HOUSTON (July 23, 2012) – Substitute goalkeeper Robbie Beckwell made two saves in the penalty shootout to lead Crew Soccer Academy Wolves to a 6-5 win against the Chicago Fire and third place in the U-15/16 Division at Development Academy Finals Week in Houston. A 78th-minute goal by Kosti Moni put the score even at 1-1 after regulation, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.
Louie Zingas wrong-footed goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santos in the eighth round of penalties after both teams were denied twice through the first five attempts.
“You have to give the kids a lot of credit,” said CSA Wolves head coach Lars Richters. “Today we knew they were a very, very good team. In the second part of the second half, I thought we dominated the game and the goal was fair. It may be the most important thing for a player – in terms of their development – to have this kind of experience and be able to perform when you have to. It’s fantastic.”
Chicago opened the game seizing the initiative and putting Wolves under consistent pressure. They created a glorious chance in the 18th minute when Martin Alba blazed in behind the back line down the left side. As the defenders recovered, he used a little shake-and-bake to free up space and hit a cross that Chris Henoc fired past the goalkeeper, only to see the effort blocked off the line.
From there the game got a little more life from both sides, and three minutes later the Fire were knocking on the door again. A determined tackle by Kevin Goon won the ball from Wolves midfielder Blake Townes, sparking a quick attack by Anthony Jeffries. He took two touches and unleashed a low drive that forced a diving save from Grant Mattia.
Just before the half hour, CSA Wolves got a good look when Hunter Barone parlayed a nice individual effort into a one-on-one with Fire goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santa, who closed the angle well and blocked the goal-bound shot.
It seemed a matter of time before Chicago broke through, and in the 39th minute the go-ahead goal came off the foot of Brian Wercheck. On another quick transition, Werchek was off to the races down the left flank and coolly slotted home a shot to the far post to give Fire a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
As the second half matured, CSA Wolves began to impose themselves on the game. Yet it was the Fire again who found a great chance, with second-half subs Marcus Epps and Jeff Farina nearly making an immediate impact. Epps flicked a nifty pass into Farina, who took a set-up touch and tried for the far post only to see his bender curl wide.
Moni almost found joy in the 71st minute, picking the center back’s pocket and going in alone on goal. His point-blank shot was denied by Dal Santo, but Moni’s luck would change two minutes before the final whistle when he towered over his mark on a restart and headed home, sending the game into penalties.
Wolves inserted backup goalkeeper Beckwell just before the end of regulation time, and without a warmup he managed to turn aside two Chicago penalties.
-U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-
Match: Crew Soccer Academy vs. Chicago Fire Academy
Date: July 23, 2012
Competition: Development Academy Finals Week – U-15/16 Division
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park
Kickoff: 10 a.m. CT
Weather: 85 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
CSAW 0 1 1
FIRE 1 0 1
FIRE – Brian Werchek 39th minute
CSAW – Kosti Moni 78
CSAW: Harris (goal), Brown (goal), Morris (goal), Moni (saved), Jacobs (saved), Winkler (goal), Fiscus (goal), Zingas (goal)
FIRE: Epps (goal), Majchrowicz (saved), Farina (goal) , Seymour (saved), Giovine (goal), Lillard (goal), Fernandez (goal), James Myall (saved)
CSA Wolves wins 6-5 on PKs
CSAW: 0-Grant Mattia (1-Robbie Beckwell, 80+1); 24-Louie Zingas, 3-Jimmy Fiscus, 4-Matt Habrowski, 6-Andre Morris; 18-Ollie Harris, 10-Sam Brown; 11-Ali Cheaib (22-Brent Winkler, 61), 7-Blake Townes (5-Tristan Jacob, 41), 21-Zack Atwood (9-Ali Jawad, 18; 19-Kosti Moni, 59); 17-Hunter Barone (2-Chase Pagani, 41)
Substitutions Not Used: None
Head Coach: Lars Richters
FIRE: 93-Kyle Dal Santo; 59-Kevin Goon (62-Mike Jimenez, 41), 66-James Myall, 64-Grant Lillard, 65-John Moderwell; 52-Martin Alba, 67-Shannon Seymour, 61-Anthony Jeffries (57-Collin Fernandez, 41); 71-Brian Werchek (69-Alex Underwood, 80 +1), 68-Anthony Smith (56-Jeff Farina, 61), 60-Chris Henoc (55-Marcus Epps, 56)
Substitutions Not Used: 58-Luca Giovine, 92-Joe Majchrowicz
Head Coach: Larry Sunderland
Stats Summary: CSAW / FIRE
Shots: 2 / 10
Shots on Goal: 1 / 9
Saves: 6 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 5
Offside: 1 / 2
Referee: Cedric Adams
Assistant Referee 1: Jeffrey Greeson
Assistant Referee 2: Ray Moffatte, Jr.
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Robbie Beckwell