October 29, 2019
Casa Grande, Ariz – After playing their last three matches on the road, the Barça Residency Academy U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams (U-15s, U-17s, and U-19s) returned home on Sunday to square off against DA Southwest competitors Real So Cal. Barça Residency Academy put together their most dominant performance of the year as they went undefeated against their counterpart and kept a clean sheet in all three matches.
The U-19s and U-15s began the morning with a plethora of goals and a pair of clean sheets: Ged Quinn’s U-19s won 5-0 while Daniel Antunez’s U-15s claimed a 4-0 win. Not to be outdone by the older and younger age groups, Chris Harmon’s U-17s also kept a clean sheet and topped Real So Cal 4-0.
Barça Residency Academy U-19 vs. Real So Cal
Though the match started a little slowly with both teams feeling each other out for the first thirty minutes, the Barça U-19s began dominating the game near the half hour mark. In the 30th minute, Caden Clark played a ball over to fullback Miles Lyons in a dangerous attacking area. Lyons received the ball cleanly and fired a shot past Real So Cal’s goalkeeper to put Barça Residency Academy up 1-0. Six minutes later, Clark claimed another assist, this time finding Julian Gaines in a pocket of space on the right wing. Like Lyons, Gaines collected himself and beat the goalkeeper to double the lead.
With plenty of time still left in the first half, Barça continued to apply pressure on the opposing defense. In the 44th minute, Gaines popped up in the box, collected a loose ball, and blasted it into the back of the net for his second goal of the game. Even after Gaines’ brace, Barça put together one final push before the halftime whistle blew: Bryce Duke and Takumi Ikeda played a lovely one-two that ended with Ikeda having the ball at his feet, nutmegging an opposing defender, and scored to give Barça Residency Academy a 4-0 lead before the break.
Compared to their goal-scoring fireworks in the first half, Barça’s second half was a little quieter. Still, they managed the game well, moved the ball comfortably in possession, and managed to tack on one more goal before the end of the 90 minutes. Their fifth goal, scored by substitute Amadeo Chapru Tate in the 88th minute, made Sunday the U-19s’ highest goal-scoring game since the DA season opener against Crossfire Premier.
“It was great to get a positive result and a clean sheet to finish out the DA Cup schedule,” head coach Ged Quinn said. “The guys showed some great quality in the attacking third today especially in the first half and were clinical in front of goal which was good to see. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into the regular season league play.”
Barça Residency Academy U-15 vs. Real So Cal
Starting in a similar fashion to the U-19s’ game, the match between Barça Residency Academy and Real So Cal’s U-15s began with a relatively even competition between the two teams. A couple of shots from Barça tested the opposing goalkeeper in the early stages of the game, but it wasn’t until Jorge Gonzalez’s goal in the 30th minute that the home team truly pulled ahead.
Once Gonzalez’s shot found the back of the net, Barça maintained their lead and never looked back. Throughout the end of the first half and the entirety of the second half, they stayed strong defensively, keeping Real So Cal off the scoresheet and eventually putting their attack in position to double, triple, and even quadruple their 1-0 lead in the last few minutes of the second half.
Phillie Villapudua scored in the 79th minute to extend Barça Residency Academy’s lead before Angel Robles and Gabriel Enriquez put the game completely out of reach with a goal each in the 80th minute.
Between keeping a clean sheet – their second of the year- and scoring four goals – their current season high – Barça’s performance on Sunday illustrated their ability to contain opposing attacks and create a string of threatening attacks of their own.
Barça Residency Academy U-17 vs. Real So Cal
The last match of the day, Barça’s U-17s had a tough task ahead of them to match the quality of the U-19s’ and U-15s’ performances. But even in the middle of a dust storm, they managed to do exactly that, putting four goals past Real So Cal’s defense.
Barça Residency Academy opening the scoring in the 39th minute, when Ocean Salari dribbled down the right wing and crossed the ball to Gerardo Ambriz Jr., who calmly touched it past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. In the 78th minute, substitute Samuel Mendoza received the ball on the left wing, picked up his head and made it 2-0.
After Mendoza’s goal, the floodgates opened for Barça Academy. Six minutes later, Ulysses Martinez served a corner into the box for David Cordes to power home, doubling the lead. Finally, in the 90th minute, the ball found Edwin Arias on the left side of the box and Arias slotted it past the goalkeeper to make the final score 4-0.
“The windy conditions made it difficult for both teams but I was proud of how the boys stuck with our philosophy and playing style against a good opponent,” head coach Chris Harmon said after the match.
The Barça Residency Academy U-17s will enjoy the weekend off as the U-15s and U-19s travel to Southern and Northern California respectively for a weekend doubleheader. The U-15s will take on Total Futbol Academy on Saturday followed L.A. United Futbol Academy on Sunday. The U-19s will square off against Silicon Valley Soccer Academy on Saturday before taking on Breakers FC on Sunday.