Barça Residency Academy U17s Advance to USSDA Semifinals in Inaugural Season
June 29, 2018
The Barça Residency Academy U17s coached by Sean McCafferty have advanced to the 2018 USSDA U-16/17 Semifinals in the Academy’s inaugural season. Barça Residency Academy is the only non-MLS team to advance to the semifinals in any age group of the 2018 USSDA Playoffs.
Barça Residency Academy defeated three MLS teams, Vancouver Whitecaps (1-0), Philadelphia Union (2-0) and Orlando City FC (4-3) in the group stage to advance to the USSDA Playoff Quarterfinals.
On June 22 – In the quarterfinals, Barça Residency Academy took down the #3 nationally ranked New York Red Bulls 3-1 to advance to the Championship semifinals that will be held in Kansas City, Missouri.
The quarterfinal game started off lively on for both sides, both sides seeing half chances within the first three minutes. Barça Residency Academy was very active on the left side in their attacking third with combination between Jake LaCava, Cameron Fisher and Henry Tapper resulting in three corner kicks in the first 12 minutes of the game.
Thought, in the 26th minute, Barça Residency Academy goalkeeper, Luke Pruter, got caught off his line and a New York Red Bulls player made him pay as he drove around Pruter and placed his shot into the goal. Scoring what would be the Red Bull’s only goal of the game.
Barça Residency Academy who had opened scoring in the previous three playoff games responded well.
In the 32nd minute, Carter Payne made a good run through the middle and found LaCava on the left side. LaCava showed great skill as he beat two defenders but could not find a teammate in the box.
Just three minutes later, Barça Residency Academy equalized. Once again, with play on the left side, Tapper played a low cross to Carter Payne who smashed his shot past the keeper for his second goal of the playoffs.
Level 1-1, Barça Residency Academy began to find their rhythm, creating three good scoring opportunities within a 10 minute span going into halftime.
Barça Residency Academy picked up right where they left off in the second half. In the 46th minute, LaCava once again showing off his talent as he made a great run down the left side, beating two defenders with his speed and sent in a dangerous cross to Roberto Molina on the far post, but Molina’s attempt was blocked by Red Bull defenders.
Chances fell to both sides later in the second half, Luke Pruter avenged his early mistake and came up with back to back saves in the 62nd and 63rd minute to keep the game level.
In the 74th minute, Barça Residency Academy put the game away with two goals that came within a two minute span. This time, great combination on the right side freed up striker Matthew Hoppe who sent a brilliant cross into the box that found Cameron Fisher who headed the ball into the bottom corner of the far post.
Fisher struck again moments later. In the 75th minute, Fisher received a ball 25 yards out, made a diagonal run and fired a rocket into the top corner of the goal to put Barça Residency Academy up 3-1.
Barça Academy continued to attack, in the 76th minute, Julian Araujo played a great deep ball over the top of Red Bull defenders, right in the path of Fisher who passed a one touch cross to Hoppe. Hoppe lined up his shot but his volley sailed just wide of the post.
Hoppe had another chance in the 82nd minute when he received a pass 30 yards out. He looked up to see that the Red Bulls keeper was off his line and sent a chip shot over the keeper’s head, but his attempt sailed just over the crossbar.
Luke Pruter, made two exceptional saves in the final minutes of regulation and Barça Residency Academy went on to defeat #3 nationally ranked New York Red Bulls 3-1.
Barça Residency Academy will now face the #2 nationally ranked Seattle Sounders in the semifinals.
Barça Residency Academy faced Seattle Sounders in the Barça Residency Academy’s inaugural game back on September 2, 2017 where Barça Residency Academy fell to the Sounders 5-4 on a Sounders PK in overtime.
They will now meet in the 2018 USSDA U-16/17 semifinals on July 8th in Kansas City, Missouri on the Championship Field at the Swope Soccer Village at 2:00pm for the rights to advance to the USSDA Championship game.
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