October 14, 2020
Casa Grande, Ariz –All five Barça Residency Academy Pre-Academy teams competed in the Arsenal Challenge at various sports parks in the Phoenix area over the weekend. The U-17s were crowned the undefeated Arsenal Challenge Champions after defeating Arizona Arsenal ECNL in a thrilling match that ended in a penalty shootout. The U-19s finished as Arsenal Challenge Runner-Up after losing a tightly contested match with Arsenal Arizona ECNL.
The Barça Residency Academy U-15s finished the tournament with one win, one draw, and one loss. The U-16s went 1-2, while the U-18s narrowly missed the tournament knock-out round after finishing 2-1 in the group stage.
U-17s Crowned Undefeated Arsenal Challenge Champions
Barça U-17s advanced to the Arsenal Challenge Gold Bracket Championship after defeating SC del Sol 3-1 (Rafael Munoz, Stetson Milligan, Jacob Sincuir), drawing with RSL-AZ 1-1 (Jacob Sincuir), and defeating New Mexico Rush 1-0 (Shaan Malik) in the semifinals.
In the championship match, Anthony Huang scored Barça’s sole goal in the first half and Arizona Arsenal ECNL equalized in the second half. After a 1-1 draw in regulation, the game was determined in a thrilling penalty shootout that ended 5-4 in favor of Barça to crown them the undefeated 2020 U-17 Arsenal Challenge Champions.
U-19s Arsenal Challenge Runner-Ups
Like the U-17s, the Barca Residency Academy U-19s entered the championship match undefeated. They opened the tournament with a 2-0 shutout over FRAM (Pedro Bottene, Victor Rodriguez), they defeated Arizona Arsenal 3-2 (brace by Victor Rodriguez, Psalm Yi), and overcame Arizona FC in a penalty shootout in the semifinals.
Barca U-19s also faced tournament-host Arizona Arsenal ECNL in the final. In the first half, Damir Brkic opened the scoring in the 13th minute and AZ Arsenal equalized in the 39th minute. Barca restored the lead in the 54th minute with a goal by Pedro Bottene but Arizona Arsenal once again drew level in the 71st minute. Arizona Arsenal took its first lead of the match in the 76th minute but Barça was unable to find the equalize to force a penalty shootout and fell 3-2.
The U-19PA team will face FC Arizona tonight, October 14, at 5:30 PM at Santos Complex in Mesa.
Saturday October 17th
3:40pm: U16PA vs RSL AZ Yuma – Copper Sky #4
Sunday October 18th
10:05am: U17PA vs Sc Del Sol – Copper Sky #4
1:55pm: U18PA vs RSL AZ South – Tucson Kino Complex #5
4:00pm: U19PA vs RSL AZ South – Tucson Kino Complex #4
The Academy teams resume MLS NEXT action on October 24th at Phoenix Rising Academy. The UPSL team will take on FC Arizona U-23s on Wednesday, October 21 at Copper Sky Complex in Maricopa.