Whitecaps, Solar grab wins at Finals Week

by U.S. Soccer
July 17, 2012

Finals Week opened Monday evening with the U18 age group kicking off in its four games down in Houston, with the Whitecaps and Solar Chelsea taking control of its respective groups with opening day wins. Here's a look how the first day unfolded:

Vancouver Whitecaps 4-1 North Carolina Fusion

Vancouver Whitecaps FC kicked off the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week with an offensive avalanche as midfielder Ben Fisk registered a hat trick in a 4-1 win against the North Carolina Fusion in Group 1 play of the U18 age group at Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Fisk, who has seen time with the Canada Under-20 Men’s National Team, put Whitecaps FC (1-0-0, 3 points) ahead in the 25th minute after finding a gap in the Fusion (0-1-0, 0 points) central defense and latching onto a pinpoint through ball from midfielder Bryce Alderson, a first-team Whitecaps FC Homegrown player. Fisk took a couple touches before calmly slotting the ball past Fusion goalkeeper Jefferson Caldwell for the early advantage.

“It’s the best possible result,” Fisk said. “We had to get on the board quickly and get points in the first game. I think that’s a must to win the group. We did the right things and we’ve just got to keep it up.”

Vancouver doubled its lead in the 63rd minute when Yassin Essa sprung a counterattack up the right side, but saw his initial shot parried away by Caldwell. Fisk was there to tap in the rebound for a 2-0 lead.

In the 77th minute, Fisk completed his hat trick after receiving a through ball from Essa at the top of the penalty box and dribbling around Caldwell before scoring.

“He’s scored goals all season,” Vancouver head coach Craig Dalrymple said of Fisk. “He’s scored goals in the (MLS) Reserve League for the first team. He’s a confident kid. He can use both feet and defenders really don’t know how to handle him because when he’s on his game like he was today he’s always going to score goals.”

Midfielder Ben McKendry scored the final goal for Vancouver in the 80th minute on a smashing header from close range after Essa hit an out-swinging cross from the right flank. Essa, a speedy winger who was born in Ethiopia, finished with two assists on the night.

The Fusion pulled a goal back in the 79th minute when midfielder Hassan Kouyateh found space on the left side of the penalty box and curled a shot over the outstretched arms of Vancouver goalkeeper Callum Irving.

Whitecaps FC outshot North Carolina 16-14, including 7-1 on goal.

“I thought today the boys managed the game well,” Dalrymple said. “We didn’t take all of our chances, but we took the chances at the right time in the game.”

Scoring Summary:
VAN – Ben Fisk (Bryce Alderson) 25th minute
VAN – Ben Fisk (unassisted) 63
VAN – Ben Fisk (Yassin Essa) 77
NCF – Hassan Kouyateh (unassisted) 79
VAN – Ben McKendry (Yassin Essa) 80

NCF: 0-Jefferson Caldwell; 32-Alex Rosenbower, 20-Cole Schwietering,7-Adam Storm, 6-Mason Billings (2-Erik Casterline, 69); 16-Sam McBride, 8-Warren Marshall, 13-Brandt Bronico, 36-Myles Mansfield (17-Taylor Adler, 69), 38-Hassan Kouyateh, 4-Alec Rotunda (10-Marco Sunol, 64)

VAN: 1-Callum Irving; 9-Adam Polakiewicz (17-Sam Adekugbe, 72), 14-Daniel Stanese, 5-Tim Hickson (15-Jason van Blerk, 87), 12-Declan Rodriguez; 8-Ben McKendry, 13-Alex Rowley, 10-Ben Fisk (11-Spencer DeBoice, 82), 2-Bryce Alderson (6-Carlos Marquez, 76), 7-Yassin Essa (3-Wesley Cain, 82); 4-Caleb Clarke

De Anza Force 2-2 Colorado Rapids

De Anza Force and Colorado Rapids Academy dueled to a 2-2 draw to open play in Group 1 of the U18 age division at the 2011-12 Development Academy Finals Week in Houston. Goals from Josue Chavez and Ben Braman twice gave Colorado the lead, and twice De Anza Force erased deficits to earn a share of the spoils at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

High pace and pressure characterized the approach from both sides to open the game, as each looked to establish possession and rhythm. As the game settled, it was the Rapids who developed some nice combination play through the midfield, and at times finding striker Idi Camara up high to receive and pass. After a quarter hour, the Rapids started imposing themselves and found the opening goal four minutes later.

