Red Bulls squeak out win at Finals Week

by U.S. Soccer
July 20, 2012

New York Red Bulls 1-0 Chicago Fire

The New York Red Bulls U16 squad moved one step closer to clinching a spot in the Academy Finals Week title match.

Led by captain Adam Najem’s second-half goal, the Red Bulls defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 on Thursday in both teams’ second match of Group 1 play at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

With the victory, New York moves to 2-0-0 and six points in the group. The Fire and Pateadores, which defeated Charlotte Soccer Academy 3-1 on Thursday, have three points apiece and are still in the hunt. With a draw or a victory against Charlotte Soccer Academy on Saturday, New York would clinch a spot in the championship game on Monday, July 23, at BBVA Compass Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.

The contest between two strong offensive sides became a defensive grind. In fact, New York’s lone goal in the 48th minute was the team’s first shot on goal.

After Alex Muyl worked the ball from the right to Amando Moreno, he dished to Najem on the left and fired a shot toward the right side of the frame. The ball hit the right post and crossed the goal line for a 1-0 lead that held up for the remainder of the match.

“I think both teams knew that they were both capable of scoring goals, and that played a lot into the tactics of the game,” Najem said. “I think as soon as that first goal went in, it was open for the rest of the game. It was a battle offensively and defensively.”

The Fire had the shots on goal advantage through the first 40 minutes, placing two shots on frame while New York was held to zero shots on goal in the first half.

Red Bulls goalkeeper Evan Louro came up with two saves in the first half, including a big stop in the sixth minute when the Fire’s Marcus Epps crossed the ball in and Jeff Farina snapped a strong header on net. Louro reacted swiftly to his left for the diving save.

Louro’s other save in the first half was a routine one in the 10th minute as the Fire’s Anthony Jeffries struck the ball from the left side and it went right to New York’s goalkeeper.

“I think collectively we defended well,” Red Bulls head coach Rob Elliott said. “Our forwards’ mentality to chase and defend and make it hard and make services hard, we didn’t give those guys a lot of opportunities when they got them. Our center backs had to make plays – [Matt] Miazga made a ton of big tackles down the stretch to keep a clean sheet for us.”

The tide changed in the second half for New York with an 8-3 shots advantage over Chicago and some potential opportunities to put the match out of reach.

Muyl had a couple of shots that he pushed just wide of the goal, including in the 63rd minute when he received the ball at point-blank range in the box but missed wide left of the frame. Second-half sub Chris Lema came the closest at finding a two-goal cushion, but his shot in second-half stoppage time struck the right post.

The Red Bulls take on Charlotte Soccer Academy at 8 p.m. CT on Saturday, July 21, while the Fire faces Pateadores at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Scoring Summary:
NYRB – Adam Najem (Amando Moreno) 48th minute

FIRE: 93-Kyle Dal Santo; 62-Mike Jimenez (60-Chris Henock, 71), 66-James Myall, 64-Grant Lillard, 65-John Moderwell; 52-Martin Alba, 57-Collin Fernandez (58-Luca Giovine, 78), 61-Anthony Jeffries (67-Shannon Seymour, 26); 55-Marcus Epps (68-Anthony Smith, 63), 71-Brian Werchek, 56-Jeff Farina

NYRB: 1-Evan Louro; 19-Kevin Politz (20-Brandon Tetro, 62), 3-Matt Miazga, 4-Billy Stevens, 6-Mike Kapitula; 12-Steven Echevarria, 8-Arun Basuljevic (5-Kaz Boschen , 80), 11-Adam Najem (7-Joe Swenson, 65); 10-Alex Muyl (13-Vinny Brunetti , 74), 9-Ismar Tandir (17-Wesley Wade, 50), 14-Amando Moreno (24-Christopher Lema, 57)

Pateadores 3-1 Charlotte Soccer Academy

Pateadores stormed back from a goal deficit to win 3-1 against Charlotte Soccer Academy at the Houston Amateur Sports Park in Group 1 play of the U16 age group of the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week. Brian Pacheco was the hero of the day for the California side, netting a hat trick to account for all three goals.

