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SLSG Missouri Heads to Academy Finals Week Title Match Following 1-0 Win Against D.C. United

St. Louis Faces New York Red Bulls for U-15/16 Championship on July 23 at BBVA Compass Stadium

St. Louis Faces New York Red Bulls for U-15/16 Championship on July 23 at BBVA Compass Stadium

HOUSTON (July 21, 2012) – St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri’s U-15/16 team completed an undefeated run through Group 2 with a 1-0 victory against D.C. United at the Houston Amateur Sports Complex. Jordan Klipsch scored in the 19thminute and the St. Louis defense posted its second shutout in three matches en route to claim a place in the final.

The victory sends SLSG Missouri to its first Finals Week championship where they will face the New York Red Bulls at 8 p.m. CT on July 23 at BBVA Compass Stadium, home of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo. The match will be streamed live at, and fans can follow in-game updates on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

“I think we’re at the peak of our season,” SLSG Missouri midfielder Brett Hodges said. “There’s a good vibe and good chemistry on the team.”

“It’s an extreme honor to be in the final with all the great teams and great players that are in the tournament,” SLSG Missouri head coach Tim Leonard added. “With the whole environment throughout the week, it’s an honor to be one of the last two left.”

SLSG Missouri took advantage of its reliable long-distance throw-in option by sending Nick Jones deep into United territory. From the left side, Jones hurled the ball into the middle of the penalty area and Klipsch headed home to give St. Louis all the scoring they would need.

“It’s something where we’ve scored a number of goals on throughout the season,” Leonard said. “Nick throws the ball almost like a corner kick, so we try to utilize it at the right times. It’s not that we do it every single time, but we try to catch teams sleeping.”

Feeling comfortable about its Finals Week championship advancement, SLSG Missouri took out most of its regular players. St. Louis made four subs during the first 40 minutes, then replaced two more players to start the second half, including inserting backup goalkeeper Edward Starr for Jake Leeker.

“It was a combination of both getting guys who have logged a lot of minutes the last couple days some rest and also getting some of the guys who haven’t gotten a lot of time some minutes in this environment,” Leonard said.

The second half saw minimal offensive development for both sides. SLSG Missouri was focused on maintaining its one-goal advantage while D.C. had a difficult time finding the final third. United was the only team that put shots on frame in the final 40 minutes, with Ian Harkes and Christhyan Najar both trying their luck from outside the box. The latter, which took place in second-half stoppage time, had some pace on it but SLSG Missouri backup goalkeeper Edward Starr had it well covered.

D.C. United goalkeeper Sergio Reyes got the start in goal ahead of Carlos Canas, who played the previous match. Reyes made one first-half save.

With its fourth-place finish in the group, D.C. United will play Charlotte Soccer Academy in the seventh-place game at 9 a.m. CT on Monday at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

-Development Academy Finals Week Match Report-

Match: D.C. United vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri
Date: July 21, 2012
Competition: 2012 Development Academy Finals Week – U-15/16
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park, Field 5
Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
Attendance: 90
Weather: 84 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
DCU                        0 0 0
SLSG                       1 0 1

SLSG – Jordan Klipsch (Nick Jones) 19th minute

DCU: 27-Sergio Reyes; 2-Abdi Yusuf, 7-Christhyan Najar, 20-Dolu Oyewole (11-Nigel Robinson, 43), 14-Christian Kershaw (3-Josh Golob, 62); 4-Suli Dainkeh, 22-Jimmy Doll, 15-Ian Harkes; 10-Jorge Calix (18-Robert Palmer, 62), 12-Graydon Hester, 5-Mike Sauers (29-Mike Monahan, 54)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Carlos Canas, 9-Mike Seaton, 19-Raffi Fagunda
Head Coach: Thomas Torres 

SLSG: 1-Jake Leeker (30-Edward Starr, 41); 6-Austin Ledbetter (17-Curtis Shillingsford, 65), 5-Jordan Klipsch, 2-Justin Graham, 11-Jason Pesek (8-Matt Steurer, 32); 4-Brett Hodges, 10-Keegan McHugh (19-Blake Gonzalez, 26), 13-Austin Panchot (16-Zachary Kavanaugh, 41); 12-Tommy Barlow, 27-Mark Segbers (20-Stephen McMillian, 26), 15-Nick Jones (22-David Stoll, 35)
Substitutions Not Used: None
Head coach: Tim Leonard

Stats Summary: DCU / SLSG
Shots: 9 / 5
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 1 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 11
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:

DCU – Abdi Yusuf (caution) 31st minute

Referee: Juliana Duncan
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Mercado
Assistant Referee 2: Jason White
Fourth Official: Bernie Hosu Man of the Match: Brett Hodges