March 15, 2021
Casa Grande, Ariz – Barça Residency Academy opened the 2021 MLS NEXT spring season with three wins and a draw against SC del Sol over the weekend at Grande Sports World – Home of Barça Residency Academy.
On Friday night, Barça’s U-19s and U-17s took the field against Phoenix-based SC del Sol, notching a 5-0 win and a 2-2 draw respectively. On Saturday, the U-15s put in a great shift en route to a 5-2 win and the U-16s won by a score of 3-1.
Barça Residency Academy U-19s 5-0 SC del Sol
On Friday night, Barça’s U-19s beat SC del Sol 5-0. In the first half, Korede Osundina, Luke Husakiwsky, and Dante Williams each scored to give Barça a 3-0 lead before the break. In the second half, Ocean Salari and Zachariah Thomas scored one goal apiece to extend the lead to 5-0 before the final whistle.
The U-19s are undefeated through the 2020-21 season and are ranked the No. 1 team in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.
“It was a great start to the spring season for the guys,” said U-19 coach Ged Quinn. “SC del Sol made life difficult for us but it was great to see some guys step up in this game and lead the group. Having some younger guys like Brooklyn Raines and Korede Osundina start and contribute significantly is also a great sign for our academy and the depth that we have across the board was evident tonight. To come away against a strong SC del Sol group with a 5-0 win is a solid start to what we hope will be an exciting spring season for the guys”
Barça Residency Academy U-17s 2-2 SC del Sol
Later in the evening on Friday, the U-17s faced off with SC del Sol. Courtesy of a goal from Darian Castillo and a goal from Samuel Mendoza, the U-17s opened their MLS NEXT campaign with a strong result 2-2 result at home.
Barça Residency Academy U-15s 5-2 SC del Sol
On Saturday morning, the U-15s put in a great shift against SC del Sol en route to a 5-2 win. Though Barça allowed a goal in the eighth minute, they responded just over ten minutes later with an incredible goal from Aiden Jarvis in the 19th minute. After getting on the ball in the attacking third and turning towards goal, Jarvis fired off a strong shot with his right foot that beat the opposing goalkeeper and crashed against the back of the net.
In the second half, Barça continued putting together some lovely attacking sequences. In the 44th minute, right back Christopher Lai dribbled forward and passed the ball off to Grey Glowacki, who then played the ball across the box for striker Zachary Smuck. Smuck cleanly finished off the play to give Barça a 2-1 lead. Later in the second half, Jarvis found left back Ryan Rivas on the left side of the box. Rivas received the ball cleanly and took a shot on goal, nutmegged the opposing goalkeeper and found the back of the net.
Up 3-1, Barça kept their foot on the gas and scored two more goals – one in the 65th minute and another in the 69th minute. Both goals came from a nice display of speed from Moises Arciniega down the left wing. In the 65th minute, Arciniega broke forward into the box and crossed the ball into the middle for Smuck, who headed it home to extend the lead to 4-1. Then, in the 69th minute, Arciniega drove into the box again and scored with a strong shot to the near post to give Barça a 5-1 lead.
SC del Sol scored a goal in the 77th minute to make it 5-2, but couldn’t mount a comeback.
“We knew that they were going to be a difficult team to play against, especially how they defend in low blocks,” said U-15 coach Daniel Antunes. “But I think overall the boys did a good adjustment at halftime, made it a little bit easier, opened them up more, and obviously it helps whenever you score.”
Barça Residency Academy U-16s 3-1 SC del Sol
Not to be outdone by the U-15s’ strong performance earlier in the day, the Barça U-16s won their clash with SC del Sol by a score of 3-1 later in the morning on Saturday.
The U-16s put in a strong first half, controlling the ball early on and pressing well in the attacking third. In the 36th minute, Yahir Gonzalez capitalized on Barça’s sustained attacking play by drawing a penalty and scoring from the spot to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Barça maintained their offensive control and extended their lead in the 84th minute, courtesy of a wonder strike from central midfielder Jonathan Gamez. Gamez cut inside from the left and scored a screamer with his right foot to double Barça’s advantage. SC del Sol pulled a goal back in the 90th minute, but Barça put the game away in second half stoppage time when substitute Joshua Brown scored a penalty in the 94th minute.
“We had a plan and we stuck to that plan,” said U-16 coach Brady Taylor. “The boys looked confident and comfortable throughout the game and ultimately it resulted in three goals and walking away with three points as well. I think it was a performance from the entire team, especially with the way that we play. When we focus on the performance of the team over the individuals then our team stands out, so I think that was the most important thing.”
The Academy U-15s, U-16s, U-17s, and U-19s will face off against Real Salt Lake – Arizona on Saturday, March 20th in MLS NEXT Southwest division play at Grande Sports World – Home of Barça Residency Academy. The Pre-Academy teams will compete in the 2021 Phoenix Cup.