Pateadores drew level with the Chicago Fire on points (three) after the win. The two teams will face each other in the third group game with the hope of catching the New York Red Bulls on six points, who will face Charlotte in their conclusion to group play.

Charlotte struck first in the 33rd minute through Tomas Hilliard-Arce and looked to be taking the lead into halftime before Pacheco struck for his first to level the contest at 1-1 just before the whistle. The Pateadores striker grabbed his second just before the hour mark to give his side the lead, and would ice the game three minutes into injury time to complete the hat trick.

“We’re excited and happy for the guys and the club,” said Pateadores head coach Matt Tutton. “We’ve taken a step towards something that we’ve been looking to do, and that is put ourselves in a position to go on to the final.”

Fittingly, it was Pacheco who had the match’s first chance in the 4th minute when midfield engine John Baron set him up with a curling chip. Pacheco receive the ball in stride but struck over the goal from 20 yards. Charlotte was next to knock on the door when the active Hilliard-Arce was able to take advantage of a defensive giveaway. The Pateadores central defense was able to recover, a last ditch tackle poking the ball away before the Charlotte midfielder had a chance to pull the trigger.

It was Hans Honer, the big Charlotte forward and focal point of their attack, who created the breakthrough for his attacking partner Hilliard-Arce. An angled ball from the right flank found Honer in the center of the park. He deftly flicked on for Hilliard-Arce running through on the left channel. Hilliard-Arce rounded his defender and powered a shot in at the near post that Pateadores goalkeeper Brandon Gomez was able to get a hand to but not keep out of the net.

Charlotte would not be able to see out the first half in control as Pateadores drew level just before the break. A left side cross deflected and looped toward the back post where Charlotte goalkeeper James Pyle made a tough back-peddling grab. However, he was not able to hold onto the ball when he made contact with the ground and Pacheco was on hand to poke in the loose ball.

Neither side was able to put their stamp on the match after the restart as the midfield battle ground on until almost the 60th minute. A defensive miscue on the Charlotte right would prove costly as Pacheco picked possession on the flank and turned and dribbled across the top of the box from left to right. He found a yard of space and shot back across his body to beat the goalkeeper moving across the face of the goal.

Charlotte pushed for the equalizer and mustered a period of sustained pressure starting in the 65th minute. The North Carolina side was finding room to cross the ball into the area but could not find the target as Pateadores was able to beat back every ball into the box with Honer an ever present danger.

In the closing minutes, the game opened up with Charlotte pushing more men into the attack. Pateadores was increasingly free to counterattack, but one such occasion left themselves exposed after a turnover. Charlotte regained possession, pushing up with numbers in attack only to have the chance killed off due to a player in an offside position.

Any hopes a comeback were quashed entirely in the 83rd minute after substitute Kyle Pizano put Pachecho in on goal to hit his bending effort off the post and in.

Scoring Summary:  

CHA – Tomas Hilliard-Arce (Hans Honer)          33rd minute
PAT – Brian Pacheco                                       40
PAT – Brian Pacheco                                       58
PAT – Brian Pacheco (Kyle Pizano)            80+3

PAT:  60-Brandon Gomez; 30-Jose Castillo (41-Kyle Pizano, 57), 43-Alex Rosales, 46-Arturo Fragoso, 39-Corey Schramm (37-Colin McDermott, 74); 29-John Baron, 32-Arend Doppenberg, 34-Nahum Paz; 19-Brian Torres (28-Kevin De la Torre, 30), 36-Brian Pacheco, 33-Jaric Marton (40-Nick Stanley, 72)

CHA:  1-James Pyle; 31-Klint Parker, 7-Jared Kent,  4-Remi Frost, 29-Corey Michocki (33-Jack Miller, 71); 22-Jared Odenbeck, 5-TK Abderahman, 25-Eddie Iturbide (36-Giovanni Castro, 67), 34-Tomas Hilliard-Arce, 35-JT Spath (3-Charlie Coulson, 45); 30-Hans Honer

PA Classics 2-1 D.C. United

PA Classics needed a win to stay in the hunt for the Development Academy U16 championship and second-half substitute Andrew Mannon delivered when it mattered most, finishing a counterattack in the 71st minute to give PA Classics a 2-1 victory against D.C. United on Thursday night at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Off of a D.C. United corner kick, PA Classics sprung the counterattack quickly up the middle of the field. A ball played up the right flank ran over the touchline after deflecting off of a D.C. player and the awareness of midfielder Drew Mahoney and Mannon helped PA Classics capitalize on the attack.

