Academy Recap: Barça Academy at Nomads SC
March 27, 2018
Barca Academy USSDA sides traveled to San Diego, California to take on Nomads SC. The two US Soccer Development Academies split the results right down the middle, with one win, one loss and one draw a piece. The U-15s opened the day with a loss, but Ronan Kratt scored in his second consecutive match. The U-17s played next and put four goals past Nomads in a 4-1 win. In the final match of the day, the U-19s battled to a 2-2 draw thanks to last-minute heroics from captain Austin Amer.
Barça Academy U-15
The U-15s kicked off proceedings on the day and controlled the game for the most part in the early goings, looking solid defensively overall and creating some good opportunities.
“We could have probably been two or three goals ahead had we taken out chances more effectively in that first half,” said coach Ged Quinn.
Barca Academy would concede on the stroke of halftime when a lack of communication opened the door for Nomads to open the scoring.
The tough ending to the first half continued when play resumed and Barca Academy had a tough time getting into the match. They would go down a second goal nine minutes into the second half. A Barca Academy defense stopped, assuming that the play would be called back for offside, only for a late runner to steal in and capitalize.
Down 2-0, the U-15s began to get a foothold in the game, with Andres Zavaleta influencing proceedings from a wide area. He linked up well with striker Ronan Kratt, providing him with service that would lead to chances, and in the 76th minute, a goal.
Barca Academy would continue to push forward for the remaining four minutes, but ultimately it was too little as the full-time whistle blew with the score a 2-1 to Nomads.
“The guys are learning some tough lessons,” said Quin. “In this game, I thought we defended well for the most part but two lapses in concentration cost us. We are being punished for our mistakes at the minute and need to learn from them in order to start picking up more positive results.”
Barça Academy U-17
Next to the field was the U-17s, who were looking to consolidate their spot in the playoffs and bounce back from defeat the previous weekend. Barca Academy started the match on the front foot, possessing the ball well in the defensive and middle thirds and creating a few chances.
Their good work in the opening moments of the game was rewarded in the tenth minute, when Adrian Virgen’s composed finish, his first goal for the club, gave Barca Academy the early lead.
Barca Academy closed out the first half at a relatively slow pace but came out firing in the second half. Roberto Molina would score six minutes into the second half and Jake LaCava would get two in two minutes as Barca Academy stepped up a gear and put the game out of reach.
Although they would concede from a set piece in the second half, it was ultimately a comfortable match as the Barca Academy cruised to a 4-1 win.
“All in all, a good performance and positive result which was much needed,” said head coach Sean McCafferty. “We now turn our thoughts to LA Galaxy on April 7th with some additional time to prepare.”
Barça Academy U-19
The drama was saved for the last matchup of the day when the U-19s took on their Nomads counterparts.
Barca Academy started the day very well, and for a spell of 15 minutes, dictated the tempo of the game, looked dangerous going forward, pressed well and had a large percentage of ball possession.
Nomads would grow into the game, however, and had success bypassing the press with direct play. Right on the stroke of halftime, they opened the scoring after counterattacking off of a Barca Academy turnover in the midfield.
The second half opened with Nomads in the ascendancy, but Barca Academy worked hard and found an equalizer in the 55th minute through Antonio Pugliese. Five minutes later, it looked like Barca Academy would go down a goal again after they conceded a penalty, but goalkeeper Dante Perez made a great save to keep the scores level.
The U-19s would find themselves trailing after conceding a late goal in the 86th minute, but captain Austin Amer stepped forward and grabbed an equalizing goal in stoppage time to tie the score as 2-2.
“I am proud of the guys in the way the continued to battle until the end of the game,” said coach Daniel Antunez. “Overall I believe we could have played much better. We lacked combination play and made some mistakes that cost us and made it difficult for us to find a rhythm.”
Barca Academy’s U-15s, U-17s and U-19s have a weekend off, and next face Los Angeles Galaxy at home on April 7th. The U-16s and U-18s are in Texas participating in Dallas Cup, so stay tuned to our Twitter (@barcaacademyaz) for updates.
U-15: Barça Academy 1 vs. Nomads SC 2
U-17: Barça Academy 4 vs. Nomads SC 4
U-19: Barça Academy 2 vs. Nomads SC 2
Barça Academy will host LA Galaxy Academy Saturday, April 7 – location and start times TBD.
U-15: Barça Academy vs. Arsenal FC | 10:00 AM | Galway Downs Academy – Temecula, CA
U-17: Barça Academy vs. Arsenal FC | 12:00 PM | Galway Downs Academy – Temecula, CA
U-19: Barça Academy vs. Arsenal FC | 2:30 PM | Galway Downs Academy – Temecula, CA
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