HOUSTON (July 19, 2012) – PA Classics needed a win to stay in the hunt for the Development Academy U-15/16 championship and second-half substitute Andrew Mannon delivered when it mattered most, finishing a counterattack in the 71st minute to give PA Classics a 2-1 victory against D.C. United on Thursday night at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
Off of a D.C. United corner kick, PA Classics sprung the counterattack quickly up the middle of the field. A ball played up the right flank ran over the touchline after deflecting off of a D.C. player and the awareness of midfielder Drew Mahoney and Mannon helped PA Classics capitalize on the attack.
Mahoney rapidly scooped up the ball and threw it in to Mannon, unmarked and making a run into the box. The ball bounced up and off of a D.C. United defender and fell to Mannon who buried the game-winner.
“They had a corner kick and we cleared it,” Mannon said. “I saw Drew and he had a throw-in down here and no one was covering me. I thought I lost the ball because it came up and hit me in the chest, but it fell to me and I just finished it. It was crazy.”
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri defeated Crew Soccer Academy Wolves 4-1 in the other Group 2 match of the night, but the win by PA Classics keeps the club in the hunt for a spot in the championship match, despite the slim odds of advancing.
“We’ve had two good games and we’ll just see what happens,” PA Classics head coach Steve Klein said.
Connor Maloney gave the Pennsylvania side a 1-0 lead after just seven minutes when D.C. United goalkeeper Carlos Canas spilled a long cross into the box. Maloney was there for the rebound as PA Classics got off to a quick start.
The lead did not last long, however, as D.C. United midfielder Ian Harkes chested down a long pass near the top of the box and served up a perfect ball for Jorge Calix to rifle into the back of the net in the 11th minute.
The sides each saw spurts of solid possession, trading chances on both ends before Mannon’s go-ahead goal.
“We didn’t make the big mistake,” Klein said. “We had good possession in the first half like we did the other night [in a 3-0 loss to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri]. In that game, we made a couple real critical mistakes and we got punished, but today we stayed away from the big mistake defensively.”
D.C. United nearly equalized following Mannon’s goal as midfielder Jimmy Doll had his close-range effort strike the right post in the 72nd minute and a headed rebound by Nigel Robinson was slapped over the crossbar by PA Classics goalkeeper Brent Arnold.
Arnold made five saves in the match, including a nice diving save in the 71st minute to deny D.C. United of the equalizer.
“We were disappointed in our result against St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri,” Klein said. “We thought we played well in that game. I’m glad the guys rebounded and we played a full 80 minutes.”
PA Classics squares off against Crew Soccer Academy Wolves on Saturday at 9 p.m. CT, while St. Louis Scott Gallagher plays D.C. United also at 9 p.m. CT.
-U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-
Match: D.C. United vs. PA Classics
Date: July 19, 2012
Competition: Development Academy Finals Week – U-15/16
Venue: Houston Area Sports Park
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Weather: 80 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
DCU 1 0 1
PAC 1 1 2
PAC – Connor Maloney 7th minute
DCU – Jorge Calix (Ian Harkes) 11
PAC – Andrew Mannon (Drew Mahoney) 71
DCU: 1-Carlos Canas; 2-Abdi Yusuf, 19-Raffi Fagunda (3-Josh Golob, 80), 4-Suli Dainkeh, 7-Christhyan Najar; 14-Christian Kershaw, 15-Ian Harkes; 5-Mike Sauers (22-Jimmy Doll, 53); 10-Jorge Calix (12-Graydon Hester, 75), 9-Michael Seaton (29-Mike Monahan, 19; 18-Robert Palmer, 61), 11-Nigel Robinson
Substitutions Not Used: 27-Sergio Reyes, 20-Dolu Oyewole
Head Coach: Thomas Torres
PAC: 1-Brent Arnold; 15-Callen Wendler (13-Johnny Philbin, 48), 8-Brian Nana-Sinkam, 41-Bryce Cregan, 11-Shawn Morrison; 14-Drew Skundrich, 5-Shawn Peterson (17-Drew Mahoney, 69), 21-Austin Kuhn (16-Ian McMannes, 50), 32-Alec Sensenig (12-Andrew Mannon, 58), 3-Connor Maloney; 44-Joey Julius
Substitutions Not Used: 4-Keegan Wilson, 10-Kody Eberly
Head Coach: Steve Klein
Stats Summary: DCU / PAC
Shots: 13 / 5
Shots on Goal: 6 / 4
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 15 / 9
Offside: 2 / 2
DCU – Abdi Yusuf (caution) 21st minute
Referee: Bernhard Hosu
Assistant Referee 1: Apolinar Mariscal
Assistant Referee 2: Ray Moffatte Jr.
Fourth Official: Juliana Duncan
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Andrew Mannon