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July 21, 201
Whitecaps to face FCD for title

HOUSTON– Vancouver Whitecaps FC will play for the 2012 Development Academy championship in the U-17/18 age group, finishing on top of Group 1 following a 1-1 draw with Colorado Rapids at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

With two wins and a draw, Whitecaps FC will conclude its first season in the Academy by facing 2011 runner-up FC Dallas in the final Sunday, July 23, at 8 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium, the newly minted home of the Houston Dynamo. Fans can watch the match live on, or follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

Colorado finished in third place and will face Baltimore Bays Chelsea FC in the fifth-place match on July 22 at 10 a.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
In the 28th minute, Col
orado managed the first shot on goal for either side as Austin Seifert tried his luck from 20 yards, his effort cleanly handled by goalkeeper Callum Irving.

Idi Camara broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, finishing a well-constructed passing sequence by firing a low drive from the top of the 18-yard box that deflected off his marker and skidded under Irving.

In the 78th minute Spencer DeBoice took control on the left side and slashed inside toward goal. He cleverly swiveled last-second and tucked a shot just inside the near post.

HOUSTON – The North Carolina Fusion advanced to the third place match following a 2-1 victory against De Anza Force on Friday night in a U-17/18 match at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Defender Alex Rosenbower rose high to drive home a game-winning header in the 82nd minute.

North Carolina, which beat the Colorado Rapids 4-2 on Wednesday after losing a two-goal lead, won for the second consecutive match as Rosenbower broke free on a corner kick with eight minutes remaining in the match. Unmarked, the defender rose up and connected on Warren Marshall’s delivery with a powerful header past goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh.

De Anza Force midfielder Edson Cardona knotted the score at 1-1 four minutes before halftime with a well-placed shot to the left side of the goal. After a nice combination to open up space, midfielder Colby Trah’s first ball to Cardona was blocked directly back to Trah. His quick second pass found Cardona with space in front of goal and time to tee up a clean shot in the 41st minute.

Following a De Anza giveaway in its own half of the field, North Carolina used a strong build-up to spring forward Brandt Bronico in on goal in the 12th minute. Strike partner Hassan Kouyateh and Taylor Adler used two quick touches to play the ball to Bronico for the opening goal.

North Carolina faces Solar Chelsea SC in the third-place match on Sunday after Solar suffered a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas in Group 2 play on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

HOUSTON – FC Dallas edged out city rival Solar Chelsea SC 3-2 to take the top spot in Group 2 of the U-17/18 age group. FC Dallas advances to play Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday night at 8 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium for the 2011-12 U-17/18 Development Academy Championship.

Solar Chelsea SC, needing only a draw to advance to the championship, got a dream start when Trevor Haberkorn put the team in front in just the 13th minute. FC Dallas responded through a pair of Jonathan Top strikes four minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

A rejuvenated Solar Chelsea SC side restored parity in the 53rd minute and looked increasingly able to maintain the scoreline until FC Dallas captain and left back Michael Ambrose found Mark Ashby with a free kick in the 69th minute. Ashby took back the lead with a powerful header and FC Dallas never looked back, taking its place in Sunday’s showcase match.

A dangerous free kick was initially hit into the wall but Solar was able to knock the ball back toward the area. FC Dallas half cleared and diverted it to Haberkorn who took one touch on the bouncing ball and struck it out of the air and into the top corner.

Knowing it had to score at least two goals to capture first place in the group, Dallas responded in the 31st minute after a fortuitous bounce from a long throw on the right fell invitingly for Top inside the six. He made no mistake from that distance, smashing it in for the equalizer.

After moving the ball deep into the Solar Chelsea attacking third on the left, Ambrose was set up for a bending cross to the far post where Nicholas Rochowski sent a header crashing of the post. The rebound came straight to Top at the penalty spot. He took a settling touch and powered in his volley high into the net, not giving Shams a chance for the save.

In the 53rd minute after suffocating a Dallas effort to break out of its own half, Solar Chelsea regained the ball, creating a mismatch on the left, which allowed flanker William Webb to beat his man and cross to the far post. Right side midfielder Ryan Condotta arrived at the far post, having created a yard of space between himself and his defender, to finish first time and restore Solar’s hope of advancing as the group winner.

In the 69th minute, Ambrose, turned provider once again, whipped in a left-footed cross from the left channel to the near post where fellow defender Ashby powered his header into the back of the net,

HOUSTON – Baltimore Bays Chelsea’s U-17/18 team ended its two-game slide with two second-half goals en route to a 2-0 victory against Chivas USA on Friday at the Houston Amateur Sports Park. Bays finished third in Group 2 and advance to Sunday’s fifth-place game of Academy Finals Week.

Baltimore was aided by a Chivas USA red card midway through the first half, and in the second half, midfielder Jacori Hayes and Christian Morales tallied goals to pace Baltimore.

The game-winner proved to be Hayes’ 59th-minute goal as Malcolm Harris set him up down the left side. Hayes aimed toward the inside of the right post and his clinical finish gave Baltimore Bays Chelsea the 1-0 lead.

Bays second-half sub Morales added to the lead in the 79th minute as Baltimore quickly countered against the Chivas USA defense. Morales’ shot found the left side of the goal and essentially put the match out of reach for shorthanded Chivas.
Entering Friday’s game, Baltimore had only scored one goal in its first two games, which were losses to Solar Chelsea SC and Group 2 winner FC Dallas.

From Chivas USA’s perspective, the game took a dramatic turn in the 26th minute when it was ruled that Chivas USA’s Jose Dheming head-butted a Baltimore Bays Chelsea player. Dheming was issued a straight red card and Chivas played the remainder of the match with 10 men.

Harris made two saves and Chivas USA goalkeeper Jake McGuire had five saves.

Next up, Baltimore faces the Colorado Rapids in the fifth-place game at 10 a.m. CT on Sunday, July 22. Chivas USA will battle De Anza Force in the seventh-place match at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Both games are at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

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