July 17, 2012
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY FINALS
Whitecaps, Solar take group leads
HOUSTON--- The U-17/18 age division kicked off the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week on Monday at the Houston Amateur Sports Park as Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Solar Chelsea SC both put in impressive performances to take the lead in their respective groups.
Whitecaps FC benefitted from a hat trick by midfielder Ben Fisk in a 4-1 win against North Carolina Fusion in Group 1, while Colorado Rapids and De Anza Force tied 2-2 in the other group game. In Group 2, Solar Chelsea SC scored two first-half goals in a five-minute span for a 2-0 win against Baltimore Bays Chelsea and the group lead, as FC Dallas and Chivas USA dueled to a 1-1 tie. The U-17/18 age group is off until Wednesday.
The U-15/16 age group is scheduled to kick off competition Tuesday with four matches at HASP. In Group 1, the New York Red Bulls take on Pateadores and Charlotte Soccer Academy squares off against the Chicago Fire. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. CT. In Group 2, the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves play D.C. United and PA Classics tangles with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri. The Group 2 matches are set for 9 p.m. CT.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 4, NORTH CAROLINA FUSION 1
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 U-17/18 age group at Houston Amateur Sports Park.
Fisk, who has seen time with the Canada Under-20 Menís 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 Jeff Caldwell for the early advantage.
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.
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.
DE ANZA FORCE 2, COLORADO RAPIDS ACADEMY 2
De Anza Force and Colorado Rapids Academy dueled to a 2-2 draw to open play in Group 1 of the U-17/18 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ten 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.
CHIVAS USA 1, FC DALLAS 1
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 U-17/18 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.
SOLAR SC 2, BALTIMORE BAYS CHELSEA 0
Solar Chelsea SCís U-17/18 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 Baltimoreís 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 SCís 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.