June 27, 2019
The Barça Residency Academy 2018-19 season concluded in Oceanside, California last week at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs and Summer Showcase.
The U-19s who entered the playoffs as the no. 2 overall seed went undefeated in the group stage but it ultimately was not enough to advance to the quarter-finals. The U-17s who competed in the showcase had their best week of the season as they went 3-0, scoring an impressive 17 goals. The U-15s went 1-2, but ended the season with a strong 1-0 win over United Futbol Academy on the final day of the showcase.
2019 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs
Barça Residency Academy U-19 vs. Michigan Wolves (32)
The U-19s began their playoff journey on Monday, June 17 at the SoCal Sports Complex against Michigan Wolves, in a match that set a precedent for how the group stage would play out.
After great play in the first half, Barça Residency Academy scored their lone goal in the 30th minute. Nick Fernandez took a shot from just inside the 18-yard box that rebounded off the post but Caden Clark was there to pick up the rebound and put it past the keeper.
Barça Residency Academy would have a shot on goal just five minutes later after Ryan Combe played a lovely ball through to Caden Clark who’s shot was saved by the keeper.
The second half was uncharacteristically slow with not much action from either side. Up 1-0 with just minutes remaining in the match, Barça Residency Academy conceded the equalizer in the dying moments and settled for a 1-1 draw with Michigan Wolves.
Barça Residency Academy U-19 vs. Chargers SC
The U-19s next faced Florida-based Chargers Soccer Club in a testy and physical match that saw six yellow cards and three red cards.
Unsatisfied with their performance from the match prior, Barça Residency Academy came out and set the tone early on. The game quickly adapted to their style of play as they controlled possession and created great goal-scoring opportunities in the first 20 minutes of the match.
Barça Residency Academy took a blow in the 26th minute when left back Christian Ortiz was shown a red card and sent off for the remainder of the match.
Down a man, Barça Residency Academy stuck to the task and continued to create chances. In the 43rd minute, Cameron Fisher scored one of the best goals of the season when he drove into space on the right side and uncorked a shot that sailed over the outstretched keeper from 25 yards out.
Barça took a 1-0 lead into the interval but conceded the equalizer in the 57th minute. Level at 1-1 with 10 minutes remaining, both sides pushed for a second goal.
In the 82nd minute, another Barça Residency Academy player was shown a red card, this time Veteran center back Pedro Mondragon was sent off.
Down to nine men, Barça Residency Academy displayed their championship level mentality and will to win as they battled through adversity to score the game-winner in the 87th minute.
Nick Fernandez played Caden Clark at the top of the box, Clark quickly found DA leading goal scorer, Matthew Hoppe who’s shot was tipped out by the keeper for a corner.
From the corner, Cameron Fisher played an unmarked Nick Fernandez at the edge of the box, Fernandez crossed a beautiful ball far-post and the 16 year old – Caden Clark headed it home for his second goal of the playoffs that secured the 2-1 win for his team.
Plenty to Play for on the Final Day of the Group Stage
After day two of action, the group was wide-open with all four teams still in contention. Barça Residency Academy and the Michigan Wolves were in the best position with three points apiece but their quarterfinal berths depend on other results as they both scored three goals and allowed two.
On Friday, June 21 Barça Residency Academy and the Michigan Wolves kicked off simultaneously in their final group stage game.
Barça Residency Academy U-19 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps Academy
Barça Residency Academy squared off with Vancouver White Caps in a tightly contested match that saw a scoreless first half.
Knotted at 0-0 while Michigan was up 3-2 over Chargers SC, Barça Residency Academy knew they had to put numbers on the board in the second half to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Just twelve minutes into the second half, Barça Residency Academy took a 1-0 lead when Nick Fernandez played Matthew Hoppe who beat his man with a clever move and set up a 1 v 1 opportunity for Caden Clark who fired it past the keeper.
Needing a two-goal differential to advance to the quarter-finals, Barça Residency Academy continued to create great goal-scoring opportunities as they again showed their championship level grit and tenacity that has lead them to victory time and time again.
In the 85th minute, Nick Fernandez played Caden Clark who made a great run and attempted to play an unmarked Matthew Hoppe in the box. The ball was intercepted and kicked out for a corner.
In the 87th minute, after an excellent combination play – Cameron Fisher sent a dangerous ball into the box that a Whitecaps defender met with his hand. The sidelines erupted, Barça Residency Academy was awarded a penalty kick that could give them the necessary 2-0 lead.
Matthew Hoppe stepped to the penalty spot but his attempt was saved by the Whitecaps keeper to keep it 1-0.
Whitecaps Academy would tie it up 1-1 two minutes later and Barça’s final chance of the season came in the 90th minute when Caden Clark made an excellent run down the right side after a brilliant through ball from Ryan Combe. Left 1 v 1 with an advancing keeper, Clark attempted to chip the keeper from 30 yards out but the keeper was able to get his fingertips on it.
The final whistle blew with the score locked at 1-1 and the incredible two-year ride for this inaugural Barça Residency Academy group came to an end.
2019 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Summer Showcase
Barça Residency Academy U-17
The Barça Residency Academy U-17s has a phenomenal showing at the DA Summer Showcase as they went undefeated and tallied 17 goals.
The U-17s kicked off in the showcase on Tuesday, June 18 against Charlotte Soccer Academy, a team they defeated 2-1 in December at the DA Winter Showcase. Barça Residency Academy defeated Charlotte Soccer Academy 7-2 on the opening day of the showcase.
Goals: Diego Luna (2), Ulysses Martinez (2), Miles Lyons, Ronan Kratt, Nick Bisagno.
Barça Residency Academy outlasted Chargers Soccer Academy 4-3 on day two of completion.
Goals: Dante Williams (2), Diego Luna, Guillermo Lopez.
The U-17s concluded their 2018-19 season on Friday, June 21 with a dominant 6-1 win over Virginia Development Academy. Diego Luna netted four goals in the first half and wrapped up the showcase with six goals under his belt.
Goals: Diego Luna (4), Guillermo Lopez, Ronan Kratt.
Barça Residency Academy U-15
The Barça Residency Academy U-15s wrapped up their season on positively with a strong 1-0 win over Georgia-based club United Futbol Academy behind a first-half goal by Phillie Villapudua.