Mahoney rapidly scooped up the ball and threw it in to Mannon, unmarked and making a run into the box. The ball bounced up and off of a D.C. United defender and fell to Mannon who buried the game-winner.

“They had a corner kick and we cleared it,” Mannon said. “I saw Drew and he had a throw-in down here and no one was covering me. I thought I lost the ball because it came up and hit me in the chest, but it fell to me and I just finished it. It was crazy.”

St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri defeated Crew Soccer Academy Wolves 4-1 in the other Group 2 match of the night, but the win by PA Classics keeps the club in the hunt for a spot in the championship match, despite the slim odds of advancing.

“We’ve had two good games and we’ll just see what happens,” PA Classics head coach Steve Klein said.

Connor Maloney gave the Pennsylvania side a 1-0 lead after just seven minutes when D.C. United goalkeeper Carlos Canas spilled a long cross into the box. Maloney was there for the rebound as PA Classics got off to a quick start.

The lead did not last long, however, as D.C. United midfielder Ian Harkes chested down a long pass near the top of the box and served up a perfect ball for Jorge Calix to rifle into the back of the net in the 11th minute.

The sides each saw spurts of solid possession, trading chances on both ends before Mannon’s go-ahead goal.

“We didn’t make the big mistake,” Klein said. “We had good possession in the first half like we did the other night [in a 3-0 loss to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri]. In that game, we made a couple real critical mistakes and we got punished, but today we stayed away from the big mistake defensively.”

D.C. United nearly equalized following Mannon’s goal as midfielder James Doll had his close-range effort strike the right post in the 72nd minute and a headed rebound by Nigel Robinson was slapped over the crossbar by PA Classics goalkeeper Brent Arnold.

Arnold made five saves in the match, including a nice diving save in the 71st minute to deny D.C. United of the equalizer.

“We were disappointed in our result against St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri,” Klein said. “We thought we played well in that game. I’m glad the guys rebounded and we played a full 80 minutes.”

PA Classics squares off against Crew Soccer Academy Wolves on Saturday at 9 p.m. CT, while St. Louis Scott Gallagher plays D.C. United also at 9 p.m. CT.

Scoring Summary:       
PAC – Connor Maloney                                               7th minute
DCU – Jorge Calix (Ian Harkes)                                   11
PAC – Andrew Mannon (Drew Mahoney)                      71

 1-Carlos Canas; 2-Abdi Yusuf, 19-Raffi Fagunda (3-Josh Golob, 80), 4-Suliaman Dainkeh, 7-Christhyan Najar; 14-Christian Kershaw, 15-Ian Harkes; 5-Mike Sauers (22-James Doll, 53); 10-Jorge Calix (12-Graydon Hester, 75), 9-Michael Seaton (29-Mike Monahan, 19; 18-Robert Palmer, 61), 11-Nigel Robinson

PAC: 1-Brent Arnold; 15-Callen Wendler (13-Johnny Philbin, 48), 8-Brian Nana-Sinkam, 41-Bryce Cregan, 11-Shawn Morrison; 14-Drew Skundrich, 5-Shawn Peterson (17-Drew Mahoney, 69), 21-Austin Kuhn (16-Ian McMannes, 50), 32-Alec Sensenig (12-Andrew Mannon, 58), 3-Connor Maloney; 44-Joey Julius

St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri 4-1 Crew Soccer Academy Wolves

St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri exploded for three unanswered goals in the second half to win 4-1 against Crew Soccer Academy Wolves on Thursday night at the Houston Amateur Sports Complex. With the victory, SLSG have collected the full six points from two matches and hold a commanding lead in Group 2 heading into the final matchday.

