HOUSTON (July 16, 2012) – De Anza Force and Colorado Rapids Academy dueled to a 2-2 draw to open play in Group 1 of the U-17/18 age division at the 2011-12 Development Academy Finals Week in Houston. Goals from Josue Chavez and Alex Braman twice gave Colorado the lead, and twice De Anza Force erased deficits to earn a share of the spoils at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
In the other Group 1 match, Vancouver Whitecaps FC earned a convincing 4-1 win against North Carolina Fusion to grab the top spot in the group.
High pace and pressure characterized the approach from both sides to open the game, as each looked to establish possession and rhythm. As the game settled, it was the Rapids who developed some nice combination play through the midfield, and at times finding striker Idi Camara up high to receive and pass. After a quarter hour, the Rapids started imposing themselves and found the opening goal four minutes later.
A quick change on the point of attack led to an advantage followed by a series of precision passes as Karsten Hanlin found Chavez about 15 yards from goal. Fending off his mark, Chavez curled a shot into the far side netting.
Struggling to keep possession against an organized squad, De Anza was able to relieve some pressure by finding some fortune on quick counters. Still, it was Colorado that kept a hold of the play in the first half, and in the 38th minute Camara had a brilliant chance to double the lead. Breaking in alone on goal, he had only goalkeeper Paul Blanchette to beat, but the Blanchette stood strong as Camara tried to slip a shot past him.
De Anza picked up the pressure in the last five minutes, sending several searching balls into the area, but they couldn’t connect on a final pass and they entered the interval down a goal.
The second half had barely begun before the score was leveled. In the 48th minute, a poor clearance led to a loose ball across the box, and Travis Pillon pounced on the opportunity and slammed home the tying goal.
That strike ignited both clubs and pace picked up considerably. Greg Senger, who entered as a second-half sub for De Anza, nearly got a dream start when his header from six yards bounced wide. A minute later, Ryan Masch got a look from 15 yards out, but his effort skidded past the post.
Needing a boost, the Rapids got a huge lift in the 56th minute when they snatched the lead again. A corner kick was only partially cleared, and Ricardo Perez delivered a probing ball to the back post where Ben Braman won the challenge and powered home a header.
The Rapids approach mellowed a bit as they tried to maintain possession and hold the lead. As in the first half, De Anza lacked patience in building their attack, but with 20 minutes to play they summoned another burst of energy in the push to find the equalizer and their efforts were rewarded 10 minutes from time.
Rapids defender Isaac Martinez appeared to be in perfect position to clear a shot off the line that had beaten goalkeeper Brad Holub, but his attempt to chest the ball took an unfortunate bounce that ended up in his own goal.
Despite the possession disadvantage, De Anza finished with an 11-7 lead in shots. They kept up the pressure in search of the game winner, but neither team created any serious threats in the waning moments. The Rapids had one final look with a free kick placed just outside the area, but the wall stood firm.
-2011-12 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-
De Anza Force vs. Colorado Rapids
Date: July 16, 2012
Competition: 2012 Development Academy Finals Week – U-17/18
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Weather: 81 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
DAF 0 2 2
RAP 1 1 2
RAP – Josue Chavez 19th minute
DAF – Travis Pillon 48
RAP – Alex Braman (Ricardo Perez) 56
DAF – own goal (Isaac Martinez) 80
DAF: 1-Paul Blanchette, 2-Alfie Edmonds, 19-Alejandro Gaeta (7-Matt Escobar,46), 25-Mike Amick, 15-Thomas Janjigian; 11-Max Ornstil, 21-Ryan Masch, 66-Skyler Felt (77-Jason Romero, 46); 6-Travis Pillon, 8-Dylan Autran (20-Greg Senger, 46), 10-Kody Wasaka
Substitutions Not Used: 0-Cameron McElfresh, 17-Edson Cordona, 23-Colby Trah,36-Luc Brubaker
Head coach: Eric Yamamoto
18-Brad Holub; 4-Ben Braman, 3-Alex Braman, 7-Chris Gurule, 42-Isaac Martinez; 2-Avery Ball, 12-Shane O’Neill, 46-Ricardo Perez; 8-Karsten Hanlin, 9-Idi
Camara, 10-Josue Chavez (14-Jorde Lopez, 82)
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Jason Prichard, 19-Daniel Nevarez, 20-David Pardo, 25-Cameron Taycon, 31-Andrew Epstein
Head coach: Brian Crookham
Stats Summary: DAF / RAP
Shots: 11 / 7
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 15 / 14
Offside: 3 / 1
RAP – Shane O’Neill (caution) 85th minute
RAP - Idi Camara (caution) 94+
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referee 1: Eduardo Mariscal
Assistant Referee 2: Danny Thornberry
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Ricardo Perez