SLSG Missouri Finds Footing with Back-to-Back Victories to Close out Academy Playoffs
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri’s U-15/16 team proved to be a clutch second-half squad during its final two games of the Academy Playoffs to win its group and a spot in Academy Finals Week in Houston.
How they got to Finals Week: St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri has some momentum heading into Finals Week after posting back-to-back victories against the San Diego Surf and Players Development Academy to win its group in the Academy Playoffs. SLSG Missouri rebounded well after opening the tournament with a 2-2 draw against Solar Chelsea SC, a match where SLSG had a 2-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes. SLSG will open Finals Week against PA Classics without defender Curtis Schillingsford, who was issued a red card in the closing minutes of the team’s Academy Playoffs win against PDA.
Finals Week and Academy Playoffs History: St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri is making its first Finals Week appearance for either age group. SLSG Missouri’s U-15/16 team has been a part of the Academy Playoffs for two straight seasons, while the U-17/18 team qualified for the 2010-11 Academy Playoffs.
2011-12 Regular Season: SLSG Missouri edged out Shattuck-Saint Mary’s for the No. 1 spot in the Frontier Division on the last day of its regular season based on division goal differential (both clubs finished with 27 points). SLSG Missouri earned a 3-0 win against Sporting Kansas City on June 10 to close a two-point gap with Shattuck-Saint Mary’s to end the regular season with a 9-5-0 record in its division.
About head coach Tim Leonard: Leonard has served as SLSG Missouri’s academy director since 2007. The former St. Louis University forward helped his team advance to the NCAA College Cup semifinals in 1997, where he was also named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. He played professionally with the National Professional Soccer League’s St. Louis Ambush, as well as stints with the Hershey Wildcats and Nashville Metros of the USL A-League.
About SLSG Missouri: St. Louis Scott Gallagher’s roots began in the early 1970s with the formation of the Busch Gardens Soccer Club. In early 2007, St. Louis Soccer Club, Scott Gallagher Soccer Club and Metro United Soccer Club combined its talent and efforts and the club is now branded SLSG Missouri and SLSG Metro (Illinois). SLSG has a long line of significant alumni to come through its doors. Defender Tim Ream became the first SLSG alum to play for the Premier League when he signed with Bolton earlier this year. Other alumni include longtime New England Revolution forward Taylor Twellman and former Revs midfielder Steve Ralston, Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens and Academy product Will Bruin of the Houston Dynamo.
Scoring Leader in Academy Playoffs: Nick Jones (2)
Scoring Leader During 2011-12 Regular Season: Tommy Barlow (10)
Inside the Numbers: SLSG Missouri opened the 2011-12 season with an eight-game unbeaten streak (5-0-3) … SLSG Missouri has only one come-from-behind victory this season – the team’s 2-1 win on June 27 against the San Diego Surf in the second match of the Academy Playoffs.
Did you know … Nick Jones, who scored the lone goal during SLSG Missouri’s Finals Week-clinching victory against PDA, has committed to play for Wisconsin in 2013 … Assistant coach Tim Kelly was named Saint Louis University’s first full-time goalkeepers coach in August of 2009.
U-17/18 St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri 2011-12 Finals Week Schedule:
Home team listed first
Tuesday, July 17: PA Classics vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri, 9 p.m. CT
Thursday, July 19: St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri vs. Crew Soccer Academy Wolves, 8 p.m. CT
Saturday, July 21: D.C. United vs. St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri, 9 p.m. CT
Monday, July 23: TBD