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D.C. United Wins Group 2 With 5-1 Victory Against PDA

CARSON, Calif. (July 14, 2009) – On the final day of U-17/18 competition, group 2 was still open for three teams to win. Despite being third in the group at the beginning of the day, D.C. United overcame PDA, Real Colorado, and long odds to end up on top, catapulting them into the U-17/18 championship match at Development Academy Finals Week. With four unanswered goals in the second half, D.C. United defeated PDA 5-1 and will now face Carmel United SC for the U-17/18 national championship.

Needing a win and a Real Colorado loss at the beginning of the day, D.C. United came out optimistic and aggressive—knowing they could only control their game and leaving the rest up to chance. Their first good chance of the game came at the 15 minute mark on their first corner. Taken well by Michael Funes, the inswinger seemed destined for a head until PDA goalkeeper William Smith punched it out.

One minute later, PDA had their best chance of the first half on a counter attack. Bringing the ball up the left side, Jeffrey Eisenbud found a wide open Ryan Finley six yards out from goal. Making great contact, the striker put the forceful header just wide of the near post.

D.C. United drew first blood in the 27th minute, as Michael Funes ran onto a through ball and tapped the ball around Smith. Reaching out, Smith tripped Funes, giving D.C. United a penalty in the box. Funes stepped up to take his own kick, and beat Smith to the bottom right hand corner for a 1-0 lead.

Opening the second half, PDA came out aggressive, as they also could have advanced with a win and a little help from CASL Chelsea Academy FC. It didn’t take long for them to draw even. With a handball in the box, the D.C. United defense returned the first half favor and gave PDA a penalty kick. Defender Hunter Gorskie placed his shot into the upper right corner with confidence to tie the game at 1.

But what looked like a tight, pressure packed match soon dissolved into a blowout as the PDA defense collapsed. Taking back the lead only four minutes after PDA’s goal and only three minutes after coming into the game, Christopher Hegngi dribbled into the box from the left, around two defenders, and beat Smith to the near post.

In the 64th, D.C. really put the game away, with a second goal by Funes. Standing unmarked in front of the goal, a cross from the right found his feet for the easy tap-in. Two minutes later, a shot from Jossimer Sanchez hit the post lightly, but poor clearing from PDA allowed Hegngi to put in the rebound, stretching the lead to 4-1.

D.C. United scored one more in the 72nd minute from the feet of Andy Najar, but the match had been decided much earlier. Finding out that CASL Chelsea Academy FC had defeated Real Colorado 2-0, the Washington, D.C. club celebrated calmly. They’ll face group 1 winners Carmel United SC in the U-17/18 Development Academy championship match on Thursday, July 16 at 7 pm PT, broadcast live on ESPN Classic.

Match: U-17/18 D.C. United vs PDA
Date: July 14, 2009
Competition: Development Academy Finals Week; Group 2
Venue: The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Weather: 78 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
DCU                           1 4 5
PDA                            0 1 1

DCU – Michael Funes                          27th minute
PDA – Hunter Gorskie                          46
DCU – Christopher Hegngi                 50
DCU – Michael Funes                          64
DCU – Christopher Hegngi                 66
DCU – Andy Najar                                 72

DCU: 1-Abdul Hamid; 26-Alex Herrera (21-Ryan Runion, 70), 6-Ethan White, 12-Kevin McBride, 3-Nicky Yin; 22-Michael Funes (17-Sam Bradley, 71), 33-Julio Arjona (11-William Bioh, 83), 10-Paul Torres, 20-Michael Burgos (19-Chris Perez, 75); 15-Andy Najar (34-John Ciampa, 81), 8-Shane Cook (9-Christopher Hegngi, 47)

PDA: 0-William Smith; 10-Matthew Pesci, 24-Bonny Londono (14-Christopher Medina, 73), 18-Hunter Gorskie, 11-Ryan Whalen; 9-Jeffrey Eisenbud (2-Vincent McEnroe, 60), 4-Kyle McCarthy (25-Scott Keogh, 73), 21-Jossimer Sanchez (3-Jordan Beckett, 73), 16-Alex Bramall (22-Anthony Ciccone, 56); 7-Ryan Finley, 20-Dylan Renna

Stats Summary: DCU / PDA
Shots: 20 / 8
Shots on Goal: 12 / 5
Saves: 4 / 7
Corner Kicks: 2 / 0
Fouls: 17 / 16
Offside: 3 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
DCU – Alex Herrera (caution) 5th minute
PDA – Jeffrey Eisenbud (caution) 19
DCU – Kevin McBride (caution) 22
PDA – William Smith (caution) 27
PDA – Ryan Finley (caution) 48
DCU – Michael Funes (caution) 52
PDA – #10 (caution) 69