A win or a draw would guarantee a place in the championship match. PA Classics are their closest competitors and would need a victory, an SLSG loss plus make up an eight-goal gap in goal differential in order to surpass the group leaders.

After the teams traded goals in the first half, Tommy Barlow scored in the 44th minute to break the deadlock and then added another five minutes later to put the game out of reach.

A frenetic pace characterized the first 15 minutes of the match, and it took only two for the first genuine scoring opportunity to coalesce as SLSG goalkeeper Jacob Leeker snuffed a breakaway. His team marched right down the field and got their own good look at goal, a theme that continued through the opening stanza. The teams would rack up a total of 15 shots in the first half.

Barlow’s point-blank header forced a reaction save from Robbie Beckwell in the 12th minute, the striker proving to be a menace to the CSA defense throughout the encounter.

CSA Wolves striker Ahinga Selemani nearly put his side ahead on the quarter hour after a nice turn on a through ball put him in on goal. Picking out the far corner, his shot hit off the post and rebounded back in front, where his second effort was denied by Leeker.

Selemani stood tall as a speedy target for Wolves, and the SLSG centerback pairing of Jordan Klipsch and Justin Graham did well holding down the center of the park against the striker.

While SLSG seemed to gain the impetus, they had trouble putting on the finishing touch in the final third, and it was CSA Wolves who struck first.

Selemani put together some nice solo work near the corner of the area to free up space, then unleashed a low laser from 25 yards out that ripped into far side netting.

In the final minute of the first half, SLSG snatched back the momentum with a fine finish from Nick Jones. The attacker got on the end of a great ball over the top of the Wolves backline and stayed ahead of his pursuing marker before shooting low and hard past Beckwell.

SLSG carried the spark from the goal into the second half, and after four minutes they had the game-winner up on the scoreboard. The sequence began with Mark Segbers racing down the left flank and driving toward goal. He dished back inside the box and the ball caromed off two Wolves defenders before falling to the feet of Barlow who made no mistake from that distance.

The St. Louis outfit kicked in another gear and the third goal seemed only a matter of time. Barlow once again benefitted from the work of his teammates. After a composed series of passes produced a change in the point of attack, Barlow was isolated on the right side. Having had a similar look moments before, he capitalized on the opportunity with a well-driven strike to put SLSG up a pair.

Not content to relax, they gave no breathing space for CSA Wolves to mount a comeback effort. Wolves found a burst of energy in the final 10 minutes, which also left them exposed, and the final goal came when Segbers earned space by the byline and delivered a cross that struck a defender in the area and cruelly crossed the goal line.

Scoring Summary:
CSAW - Ahinga Selemani (Ali Cheaib) 34th minute
SLSG – Nick Jones 40
SLSG – Tommy Barlow 44
SLSG – Tommy Barlow 53
SLSG – own goal 76

SLSG: 1-Jacob Leeker; 6-Austin Ledbetter, 5-Jordan Klipsch, 2-Justin Graham, 11-Jason Pesek; 17-Shillingsford (16-Zachary Kavanaugh, 78), 13-Austin Panchot (22-David Stoll, 80); 27-Mark Segbers, 10-Keegan McHugh (4-Brett Hodges 76), 12-Tommy Barlow; 15-Nick Jones (20-Stephen McMillian, 68)

CSAW: 1-Robbie Beckwell; 22-Brent Winkler (24-Louis Zingas, 41; 2-Chase Pagani, 72), 3-Jimmy Fiscus (19-Kosti Moni 59), 6-Andre Morris, 4-Matt Habroswski; 10-Samuel Brown, 7-Blake Townes, 18-Ollie Harris; 11-Ali Cheaib (5-Tristan Jacob, 53), 15-Ahinga Selemani, 17-Hunter Barone (21-Zack Atwood,30; 9-Ali Jawad, 72)