MONTVERDE, Fla. -- Score one for the Development Academy.
Make that, two!
FC Dallas secured a rematch with SIMA Gold in the Montverde Academy Soccer Tournament Super Group final following a 2-0 win over Jacuipense.
"We came here to showcase our product," Baltimore Armour coach Mike Lookingland said. "And to beat a team like Montverde shows the type of players and product we have -- when we have our [full] team."
Baltimore Armour lost seven of eight Development Academy matches while its core players were competing in high school soccer during the fall. At full strength, Baltimore Armour is 6-1-1 since, and now will take on Vaughan Azzurri of Canada in the MAST High School bracket final on Saturday.
Baltimore Armour’s 3-5-2 formation posed problems for Montverde, and the Maryland-based team struck early. Villanova commit Branden Johns used his speed to race past the Montverde defense and finish about 10 minutes into the contest. Kyle Brown gave Baltimore Armour a 2-0 first-half lead, finishing a cross from Loyola (MD) commit Kevin Medrano. Montverde cut the lead in half late in the first half when Edward Mensah, after getting stuffed on his penalty kick attempt by Armour keeper Grant Farley, was able to collect the rebound and score.
When the final whistle sounded, several Montverde players sunk to the ground and the once excited crowd was silenced by the rare home loss.
Montverde Academy will face West Ottawa SC in the third-place match. In Friday’s consolation matches, Club Med Academy defeated 2SV and Clearwater Chargers defeated Florida Rush. Club Med and Clearwater will play for fifth place while 2SV and Florida Rush will compete in the seventh-place match.
Entering the final robin-robin contests in the MAST Super Group, FC Dallas, Jacuipense and Valencia all were still alive for a berth in the final against SIMA Gold.
Cesar Garcia and Nicolas Carrera scored for FC Dallas as the Development Academy team defeated Jacuipense to finish 1-1-1. Jacuipense ended 0-2-1. Despite the win, FC Dallas was not guaranteed a spot in the final until later in the evening when SIMA Gold handled Valencia 5-2.
Lucca Dourado scored the first two goals and J.T. Kamara, Luc Granitur and Ates Diouf added scores for SIMA Gold, which finished 3-0. Fabio Blanco Gomez scored both goals for Valencia, which ended 0-1-2.
Jacuipense and Valencia will square off in the third-place match. The teams tied their first encounter.
THURSDAY: SIMA Gold v. Jacuipense, first half
THURSDAY: SIMA Gold v. Jacuipense, second half
FRIDAY'S HIGH SCHOOL BRACKET STANDOUTS (winner bracket matches)
F Kyle Brown, Baltimore Armour: One of the unrrated players on the Armour roster, but always finds ways to be productive. On this night, he scored a goal to put the team comfortably ahead 2-0. Coaches say he keeps getting better and better.
M Eric Danquah, SIMA Gold: Danquah was a very creative player who turned in a productive performance Friday.
F Lucca Dourado, SIMA Gold: A true finisher. He scored the first two goals of the match to put SIMA Gold in complete control. He keeps it simple, and produces.
M Fabio Blanco Gomez, Valencia CF: Gomez delivered a perfect set-piece goal and then added a goal during the run of play.
F Branden Johns, Baltimore Armour: He might not be the team’s top scorer, but his raw speed stretches defense and commands attention. He scored the first goal in what proved to be a 3-1 Baltimore Armour victory Friday.
D Jose Joya, Baltimore Armour: Joya was part of a defense that held Montverde scoreless from the run of play.
F/M J.T. Kamara, SIMA Gold: One of several dynamic players on SIMA’s roster. As the coach put it, “you don’t know what he’s going to do, but whatever it is will be exciting.”
D William Nascimento, SIMA Gold: After not geting much time earlier in the tournament, Nascimento was given a chance Friday and played a very consistent match.