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U-17/18 Academy Select Teams Duel to an Entertaining 1-1 Tie

Blue Opened Scoring Through Paul Arriola in the 11th Minute; Benji Lopez Added a Tally for Red in the 61st Minute to Earn a Tie

LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Dec. 3, 2011)—The U-17/18 Academy Select Teams scored on either side of half time to end an entertaining match in a 1-1 tie at the Premier Sports Campus. Blue took an early lead thanks to Paul Arriola of Arsenal FC, but Red equalized in the 61st minute from Benji Lopez of Real Salt Lake AZ and effectively shut down the Blue attack for the rest of the game.

The Red and Blue Select teams took to the Stadium Field to showcase their talent in front of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams and numerous other scouts and Development Academy Technical Advisors, while the U-17 Men’s National Team and the Nike International Friendlies were on an off day. Select Team players were chosen by the Development Academy scouting network, technical advisors and youth national team coaches, and all of the players on both rosters were given at least 45 minutes to impress.

Arriola gave Blue an early lead with an incisive finish in the 11th minute. Jordan Allen of Real Salt Lake AZ picked up the ball on the edge of the area before driving into the box and forcing a save from FC Delco’s Zachary Steffen. The ball was only half cleared, and Arriola pounced on the rebound to smash the ball home at the near post with his first touch.

Red’s equalizer came after halftime when both teams had introduced all of their reserves. Michael Amick of DeAnza Force was solid and dependable as one of Red’s centerbacks, regularly muscling the ball away from the Blue attackers, and the substitutions in Red’s midfield contributed to the game-tying goal.

Lopez, who came on at the half, proved the game-changer when he linked up with Jalen Markey of Seattle Sounders FC for the equalizer. Markey drove a pinpoint cross into the box in the 61st minute, and Lopez rose highest to power a header in a composed display of skill.

Red had five more shots after the team leveled the score, LA Galaxy’s Justin Dhillon firing two of his own while making countless runs down the left flank that troubled the Blue defense. Osvaldo Chavez of Texas Rush also recorded two shots before the final whistle, though neither severely tested FC Westchester goalkeeper Scott Levene.

-Development Academy Select Team Match Report-

Match: U-17/18 Development Academy Select Team Blue vs. Red
Date: Dec. 3, 2011
Competition: Development Academy Select Teams
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Attendance: 500
Weather: 72 degrees, cool

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
BLUE                         1      0      1
RED                          0      1      1

BLUE – Paul Arriola                                11th minute        
RED– Benji Lopez (Jalen Markey)              61

BLUE: 18-Ethan Horvath (1-Scott Levene, 41); 14-Miguel Polley, 17-Christian De Luna (4-Suliaman Dainkeh, 41), 11-Matthew Habrowski, 5-Miguel Alves (13-Koty Millard, 41); 2-Kellyn Acosta, 9-Kevin De La Torre (15-Jason Romero, 41), 8-Brandon Aubrey (20-Adam Najem, 41); 10-Paul Arriola (12-Connor Maloney, 41), 19-Jamie Villarreal, 3-Jordan Allen (16-Ben Spencer, 41)
Substitutions not used: None
Head coach: Chris Brewer

RED: 18-Zachary Steffen (1-Jake McGuire, 41); 13-Jalen Markey, 10-Trevor Haberkorn, 7-Michael Amick, 3-Feliciano Charles; 5-Christian Cruz (2-Andrew Brody, 41), 19-William Raygoza (11-Romilio Hernandez, 41), 9-Nicholas Gaitan (4-Osvaldo Chavez, 41); 16-Justin Dhillon, 17-Nick Jones (12-Benji Lopez, 27),20-Alexander Muhl (8-Markie Delgado, 41)
Substitutions not used: None
Head coach: Brian Maissoneuve

Stats Summary: BLUE / RED
Shots: 9 / 12
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 8
Fouls: 4 / 6
Offside: 1 / 7

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Yevgeniy Mednikov (Eastern New York)
Assistant Referee 1: Chris Gordon (Texas)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Hanson (Washington)
Fourth Official: Danny Thornberry (North Carolina) Man of the Match: Paul Arriola