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FC Dallas Takes Top Spot in Group 2 to Qualify for U-17/18 Championship Match on Sunday

HOUSTON (July 20, 2012) – FC Dallas edged out city rival Solar Chelsea SC 3-2 in an entertaining affair to take the top spot in Group 2 of the U-17/18 age group. FC Dallas advances to play Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday night at 8 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium for the 2011-12 U-17/18 Development Academy Championship.

Solar Chelsea SC, needing only a draw to advance to the championship, got a dream start when Trevor Haberkorn put the team in front in just the 13th minute. FC Dallas would respond through a pair of Jonathan Top strikes four minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead into the break. A rejuvenated Solar Chelsea SC side restored parity in the 53rd minute and looked increasingly able to maintain the scoreline until FC Dallas captain and left back Michael Ambrose found Mark Ashby with a free kick in the 69th minute. Ashby took back the lead with a powerful header and FC Dallas never looked back, taking its place in Sunday’s showcase match.

“To come here and play against such quality competition, on successive days on little rest in games you have to win is an opportunity for each of our kids to grow individually and collectively,” said FC Dallas head coach Chris Hayden. “We are very happy about the result and look forward to playing Vancouver. The boys will recover in the next 48 hours and we’ll get our legs back under us and be ready to compete.”

The Dallas-based squads, familiar with each other after meeting three times during the regular season, started energetically with FC Dallas carving out a chance for Top to blaze over in the second minute. It was FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta’s turn next, striking a direct free kick that took a slight deflection on its way over the wall and shaved outside of Oshick Shams’ post.

With both teams still settling into the first quarter hour of the match, Solar Chelsea SC pounced on their first opportunity and took the lead through an impressive Haberkorn volley from well outside the area. A dangerous free kick was initially hit into the wall but Solar was able to knock the ball back toward the area. FC Dallas half cleared and diverted it to Haberkorn who took one touch on the bouncing ball and struck it out of the air and into the top corner.

Knowing it had to score at least two goals to capture first place in the group, Dallas responded emphatically, sustaining long periods of possession in the Solar half and putting its counterparts under pressure. The plan paid off in the 31st minute after a fortuitous bounce from a long throw on the right fell invitingly for Top inside the six. He made no mistake from that distance, smashing it in for the equalizer.

The second goal, a product of an exceptional passing move, came just four minutes later and bolstered FC Dallas’ confidence having drawn itself up from being down early. After moving the ball deep into the Solar Chelsea attacking third on the left, Ambrose was set up for a bending cross to the far post where Nicholas Rochowski sent a header crashing of the post. The rebound came straight to Top at the penalty spot. He took a settling touch and powered in his volley high into the net, not giving Shams a chance for the save.

Solar Chelsea started the second half pushing higher up the pitch in an effort to deny Dallas the space to build an attack from the back. The strategy paid dividends in the 53rd minute after suffocating a Dallas effort to break out of its own half. Solar Chelsea regained the ball, creating a mismatch on the left, which allowed flanker William Webb to beat his man and cross to the far post. Right side midfielder Ryan Condotta arrived at the far post, having created a yard of space between himself and his defender, to finish first time and restore Solar’s hope of advancing as the group winner.

The match trudged into the final 30 minutes with Solar continuing their high pressure game plan. FC Dallas, despite the pressure, would find its goal through set piece in the 69th minute. Ambrose, turned provider once again, whipped in a left-footed cross from the left channel to the near post where fellow defender Ashby powered his header into the back of the net, sending the FC Dallas bench into elation.

Wrought with tension, the final minutes of the match saw Solar Chelsea throw everything forward in search of a late equalizer. Ashby and central defense partner Aaron Guillen stood tall dispelling ball after ball bombed into the FC Dallas area.

When all looked finished and the result sealed, Solar forward Zach Mathers stepped up in the 93rd minute to bend a free kick over the Dallas wall only to see it glance off the near post and out for a goal kick.

-U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-

Match: FC Dallas vs. Solar Chelsea SC
Date: July 20, 2012
Competition: 2012 Development Academy Finals Week, U-17/18 – Group 2
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
Attendance: 120
Weather: 81 degrees, humid

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
FCD                           2      1      3
SOL                           1      1      2

SOL – Trevor Haberkorn                       13th minute
FCD – Jonathan Top                             31
FCD – Jonathan Top                             35
SOL – Ryan Condotta (William Webb)     53
FCD – Mark Ashby (Michael Ambrose)    69

FCD: 22-Eduardo Cortes; 6-Nicholas Rochowski (28-Marco Ortiz, 66), 2-Mark Ashby, 5-Aaron Guillen, 3-Michael Ambrose; 21-Marco Carrizales (17-David Robledo, 57), 14-Kellyn Acosta, 8-Flavio Guzman; 11-Danny Garcia, 9-Jonathan Top (13-Alonso Gallegos, 80), 27-Jose de la Tejera (39-Bobby Edet, 83)
Substitutions Not Used, 44-Estevan Vasquez, 45-Fernando Laverde, 4-Alex Frankenfeld,

Head coach: Chris Hayden

SOL:  0-Oshick Shams; 10-Murphy Short, 4-Reagan Dunk, 7-Trevor Haberkorn, 12-William Webb; 8-Mason Miller (26-Jonathan Guzman, 75), 16-Ryan Condotta; 2-Chandler Crosswait (23-Jesse Toledo, 61; 6-Adam Bonville, 90), 21-Zach Mathers, 15-Colton Missimo (11-Alan Winn, 66); 3-Sam Hayward (19-Hayden Partain, 70)
Substitutions Not Used:   5-Thomas Elder, 18-Adam Esparza
Head coach: Kevin Smith

Stats Summary: FCD / SOL
Shots: 15 / 5
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 5
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
DAL – Jonathan Top (caution)                 25th minute
SOL – Mason Miller (caution)                   49
DAL – Michael Ambrose (caution)            77
SOL – Murphy Short (caution)                 89
DAL – Alonso Gallegos (caution)             90+3

Referee: Bernhard Hosu
Assistant Referee 1: Kip Jackson
Assistant Referee 2: Ray Moffatte Jr.
Fourth Official: Ramy Touchan Man of the Match: Jonathan Top