Murphy scored the winning goal for PDA in a critical match-up with the Philadelphia Union, while Asom scored an astounding four goals in Sting’s 6-2 win over the Dallas Texans in Texas Conference action.
If the most important factor to put aside toward academy postseason success is late-season form, then the PDA U18s are a hearty dark horse candidate to win the entire tournament. Through last weekend PDA is 18th in the academy-wide table, which is plenty good enough to make the playoffs but hardly puts them in the upper echelon. That said, PDA took down mighty RBNY two weeks ago, and last weekend the U18s stopped the Union, just one spot below them in the conference standings, with a heart-pounding 3-2 win. After falling behind 2-1, PDA mounted a comeback that found its release when Murphy put in the winner in the 70th minute. The goal was the midfield maestro’s third of the season, and it inched PDA closer to the top of the table.
Asom was critical in Dallas Sting’s march to a U17 national title last year, arguably the most coveted trophy in the entire ECNL catalog. She’s been just as crucial to the U18 team this year before she ships off to play at Princeton this fall. Her 22 goals in 19 games is one of the best totals in the academy at any age level, and Sting still haven’t lost a match this year. That continued against the second-place Texans, who’d lost just two games all year headed into their meeting with Sting over the weekend. Dallas Sting ripped the Texans 6-2, and Asom scored four of those goals. Considering both will comfortably make the U18 finals in Seattle later this year, the blowout victory was that much more impressive.
The TopDrawerSoccer.com Academy Player of the Week is designed to reward top performances from the previous week’s action in both the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and the Elite Clubs National League. Winners are chosen on a variety of litmuses, and the public is free to submit nominations for consideration each week. Those can be sent to Will Parchman at firstname.lastname@example.org.