December 8, 2017
Barça Academy U-17 and U-19s traveled to Lakewood Ranch, Florida to participate in the US Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) Winter Showcase that was held November 30th – December 4th. Each team had three games and both teams finished the showcase undefeated. The U-17s beat Lonestar SC, Empire United and Players Development Academy by scores of 4-0, 3-1 and 4-3 respectively. The U-19s drew with Houston Dynamo Youth 3-3, beat Charlotte Soccer Academy 3-2 and drew with Shattuck Saint Mary’s 3-3.
The U-19s kicked off action on Thursday, November 30th against Houston Dynamo Youth. Houston Dynamo Youth opened scoring in the 9th minute of the game and Barça Academy trailed 0-1 at halftime. Barça Academy found the equalizer in the 53rd minute when Nicholas Mootz scored a great goal. Houston Dynamo Youth quickly answered with a goal of their own in the 54th minute. Johnny Fitzgerald played Barça Academy back into the game with a goal in the 61st minute. Houston Dynamo scored in the 82nd minute and Enrique Zamora tied the game up, 3-3, when he finished a great ball from Austin Amer just before the final whistle.
“It was a difficult game”, said Coach Daniel Antunez. “Houston sat back and countered off our mistakes. In the first half, we lacked confidence in our build-up and didn’t play with intensity. It was not our best performance but I was pleased with the way the guys fought back to get a tie at the last minute.”
Both teams took the field on Friday, December 1st. The U-17 faced Lonestar SC and jumped to a 2-0 lead following two goals by Matthew Hoppe. Barça Academy continued with the intensity in the second half, Carter Payne found the back of the net in the 65th minute and Michael Scavuzzo in the 78th, shutting Lonestar SC out 4-0.
The U-19s faced Charlotte Soccer Academy and once again got off to a slow start, they trailed 0-2 at the half. With 10 minutes remaining, the game seemed as if it was going to end in Charlotte Soccer Academy’s favor until Barça Academy found life in the 82nd minute when Arturo Ernand took a chance and released a shot outside the box that took a deflection and found the back of the net. From there Barça Academy gained momentum and pushed forward, Emilio Echerivel equalized in the 87th minute with a great volley from inside the box. Barça Academy finished the game with a great run from Daniel Corona to win the game, 3-2, in the 90th minute.
The U-17s took the field against Empire United on Saturday, December 2nd, they once again got off to a hot start and lead 2-0 at halftime behind goals from Payne and Scavuzzo. Jake LaCava found the back of the net in the 56th minute advancing the score 3-0. Barça Academy appeared to be cruising to their second shutout win of the showcase but Empire United scored in the 74th minute, the remainder of the game went without incident and the U-17s secured their second win of the showcase.
The U-19s took the returned to action on December 3rd vs. Shattuck Saint Mary’s. Barça Academy had their best performance of the showcase, contrary to their prior two games, the U-19s got off to a quick start. Jorge Martin made a dynamic save in the 15 minute and keep out a great shot by Shattuck Saint Mary’s. Ernand opened scoring in the 20th minute with a beautiful shot that beat the left side of the goalkeeper, a PK by Amer gave Barça Academy a 2-0 advantage at the half. Shattuck Saint Mary’s increased their intensity at the after halftime and scored in the 49th minute. A Barça Academy own goal put the score at 2-2 in the 56th minute and Barça Academy and Shattuck Saint Mary’s ended the game in a tie.
“Overall, it was a good week”, said Coach Antunez. “We got to measure ourselves with some good competition against teams outside of our division. To go undefeated in the showcase will also help our confidence going into our last game of this year. The boys enjoyed the weather and the time off at the beach.”
The U-17s final game was on December 4th, the final day of the showcase, Barca Academy faced Players Development Academy. Picking up right where they left off, Barça Academy scored right away in the 7th minute of the game with Roberto Molina scoring his first goal of the showcase. Hoppe scored his third goal of the showcase in the 25th minute and LaCava scored his second in the 41st minute. Barça Academy had a 3-0 lead at halftime. Players Development Academy responded with two back to back goals in the 60th and 62nd minute. Scavuzzo scored his third goal of the showcase in the 75th minute and became the only Barça Academy player to score in all three games. Players Development Academy found the back of the net in the 79th minute but Barça Academy held them off and secured their third win of the week, finishing the showcase undefeated.
“Overall it was a progressive & productive weekend for us”, said Coach Sean McCafferty. “We finally got the results our performances deserved and besides the 2nd half vs. PDA I thought we were in complete control throughout our games and played some exciting & dynamic football at times. We still have a number of things we need to improve on in our build up and some defensive issues that need addressing from the 2nd half v PDA but the quality in the final third has become more consistent which is a big plus as the players have worked hard to improve this area of our game. We look forward to the upcoming games vs. Albion & Arsenal and are targeting two good performances and 6 more points going into our winter break.”
U-19: Barça Academy 3 vs. Houston Dynamo Youth 3
U-17: Barça Academy 4 vs. Lonestar SC Academy 0
U-19: Barça Academy 3 vs. Charlotte Soccer Academy 2
U-17: Barça Academy 3 vs. Empire Unite 1
U-19: Barça Academy 2 vs. Shattuck – Saint Mary’s 2
U-17: Barça Academy 4 vs. Players Development Academy 3
The U -17 and U-19 teams play Albion SC at Grande Sports World at 10:00am and 12:30pm respectively.
The U-15, U-17 and U-18 teams face Arsenal FC at Grande Sprots World at 2:00pm, 12:00pm and 2:00pm respectively.
This weekend’s games will be the final games of the year. Students will enjoy a holiday break and resume play in the third week of January.
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