Academy Recap: Barça Academy Sweep Strikers FC at home
May 15, 2018
Barça Academy completed a dominating weekend sweep of Strikers FC in USSDA league play on Saturday. The U-15s opened the day with their most complete performance of the year, winning comfortably by a 3-0 margin. The U-17s played next and quickly ran out to a 2-0 lead, but were pegged back in the second half and won a closely contested match 2-1. The U-19s wrapped up the day by continuing their run of good form with a 2-1 win.
Barça Academy U-15 vs. Strikers FC
Saturday brought windy conditions to Grande Sports World, and it had an effect on the U-15s match in the early goings. Barça Academy pressed very well and pinned Strikers FC deep in their own half, but the conditions made controlling the match difficult.
Barça Academy had half-chances early on for Caden Clark and Dylan Akau, but the opening goal didn’t come until the 33rd minute. Andres Zavaleta, who had come on as a substitute after an injury to Fernando Garate, drove down the left touchline, beating two players for pace and finished coolly past the goalkeeper.
The remaining seven minutes in the half played out without incident and Barça Academy went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Twelve minutes into the second half, the lead was doubled. Clark and Zavaleta exchanged passes in a tight area in the box to free up Clark to power a shot past the goalkeeper.
Barça Academy rounded out the win with a stunning third goal in the 70th minute. Clark received a bouncing ball in the box, flicked it over a defender and volley home from the top of the box.
“I think it was better from us today,” said coach Ged Quinn. “I think the windy conditions made it more difficult for us, we force it a little bit. But we managed to get the goal, which helped settle us and in the second half we were much better.”
Barça Academy U-17 vs. vs. Strikers FC
The U-17s were next to face Strikers FC, needing a positive result to continue their playoff push. Barça Academy started the match very well and created a handful of chances in the opening minutes.
The breakthrough came in the 19th minute, when Max Garcia opening the scoring by firing past the keeper from inside the box but took a hefty knock for his troubles.
Garcia managed to shrug off his injury and soldier on for the remainder of the half and was rewarded for his persistence with an assist in the 40th minute. Garcia drove a low cross across the face of goal and found an unmarked Jake LaCava, who scored on his second attempt of the match after the goalkeeper managed to get his hands on his first shot.
Barça Academy looked comfortable in the match going into halftime, but a slight drop in intensity nearly cost them.
In the 58th minute, Strikers FC got a goal back after a deflected free kick caught out goalkeeper Sam Lee. Barça Academy’s goalkeeper managed to scramble back across his goal and get a hand to the shot, but the rebound from his save fell at the feet of a Strikers FC attacker, who cut the lead in half.
The U-17s were left to see out a nervy last half hour but got the result in the end with a 2-1 win.
“I thought first half we had complete control of the game,” said coach Sean McCafferty. “Second half, we played really well for the first 15 minutes, but the last 25 minutes we were very poor. Fortunately, we managed to hold on, but there were a lot of lessons to be learned.”
Barça Academy U-19 vs. Strikers FC
The U-19s were last to face Strikers FC and were looking to pick up their fourth win in a row. Barça Academy opened the match strongly and found themselves in the lead in the early goings.
After a long period of attacking play, the ball found Enrique Zamora unmarked in the box, and the winger had time to pick his spot before dispatching his shot into the bottom corner to give Barça Academy the lead.
The remainder of the first half brought chances for Daniel Corona and Julian Araujo, but Barça Academy went into the half with a one-goal lead.
Strikers FC found an equalizer in the 66th minute, but Barça Academy continued to push forward and scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute. A superb through ball put Daniel Corona through on goal and the striker made no mistakes from close range to secure all three points for Barça Academy.
“I think in the first half, we created a few goal-scoring opportunities, we were good because we knew they were going to be difficult to play against,” said coach Daniel Antunez. “It was good to get a result and we’re looking forward to preparing for Nomads.”
Barça Academy returns to Grande Sports World next weekend, with a triple-header against Nomads SC in their last home match of the season. The U-15s kick off at 9 am, followed by the U-17s at 11 am and the U-19s at 1:30.
U-15: Barça Academy 3 vs. Strikers FC 0
U-17: Barça Academy 2 vs. Strikers FC 1
U-19: Barça Academy 2 vs. Strikers FC 1
U-15: Barça Academy vs. Nomads SC | 9:00 AM | Grande Sports World
U-17: Barça Academy vs. Nomads SC | 11:00 AM | Grande Sports World
U-19: Barça Academy vs. Nomads SC | 1:30 PM | Grande Sports World
U-15: Barça Academy vs. Real So Cal | 10:00 AM | Oak Park High School Stadium | Oak Park, CA
U-17: Barça Academy vs. Real So Cal | 12:00 PM | Oak Park High School Stadium | Oak Park, CA
U-19: Barça Academy vs. Real So Cal | 2:30 PM | Oak Park High School Stadium | Oak Park, CA
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