July 24, 2012
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FINALS
Red Bulls take U-15/16 crown
FIRST PLACE GAME: NEW YORK RED BULLS 1, ST. LOUIS SCOTT GALLAGHER MISSOURI 0
HOUSTON - The New York Red Bulls U-15/16 Academy team, unbeaten since mid-May, finished its 2011-12 season, defeating St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri 1-0 on Monday to capture the Development Academy Finals Week championship at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Alex Muyl's 16th-minute goal was the difference and New York held on the rest of the way for its first Academy crown. The accomplishment was a fitting bookend for a team that has been red-hot over the past two months, wrapping up the season with a 12-game unbeaten streak and 10-0-2 record during that stretch.
On the winning strike, the Red Bulls found a gap in the St. Louis defense down the right side as Adam Najem played a through ball to Muyl. With nobody from the SLSG defense picking up Muyl on his run, he had an open lane at the goal and took the shot at the near right post, driving it past SLSG Missouri goalkeeper Jake Leeker for the 1-0 lead on New York's first shot of the game.
Leeker had three saves for St. Louis, which had not been shut out since a 3-0 loss against Sporting Kansas City on June 10. Despite Monday's loss, SLSG Missouri had an impressive postseason with a 3-0-0 showing in group play of Academy Finals Week.
This year marked the first time two MLS-affiliated teams captured the championship during the same Academy Finals Week. In addition to the New York Red Bulls' U-15/16 title, FC Dallas earned the U-17/18 championship on Sunday with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
THIRD PLACE GAME: CREW SOCCER ACADEMY WOLVES 1 (6), CHICAGO FIRE 1 (5)
HOUSTON – Substitute goalkeeper Robbie Beckwell made two saves in the penalty shootout to lead Crew Soccer Academy Wolves to a 6-5 win against the Chicago Fire and third place in the U-15/16 Division at Development Academy Finals Week. A 78th-minute goal by Kosti Moni put the score even at 1-1 after regulation, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.
Louie Zingas wrong-footed goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santos in the eighth round of penalties after both teams were denied twice through the first five attempts.
In the 39th minute the go-ahead goal came off the foot of Chicago's Brian Wercheck. After a quick transition, Werchek was off to the races down the left flank and coolly slotted home a shot to the far post to give Fire a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
Just to minutes before the final whistle when Moni towered over his mark on a restart and headed home, sending the game into penalties.
Wolves inserted backup goalkeeper Beckwell just before the end of regulation time, and without a warmup he managed to turn aside two Chicago penalties.
FIFTH PLACE GAME: PATEADORES 2, PA CLASSICS 0
HOUSTON – After searching for a breakthrough deep into the second half, Pateadores finally unlocked PA Classics en route to a 2-0 win in the Development Academy Finals Week U-15/16 fifth-place match on Monday at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
It wasn't until the 60th minute that Pateadores was able to open the scoring, as a nice passing combination on the right flank between Brian Torres and Kevin De la Torre found Nahum Paz inside the box. Paz was able to turn around his defender and easily slot his shot past PA Classics goalkeeper Brent Arnold.
Pateadores, whose U-17/18 team won the 2010-11 Development Academy championship, doubled the lead in the 66th minute when PA Classics gave the ball away in its defensive third, allowing De la Torre time to corral the ball and poke a shot past Arnold to make the score 2-0 with just 14 minutes remaining on the clock.
SEVENTH PLACE GAME: DC UNTIED 3, CHARLOTTE SOCCER ACADEMY 0
HOUSTON– D.C. United took seventh place in the U-15/16 age group at the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week after winning their last match 3-0 against a spirited Charlotte Soccer Academy side at the Houston Amateur Sports Complex.
Jorge Calix got the scoring started after finishing a rebound from a Christhyan Najar free kick in the first half. Two second half goals by Mike Sauers and Robert Palmer sealed the match against a Charlotte side that never got rolling offensively.
In the 24th minute D.C. grabbed the lead on a goal by Calix. A free kick from 25 yards taken by Najar stung the palms of Pyle, who did very well to get across and save. He deflected it up onto the bar only to see the ball loop back into play and fall into the path of Calix to nod in from six yards into the open net.
In the 52 nd minute Abdi Yusuf received the ball on the right with plenty of time to look up and pick out a cross. His ball was too high for the near post run but Sauers was following the play and was able to chest in the ball on the short hop, doubling the D.C. lead.
Fourteen minutes from time, substitute Palmer sealed the match after a favorable bounce gifted him the third and final goal of the contest. He made his way into the box, was stopped trying to get to the endline, and cut back to create space for a left-footed shot. The defender tracked his man well and blocked the initial shot, however, the rebound bounced directly back off of Palmer’s shin and slid past the wrong-footed keeper.
D.C. took seventh place, finishing with a 1-2-1 record at Finals Week. Charlotte went home winless.