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July 19, 2012
Whitecaps tighten grip

Needing a win to stay in contention for the U-17/18 Development Academy championship match, FC Dallas received a dramatic stoppage-time game-winner off the foot of Jonathan Top for a 2-1 victory against Baltimore Bays Chelsea on Wednesday at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

FC Dallas forward Danny Garcia, who netted the equalizer in the 64th minute, beat his defender to the end line and cut a pass back toward the top of the box. The ball found Top – who has made two appearances for the FC Dallas first team this season – and the forward was able to take a touch and fire low past Baltimore goalkeeper Andrew Harris in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time, sparking a massive celebration from the FC Dallas bench.

The result prevented Solar Chelsea SC, 2-0 winners against Chivas USA in the other Group 2 match, from clinching the group win outright. FC Dallas and Solar Chelsea SC head to a critical, championship-berth deciding match on Friday. Solar Chelsea SC needs a win or draw to advance, while FC Dallas must win to earn a spot in the U-17/18 championship.

After falling behind 1-0 in the 11th minute following a strong, right-footed strike from Baltimore Bays Chelsea midfielder Romilio Hernandez, Garcia knotted the score at 1-1 in the 64th minute when Top and David Robledo combined to feed the ball to him near the top of the box. The forward only had enough time and space to quickly turn and shoot without looking, but it was enough to sneak past Harris in goal.

On Friday, FC Dallas squares off against a Solar Chelsea SC team that it beat three times during the regular season with a combined score of 10-0.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC tightened its grip on the Group 1 lead in the U-17/18 age group of Academy Finals Week after a 4-2 victory against De Anza Force on Wednesday night at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Vancouver forward Ben Fisk scored another hat trick to take his goal tally to six in two games as the British Columbia side rushed out to a 3-0 lead in 36 minutes to put the game out of reach. De Anza Force, however, did not go quietly, mustering two goals in quick succession after going down 4-0 in the second half to put pressure on the Whitecaps.

Fisk scored his first goal in the 14th minute, taking a turnover. His first touch took him beyond the defense and he was able to round the goalkeeper and finish easily with his left foot.

The Whitecaps FC struck for their second and third goals within a six-minute span. Bryce Alderson’s goal in the 30th minute came after Alex Rowley recovered the ball in the midfield and sprung his midfield partner through on goal with a quick pass. Alderson calmly finished past the approaching Paul Blanchette to double the lead.

Vancouver surged forward, buoyed by the extended lead, and struck again in the 36th minute after a sweeping move from right to left. Alderson turned provider, finding Fisk in space on the left. The forward avoided his man to get off a shot that took a slight deflection, making its way past the unfortunate Blanchette.

Fisk got his third goal on the other side of halftime to seemingly put the game out of reach. Ben McKendry burst through the midfield in the 58th minute, laying off a diagonal ball to Fisk in the left channel. Fisk cut inside with his first touch and shot back across his body inside the near post with his right foot to complete his hat trick.

De Anza was not done, though. Two goals in three minutes proved to make the final quarter hour less than comfortable for Vancouver, the first goal coming in the 71st minute through Max Ornstil. Jason Romero did well to beat his man and put a low ball across the box from near the end line. Midfielder Travis Pillon missed the initial chance, but recovered to lay the ball back to Ornstil, who stuffed it in from six yards.

Moments later, De Anza’s set piece prowess proved valuable as a long throw from the right was nodded down at the back post by Ornstil. Pillon used his body to shield a Vancouver challenge and hit the ball on the turn from 10 yards past Irving, cutting the deficit to two.

Vancouver emerged as the clear frontrunners in Group 1 as the only team with six points. North Carolina Fusion earned a 4-2 win against the Colorado Rapids giving the team three points after its second match. Colorado and De Anza remain on one point after their draw in their opening match.

North Carolina Fusion’s bench made a significant impact on Wednesday. Taylor Adler scored a game-winning goal and Marco Sunol added an insurance tally to lift the Fusion U-17/18 team to a 4-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids in Group 1.

Adler’s winning score came in the 79th minute, with Sam McBride providing the assist, to give the Fusion a 3-2 lead only two minutes after the Rapids had equalized. Then, Sunol put the match away in the 90th minute with Rapids goalkeeper Brad Holub rushing off of his line. Sunol flicked the ball over Holub and upped North Carolina’s lead to 4-2.

In the 30th minute, North Carolina’s Warren Marshall broke through, placing his shot in the left side of the frame past Holub for a 1-0 lead.
North Carolina carried the momentum into the second half. Shortly after a corner kick, Marshall played the ball to the back post and Sam McBride finished with a header to create a two-goal advantage.

The match stayed that way for more than 20 minutes before the Rapids put a dent into North Carolina’s lead, pushing its attack in the game’s final 15 minutes. Idi Camara started the comeback with a 71st-minute goal, following up Chris Gurule’s initial shot that was deflected away by the Fusion defense.

In the 77th minute, Rapids second-half sub Daniel Nevarez scored off of a deflection to level the match at 2-2. The Rapids crossed the ball in from the left side, North Carolina tried to clear and Nevarez converged with a shot that hit the left post and crossed the goal line.

That equalizer was short-lived as Adler and the Fusion responded with the go-ahead score in the 79th minute and never looked back.

The Fusion (1-1-0, 3 points) wraps up the group stage when it faces De Anza Force on Friday, July 20. The Rapids (0-1-1, 1 point) face Vancouver on Friday. Both games are at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Two unanswered second-half goals lifted Solar Chelsea SC to its second straight shutout victory, 2-0 over Chivas USA, and the top spot in Group 2 in the U-17/18 age group on Wednesday night at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Colton Missimo finished a fine sequence in the 74th minute, then second-half substitute Alan Winn added the insurance goal.

With the 2-0 win, Solar Chelsea SC sits on six points and two ahead of local rival FC Dallas, setting the stage for a “Dallas Derby” on the final matchday. Having secured a victory, Solar Chelsea SC was moments away from advancing to the final when FC Dallas struck in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to earn a 2-1 win against Baltimore Bays Chelsea to keep its hopes of advancing alive.
Solar Chelsea SC needs only a draw to advance to the championship match, which will be streamed live on on Sunday, July 22, at 9 p.m. ET, from BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Solar broke through in the 74th minute. A composed passing sequence down the right side eventually turned toward center, and Missimo picked up the ball at the top of the area and diced through the Chivas USA defense, slamming home a shot from 10 yards.

Five minutes later the lead doubled when Winn sprung down the left side and raced toward goal. With McGuire coming out to close the angle, Winn calmly tucked a shot off the inside of the near post.

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