July 23, 2012
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FINALS
FC Dallas captures title over Whitecaps
HOUSTON - After reaching Finals Week in the U-17/18 Division for three straight years and settling for a runner-up finish last season, FC Dallas finally earned the right to be called Development Academy champions.
Halftime substitution Jose de la Tejera scored back-to-back goals, including the game-winner in the 84th minute, as FC Dallas put on a superior passing display to triumph with a 3-2 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC to win the 2011-12 U-17/18 championship on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
De la Tejera scored an equalizer in the 68th minute and in the 84th tallied the game-winner off of a Danny Garcia assist from the right side.
FC Dallas becomes the first MLS-affiliated champion at the U-17/18 level in the Development Academy's five seasons.
Vancouver garnered the early lead with Ben Fisk's goal in the 24th minute off a Caleb Clarke dish. Clarke crossed the ball in from the left side and Fisk found enough space in the middle of the box to control and pick out an open spot, depositing his seventh goal of Finals Week.
FC Dallas responded on the offensive end in the 31st minute when Garcia was tripped up in the box by Vancouver goalkeeper Callum Irving, who had come off his line to the top of the area to try and snuff out a one-on-one opportunity. Garcia struck the penalty to his left, Irving guessing correctly and blocking the attempt back in front of goal. While he scrambled to recover, Garcia finished off his own rebound as the Whitecaps defenders were late to recover.
Vancouver took back the lead three minutes before the first half whistle, once again Clarke doing the grinding work. As the balled rolled towards the endline, a Dallas defender tried to see it out for a goal kick, but a determined Clarke muscled him off the ball and hit a hopeful pass across the goalmouth. The ball took a difficult bounce off FC Dallas defender Flavio Guzman, who had tracked back into the area, and skidded past the wrong-footed Eduardo Cortes.
The FC Dallas offense bombarded the Vancouver goal in the second half, firing seven shots on goal in the 45-minute span. The sustained pressure and movement was bound to wear down the Whitecaps defense, and in the 68th minute de la Tejera pounced on a miscue and streaked in down the left side alone on goal. Angling toward the center, he opened his hips and curled a shot past Irving.
The game-winner came in the 84th minute as FC Dallas continued to create menacing opportunities. Danny Garcia delivered a precision cross into the area where de la Tejera was lurking, and he skillfully re-directed a header just inside the far post.
De La Tejera's final strike in the closing minutes capped off the scoring at 3-2, but throughout the match there were ample opportunities for Dallas to add to its tally.
THIRD PLACE: NORTH CAROLINA FUSION 4, SOLAR CHELSEA 1
HOUSTON – North Carolina Fusion forward Alec Rotunda scored a hat trick in a 17-minute span to help lead the Fusion to a 4-1 win against Solar Chelsea SC in the Academy Finals Week third-place game of the U-17/18 division at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
Rotunda scored goals in the 44th, 53rd and 61st minutes added to a Marco Sunol tally in the 39th minute to help North Carolina overcome a 1-0 deficit set in the first 20 minutes.
Solar Chelsea SC struck first with Hayden Partain’s goal from more than 20 yards out, finding the right side of the net for a 1-0 lead. Jesse Toledo had the setup pass for the assist.
North Carolina’s Marco Sunol scored an unorthodox goal in the 39th minute as his shot hit a Solar Chelsea SC defender and changed the trajectory too much for goalkeeper Adam Esparza to recover. The ball hit the left post and crossed the goal line to tie the score at 1-1.
Rotunda began his scoring tear in the 44th minute as he got behind the Solar Chelsea SC defense and took a shot that was saved by Esparza. Rotunda got the rebound and his second attempt was partially clipped by a Solar Chelsea SC defender, but had enough juice on it to get into the back of the net.
The captain made the Fusion lead 3-1 eight minutes into the second half before putting the game out of reach in the 61st minute off of a nice feed from Craver Stamey.
FIFTH PLACE: BALTIMORE BAYS CHELSEA 4, COLORADO RAPIDS 1
HOUSTON – Baltimore Bays Chelsea made up for a rocky start to the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week with a 4-1 win against the Colorado Rapids in the U-17/18 fifth-place match on Sunday at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
Baltimore Bays Chelsea maintained the lion’s share of possession much of the first half, earning three corner kicks in the opening six minutes. The pressure, which yielded seven shots in the opening stanza, paid off in the 19th minute as a determined run and shot from forward Yaw Amankwa led to a fortuitous deflection.
Amankwa used his strength to muscle around two defenders on the right side of the penalty box before unleashing a vicious strike that deflected into the goal off the leg of Rapids defender Ben Braman to give Bays a 1-0 lead.
Amankwa, one of Baltimore’s top goal scorers during the season and postseason with 12 goals in 28 appearances, doubled the Bays lead in the 35th minute, finishing a low cross from Ryan Kennedy in front of goal. Kennedy carried the ball into the right side of the area and crossed low in a dangerous area for Amankwa to hammer home the goal for a 2-0 lead.
The Rapids, cut the Baltimore lead in half on a missed clearance by a Bays defender four minutes before halftime. Daniel Nevarez played a through ball into the middle for Idi Camara, and a Bays defender missed the clearance allowing Camara to trot in on goal unimpeded. The lanky striker easily placed the ball past goalkeeper Nick Voyton to trim Baltimore’s lead to 2-1.
Baltimore continued to control the game, dictating the pace and managing its lead well when forward Michael Gamble put the result beyond a doubt in the 67th minute with a powerful, left-footed strike that left Rapids goalkeeper Andrew Epstein no chance to stop it. Second-half substitute Richard Greensfelder picked up the assist on a well-placed pass to the edge of the penalty box.
Baltimore added a fourth in the 81st minute when Christian Porras was released on the left side of the box on a through pass from Gamble. Porras took a touch and deftly slotted the ball into the far right corner of the goal for a commanding 4-1 lead.
SEVENTH PLACE: DE ANZA FORE 5, CHIVAS USA 0
HOUSTON – De Anza Force used a four-goal second half performance on Sunday to take seventh place at the 2011-12 Development Academy Finals Week at the Houston Amateur Sports Park with a 5-0 win over Chivas USA.
De Anza got on the scoreboard early as Kody Wasaka scored in the ninth minute. Chivas, which was playing with a depleted roster because of callups to the MLS team's reserve squad suffered another blow when defender Stephen Copley earned his second bookable offense in the 64th minute forcing them to play the final 25 minutes a man down.
Wasaka’s goal set the stage early on. An early diagonal ball from midfield into space forced Chivas goalkeeper Alex Montion to come out of the area. De Anza winger and ussoccer.com Man of the Match Travis Pillon was able to beat him to the ball out wide on the right, and with the ’keeper stranded he picked his head up and found Wasaka in the middle of the area with a pinpoint cross to head into the unguarded net.
The second half started with Chivas showing impetus, but any chance of a comeback was quashed by three De Anza goals starting in the 51st minute. Wasaka returned the favor to Pillon for the first, providing him with a cross-field ball to chest down and finish past Montion. De Anza Force upped the lead to 3-0 five minutes later when Ryan Masch led a quick counterattack by playing an early through ball to Jason Romero who finished his 1-on-1 opportunity with the ’keeper. Greg Senger then scored on his first touch of the match after just entering as a substitution and promptly heading in a Romero corner kick at the far post.
The fifth and final goal came in the 67th minute, an own goal cruelly turned into the net by a Chivas defender tracking a run back into the box.