in behind the Rapids defense, some with impressive precision over distance. The Rapids back line adjusted and recovered well, and chances remained sparse.
In the 28th minute, Colorado managed the first shot on goal for either side as Austin Seifert tried his luck from 20 yards, his effort cleanly handled by goalkeeper Callum Irving.
They got another good look in the 39th minute off a free kick 30 yards from goal and dead center. Ricardo Perez, the ussoccer.com Man of the Match from Monday night’s draw with De Anza Force, cracked a low drive that bypassed the wall, forcing Irving into a sure-handed save.
Vancouver nearly found success in first-half stoppage time when Ben Fisk found himself isolated on the left flank. Displaying the craftiness that led to consecutive hat tricks in the first two games, Fisk cut inside and targeted the lower left corner. A deflection forced Rapids goalkeeper Brad Holub to scramble back across his goal line to preserve the even scoreline.
The second half began at a measured pace, and Whitecaps FC nearly capitalized on a defensive miscue. After Holub distributed out of the back, his defender lost possession and presented Essa with an opportunity. Alertly seeing a chance, he tried to chip the goalkeeper from 35 yards out and only narrowly missed wide.
Camara broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, finishing a well-constructed passing sequence by firing a low drive from the top of the 18-yard box that deflected off his marker and skidded under Irving.
The deficit inspired a renewed purpose to the Vancouver attack, but Colorado did well to weather the storm with stodgy defending through winning air battles, blocking shots and closing space.
They finally relented in the 78th minute off another great individual effort when ussoccer.com Man of the Match Spencer DeBoice took control on the left side and slashed inside toward goal. He cleverly swiveled last-second and tucked a shot just inside the in near post.
Vancouver continued to create chances and had the game-winner on its foot when a penalty was awarded in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, but Carlos Marquez fired wide.
RAP – Idi Camara 63rd minute
VAN – Spencer Deboice 78
VAN: 1-Callum Irving (30-Marco Carducci, 84); 12-Declan Rodriguez, 15-Jason van Blerk, 14-Daniel Stanese, 17-Sam Adekugbe; 13-Alex Rowley (5-Tim Hickson, 76), 2-Bryce Alderson (11-Spencer Deboice, 64), 8-Ben McKendry (6-Carlos Marquez, 46); 7-Yassin Essa (3-Wesley Cain, 73), 4-Caleb Clarke (16-Carlos Patino, 55), 10-Ben Fisk (9-Adam Polakiewicz, 88)
RAP: 18-Brad Holub; 4-Ben Braman, 3-Alex Braman, 7-Chris Gurule, 8-Karsten Hanlin; 2-Avery Ball, 20-David Pardo; 14-Jorde Lopez (10-Josue Chavez, 46), 46-Ricardo Perez, 24-Austin Seifert (19-Daniel Nevarez, 64); 9-Idi Camara
North Carolina Fusion 2-1 De Anza Force
The North Carolina Fusion is poised to capture its highest finish at the Development Academy Finals Week in club history on Sunday following a 2-1 victory against De Anza Force on Friday night in a U18 match at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
Defender Alex Rosenbower rose high to drive home a game-winning header in the 82nd minute, placing North Carolina into the third-place match on Sunday against Solar Chelsea SC. Regardless of the outcome of that game, the result will be North Carolina Fusion’s highest Finals Week finish in club history after finishing sixth as a U16 team last year.
“We didn’t get off to a good start in the first game [of the tournament] and I think we felt that we didn’t do ourselves justice,” Fusion head coach Marc Nicholls said. “I was really pleased with today’s performance. We’re really happy to be in that [third-place] game. It was a goal of ours. To come here and win two games back-to-back, and to be in that position in such a competitive league and such a fast country, we’re very happy to be in it.”
North Carolina, which beat the Colorado Rapids 4-2 on Wednesday after losing a two-goal lead, won for the second consecutive match as Rosenbower broke free on a corner kick with eight minutes remaining in the match. Unmarked, the defender rose up and connected on Warren Marshall’s delivery with a powerful header past goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh.
“My teammate and I switched at the same time and he screened my man and I screened his man and they got tangled up and left me wide open,” Rosenbower said. “I had the whole goal to shoot at.”
De Anza Force midfielder Edson Cardona knotted the score at 1-1 four minutes before halftime with a well-placed shot to the left side of the goal. After a nice combination to open up space, midfielder Colby Trah’s first ball to Cardona was blocked directly back to Trah. His quick second pass found Cardona with space in front of goal and time to tee up a clean shot in the 41st minute.
Following a De Anza giveaway in its own half of the field, North Carolina used a strong build-up to spring forward Brandt Bronico in on goal in the 12th minute. Strike partner Hassan Kouyateh and Taylor Adler used two quick touches to play the ball to Bronico for the opening goal.
“I thought we got off to a great start,” Nicholls said. “We controlled the tempo of the game in the second half and we were very aware of De Anza and their late heroics and never-say-die attitude, so I’m very pleased with the way we managed the game in the late stages.”
“Last year we performed pretty well, but not as well as we have this year,” Rosenbower said. “Experience definitely helped us this year. We have that mentality that we’ve been here before and we’re going to do better than last year.”
De Anza saw a golden opportunity to equalize in the 85th minute saved by Fusion goalkeeper Jeff Campbell. A long throw into the box from the right touchline bounced before Force midfielder Kody Wasaka put a head on the ball, but Campbell was in position to make the stop.
North Carolina faces Solar Chelsea SC in the third-place match on Sunday after Solar suffered a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas in Group 2 play on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
“We were here last year and we ended up playing for a worse position,” Rosenbower said. “It’s great to be here playing for third. We were looking for the No. 1 or 2 spot and I think if we came out strong in the first game we could’ve gotten that, but it feels great playing for third. It’s the best our team has ever done.”
NCF – Brandt Bronico (Hassan Kouyateh) 12th minute
DAF – Edson Cardona (Colby Trah) 41
NCF – Alex Rosenbower (Warren Marshall) 82
NCF: 00-Jefferson Caldwell; 32-Alex Rosenbower, 2-Erik Casterline, 20-Cole Schwietering, 7-Adam Storm; 16-Sam McBride (4-Alec Rotunda, 64), 8-Warren Marshall, 13-Brandt Bronico; 36-Myles Mansfield (14-Craver Stamey, 74), 38-Hassan Kouyateh (10-Marco Sunol, 45), 17-Taylor Adler (96-Matteo Busio, 74)
DAF: 0-Cameron McElfresh; 2-Alfie Edmonds, 19-Alejandro Gaeta (15-Thomas Janjigian, 38; 66-Skyler Felt, 86), 7-Matt Escobar, 25-Mike Amick; 10-Kody Wasaka (11-Max Ornstil, 45), 23-Colby Trah, 17-Edson Cardona (21-Ryan Masch, 58), 77-Jason Romero; 20-Greg Senger (8-Dylan Autran, 66), 36-Luc Brubaker (6-Travis Pillon, 45)
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