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Three Goals Put D.C. United into Seventh Place Over Charlotte Soccer Academy in U-15/16 Play

HOUSTON (July 23, 2012) – D.C. United took seventh place in the U-15/16 age group at the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week after winning their last match 3-0 against a spirited Charlotte Soccer Academy side at the Houston Amateur Sports Complex.

Jorge Calix got the scoring started after finishing a rebound from a Christhyan Najar free kick in the first half. Two second half goals by Mike Sauers and Robert Palmer sealed the match against a Charlotte side that never got rolling offensively.

“Overall, this has been an extremely positive experience for the boys,” said Thomas Torres, head coach of D.C. United. “For us to be considered in the top eight in the country from where we were maybe in the middle of the season is a testament to their hard work and the entire staff’s hard work.”

The match did not come alive until well past the quarter hour mark as both teams came out searching to find a rhythm in attacking and conservatively keeping the ball. D.C. captain and midfielder Ian Harkes had the first opportunity when he struck a shot on goal directly at William Pyle in the 19 th minute.

Five minutes later, D.C. grabbed the lead through Calix. A free kick from 25 yards taken by Najar stung the palms of Pyle, who did very well to get across and save. He deflected it up onto the bar only to see the ball loop back into play and fall into the path of Calix to nod in from six yards into the open net.

United would see the lead through to halftime when Charlotte elected to make wholesale changes to the team, making five substitutions at the break.

The pace of the match recovered in the opening stages of the second half, but Charlotte was guilty of allowing D.C. too much space on the flank in the 52 nd minute. The active Abdi Yusuf received the ball on the right with plenty of time to look up and pick out a cross. His ball was too high for the near post run but Sauers was following the play and was able to chest in the ball on the short hop, doubling the D.C. lead.

Fourteen minutes from time, substitute Palmer sealed the match after a favorable bounce gifted him the third and final goal of the contest. He made his way into the box, was stopped trying to get to the endline, and cut back to create space for a left-footed shot. The defender tracked his man well and blocked the initial shot, however, the rebound bounced directly back off of Palmer’s shin and slid past the wrong-footed keeper.

D.C. took seventh place, finishing with a 1-2-1 record at Finals Week. Charlotte went home winless from the event, however, holding a spot in the top eight in the country.

-U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-

Match: Charlotte Soccer Academy vs. D.C. United
July 23, 2012
Competition: 2012 Development Academy Finals Week – U-15/16 Division – Seventh Place Match
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 9 a.m. CT
Attendance: 40
Weather: 82 degrees, humid

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
CHA                          0      0      0
DCU                          1      2      3

DCU – Jorge Calix                                   25th minute
DCU – Mike Sauers (Abdi Yusuf)               52
DCU – Robert Palmer                               66

CHA:  14-William Pyle (1-James Pyle, 41); 33-Jack Miller (29-Corey Michocki, 41), 4-Remi Frost (38-Nathan Marder, 61), 7-Jared Kent, 31-Klint Parker; 22-Jared Odenbeck, 37-Kipp Carriker (35-JT Spath, 41), 34-Tomas Hilliard-Arce, 25-Eddie Iturbide (36-Giovanni Castro, 41), 18-Jordi Poff (5-TK Abderahman 31); 3-Charlie Coulson (30-Hans Honer, 41)
Substitutions Not Used: 41-Nick Gardner
Head Coach: Kevin Langan

DCU: 27-Sergio Reyes (1-Carlos Canas, 41); 2-Abdi Yusuf (3-Josh Golob, 54), 7-Christhyan Najar, 4-Suli Dainkeh, 14-Christian Kershaw; 22-Jimmy Doll, 15-Ian Harkes, 12-Graydon Hester (18-Robert Palmer, 41); 10-Jorge Calix (29-Mike Monahan, 63), 11-Nigel Robinson, 5-Mike Sauers (20-Dolu Oyewole, 56)
Substitutions Not Used: 9-Mike Seaton, 19-Raffi Fagunda
Head Coach: Thomas Torres

Stats Summary: CHA / DCU
Shots: 6 / 3
Shots on Goal: 0 / 5
Saves: 4 / 0
Corner Kicks: 0 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 6
Offside: 4 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
DCU – Christhyan Najar (caution)             36th minute

Referee: Chris Mercado
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Mercado
Assistant Referee 2: Jason White
Fourth Official: Juliana Duncan Man of the Match: Jorge Calix