A quick change on the point of attack led to an advantage followed by a series of precision passes as Karsten Hanlin found Chavez about 15 yards from goal. Fending off his mark, Chavez curled a shot into the far side netting.

Struggling to keep possession against an organized squad, De Anza was able to relieve some pressure by finding some fortune on quick counters. Still, it was Colorado that kept a hold of the play in the first half, and in the 38th minute Camara had a brilliant chance to double the lead. Breaking in alone on goal, he had only goalkeeper Paul Blanchette to beat, but the Blanchette stood strong as Camara tried to slip a shot past him.

De Anza picked up the pressure in the last five minutes, sending several searching balls into the area, but they couldn’t connect on a final pass and they entered the interval down a goal.

The second half had barely begun before the score was leveled. In the 48th minute, a poor clearance led to a loose ball across the box, and Travis Pillon pounced on the opportunity and slammed home the tying goal.

That strike ignited both clubs and pace picked up considerably. Greg Senger, who entered as a second-half sub for De Anza, nearly got a dream start when his header from six yards bounced wide. A minute later, Ryan Masch got a look from 15 yards out, but his effort skidded past the post.

Needing a boost, the Rapids got a huge lift in the 56th minute when they snatched the lead again. A corner kick was only partially cleared, and Ricardo Perez delivered a probing ball to the back post where Ben Braman won the challenge and powered home a header.

The Rapids approach mellowed a bit as they tried to maintain possession and hold the lead. As in the first half, De Anza lacked patience in building their attack, but with 20 minutes to play they summoned another burst of energy in the push to find the equalizer and their efforts were rewarded 10 minutes from time.

Rapids defender Isaac Martinez appeared to be in perfect position to clear a shot off the line that had beaten goalkeeper Brad Holub, but his attempt to chest the ball took an unfortunate bounce that ended up in his own goal.

Despite the possession disadvantage, De Anza finished with an 11-7 lead in shots. They kept up the pressure in search of the game winner, but neither team created any serious threats in the waning moments. The Rapids had one final look with a free kick placed just outside the area, but the wall stood firm.

Scoring Summary:
RAP – Josue Chavez 19th minute
DAF – Travis Pillon 48
RAP – Ben Braman (Ricardo Perez) 56
DAF – own goal (Isaac Martinez) 80

DAF: 1-Paul Blanchette, 2-Alfie Edmonds, 19-Alejandro Gaeta (7-Matt Escobar,46), 25-Mike Amick, 15-Thomas Janjigian; 11-Max Ornstil, 21-Ryan Masch, 66-Skyler Felt (77-Jason Romero, 46); 6-Travis Pillon, 8-Dylan Autran (20-Greg Senger, 46), 10-Kody Wasaka

RAP: 18-Brad Holub; 4-Ben Braman, 3-Alex Braman, 7-Chris Gurule, 42-Isaac Martinez; 2-Avery Ball, 12-Shane O’Neill, 46-Ricardo Perez; 8-Karsten Hanlin, 9-Idi Camara, 10-Josue Chavez (14-Jorde Lopez, 82)

Solar Chelsea 2-0 Baltimore Bays

Solar Chelsea SC’s U18 team tallied two goals in a five-minute stretch in the first half and defeated Baltimore Bays Chelsea 2-0 on Monday in its opening match of Academy Finals Week at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Sam Hayward scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 30th minute and Zach Mathers followed with a free-kick goal in the 35th minute.

Hayward attacked from the left side of the field during his sequence, receiving a through ball and placing his shot in the net past Baltimore Bays goalkeeper Andrew Harris for a 1-0 lead. Approximately five minutes later, Solar Chelsea SC drew a prime set piece opportunity when Colton Missimo was tripped up just outside the box by Baltimore’s Tanner Vosvick, who drew a yellow card for the tackle.

That set the table for Mathers, who struck his perfectly placed free kick in the upper right corner of the frame for a 2-0 lead. It proved to be more than enough as Solar Chelsea SC’s defense took care of the rest.

Goalkeeper Oshick Shams made three saves for the clean sheet, all of them coming in the first 45 minutes. Two of Shams’ stops came against Baltimore’s Yaw Amankwa. In the 12th minute, Amankwa worked his way into a one-on-one situation against Shams, but the Solar Chelsea SC goalkeeper blocked the shot for the game’s first save. In stoppage time of the first half, Shams parried the ball away against Amankwa to maintain the two-goal lead. In the 32nd minute, Shams dove to his right to stop a shot from Baltimore Bays Chelsea’s Michael Gamble.

