26 Nov Third Consecutive Undefeated Gameday at Home for Barça Residency Academy
November 26, 2019
Casa Grande, Ariz –While Barça Residency Academy’s U-19s had the week off, the U-15s and U-17s took the field against Los Angeles Galaxy San Diego on Saturday and completed their third consecutive undefeated gameday at home. The U-15s began the day by putting in an excellent performance en route to a 1-1 draw. Later in the day, the U-17s began their match, jumped ahead of LA Galaxy San Diego in the first half, and secured a 3-1 win.
Barça Residency Academy U-15 vs. LA Galaxy San Diego
Kicking off the game day, Barça Residency Academy’s U-15s began their clash with Los Angeles Galaxy San Diego with energy on both sides of the ball. They moved up the field quickly in the attack against an extremely compact defense and consistently tackled the ball away from their opponents to stop counter-attacks.
In the 11th minute, right-winger Gabriel Enriquez cut inside from the wing and took a shot on goal, but it was just saved by the opposing goalkeeper. Enriquez caused the Galaxy some serious danger two more times before the first half ended: he narrowly missed out on scoring a free kick from just outside the box in the 22nd minute, and in the 33rd minute, he dribbled inside, beat an opposing defender, and took a shot on goal, but it was blocked by the keeper.
While they were unable to get on the score sheet in the first half, it did not take Barça Residency Academy long to find the back of the net once the second half was underway. In the 50th minute, center back Alexander Lopez found central defensive midfielder Brooklyn Raines making a late run into the box and passed him the ball. Raines took a clean first touch, picked up his head, and slotted his shot into the lower left-hand corner of the goal to give Barça a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the home team, they were unable to keep their lead. Los Angeles Galaxy San Diego scored a goal in the 71st minute, leveling the score at 1-1. Though Barça had chances to retake the lead before the end of the game, including a well-placed header from Tedosio Vargas off a corner kick that was barely saved in the 76th minute, they were unable to jump back in front before the final whistle. Despite having significantly more possession and many more chances than the opposition, Barça Residency Academy was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw, worth just one point, instead of a victory, worth three points.
“It was a bit disappointing,” head coach Daniel Antunez said after the match. “We felt we should’ve gotten more out of the game. We dominated the majority of the game in possession and created a lot more goal scoring opportunities, but we didn’t have enough luck inside the box. They countered off of a slip up during our possession when we were circulating the ball and it cost us the two extra points.”</br>
Barça Residency Academy U-17 vs. LA Galaxy San Diego
Taking the field after the U-15s, Barça’s U-17s put in a nearly-complete performance in a 3-1 win over Los Angeles Galaxy San Diego. Barça controlled the game from the opening whistle, passing cleanly in their opponent’s half of the field and pressing aggressively to win the ball back after they lost possession.
That aggressive combination of attack and defense was proven worthwhile in the 18th minute when Dante Williams scored a penalty kick, drawn by Samuel Mendoza moments earlier, to give his team a 1-0 lead. Barça Residency Academy continued to apply pressure throughout the rest of the first half, creating chance after chance and eventually doubling their lead. In the 43rd minute, Mendoza dribbled down the right wing, danced past a pair of defenders, and scored by sneaking the ball past the opposing goalkeeper.
“I think the first 45 minutes was probably the best we’ve played all year,” head coach Chris Harmon said after the match. “We’ve had a couple of good weeks of training leading up to this. I challenged the boys: we were coming into this game with two wins in a row, so we were looking for our third win in a row and they stepped up. I thought the first 45 minutes, they were excellent.”
Down 2-0, Los Angeles Galaxy San Diego made a couple of personnel changes at halftime that made it challenging for Barça to create chances in the attack at the beginning of the second 45 minutes. Still, even those changes were not enough to keep the home team off the scoreboard in the second half. In the 85th minute, Edwin Arias, who came on for Zeke Zambrano at the start of the second half, fired a penalty kick past the goalkeeper to increase Barça’s lead to 3-0.
Though they did concede one goal at the very end of the match, Barça Academy put in a very well-rounded performance. They controlled space in the attack, created a number of goal-scoring opportunities, and most importantly, secured three points.
The Barça Residency Academy U-17s and U-19s will travel to Lakewood, Florida to compete in the 2019 DA Winter Cup that will take place December 4-8.