Solar Chelsea SC faces Chivas USA in its second group match at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday, July 18, while Baltimore Bays Chelsea takes on FC Dallas at 8 p.m. CT on July 18.

Scoring Summary:
SOL – Sam Hayward 30th minute
SOL – Zach Mathers 35

SOL: 0-Oshick Shams; 10-Murphy Short (4-Reagan Dunk, 73), 5-Thomas Elder, 7-Trevor Haberkorn, 12-William Webb; 2-Chandler Crosswait (11-Alan Winn, 79), 8-Mason Miller, 16-Ryan Condotta, 15-Colton Missimo (6-Adam Bonville, 82); 21-Zach Mathers, 3-Sam Hayward (23-Jesse Toledo, 66)

BBC: 1-Andrew Harris; 14-Matthew Shinsky, 27-Tanner Vosvick, 6-Michael DeGraffenreidt, 5-Alex Ponvert (11-Christian Morales, 46; 12-Jeremy DeGraffenreidt, 74); 21-Malcolm Harris, 10-Romilio Hernandez, 4-Jacori Hayes, 3-Logan McHugh; 9-Yaw Amankwa (8-Richard Greensfelder, 46), 13-Michael Gamble

Chivas USA 1-1 FC Dallas

Chivas USA fought back from a first half FC Dallas goal to secure an important point in their opening game of Group 2 action in the U18 division at the 2012 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week. Both teams sit within striking distance of Solar Chelsea SC, who earned a 2-0 victory against Baltimore Bays Chelsea FC and top the table after the first day.

FC Dallas opened the brighter of the two sides with Jose de la Tejera and Jonathan Top active up top for the Texan team playing in their home state. Their consistent pressure was rewarded in the 15th minute when defender Nicholas Rochowski headed home a Kellyn Acosta corner.

The start of the second half served Chivas USA well as they came out of halftime with purpose and equalized on 55 minutes through a Marco Delgado free kick. Both teams threatened to take all three points in the second half, including a frenetic 10 minutes that saw numerous chances at either end. However, the score remained knotted at 1-1 leaving both sides to settle for a point each.

The first opportunity came after just three minutes as de la Tejera’s far post effort beat Chivas USA goalkeeper Jake McGuire, but settled on the wrong side of the post. FC Dallas earned a free kick 10 minutes later that fell to the Top in the box, but his effort was deflected over the bar by a charging defender.

The ensuing corner saw Rochowski rise above the crowd in the goal area and turn Acosta’s in-swinging cross into the center of the goal, giving FC Dallas the early lead.

Ben Spencer, Chivas USA’s attacking focal point, saw a gilt-edged chance to equalize slip away just moments later as he latched onto a spilled cross, but could only direct the ball up and over the net from 10 yards. The cross came from Jose Dheming, who was a constant threat down the left flank for the Los Angeles-based side.

The second half opened with Chivas USA mounting pressure and stifling the FC Dallas attack farther away from goal. Their equalizer came from a set piece situation when Delgado took a free kick from the left side 40 yards out. His bending effort escaped everyone in the box and skipped past the wrong-footed Eduardo Cortes at the far post.

By the 65th minute, the pace of the match had risen with both teams attacking at speed from end to end. Spencer and Dheming almost connected again, but the big striker’s header from inside the six-yard box agonizingly looped over the bar while FC Dallas substitute Marco Ortiz led a counterattack that culminated in his shot just missing by the width of the ball to McGuire’s right.

With both teams desperate to begin the tournament with three points, they poured forward in an effort gain the upper hand, but in the end would share the spoils.

Scoring Summary:  
FCD – Nicholas Rochowski (Kellyn Acosta)            15th minute
CHV – Marco Delgado                                         55th minute

FCD: 22-Eduardo Cortes; 6-Nicholas Rochowski (28-Marco Ortiz, 83), 2-Mark Ashby, 5-Aaron Guillen, 3-Michael Ambrose; 21-Marco Carrizales, 17-David Robledo (8-Flavio Guzman, 61), 14-Kellyn Acosta; 11-Daniel Garcia, 9-Jonathan Top (39-Bobby Edet, 80); 27-Jose de la Tejera

CHV: 1-Jake McGuire; 54-Eric Gonzalez, 35-Alex Heilmann, 94-Stephen Copley, 44-Brian Kennedy; 37-Eduardo Quezada (70-Adam Arana, 81), 3-Jose Dheming, 95-Daniel Moreno (50-Rene Santos, 85), 39-Marco Delgado, 41-Julio Chavez (79-Romario Lomeli, 67); 38-Ben Spencer

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