Finals Week Day 7 Notes
ONE GOAL CHANGES EVERYTHING: Thursday night saw exciting finishes in the U-17/18 age group at Development Academy Finals Week, with just one goal separating first and second place in both groups. Vardar and Crossfire Premier will meet in the Finals Week championship match on Saturday, July 18, at 7 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
In Group 1, Vardar and Real So Cal, playing simultaneously on adjacent fields, exchanged goals in a pair of wild games that came down to the wire. At halftime, Real So Cal needed a goal to clinch the group, but Vardar quickly scored and forced Real So Cal to score two to stay ahead of the Michigan club in the standings. The local team was up to the task, and went ahead 5-1 in the 76th minute, seemingly sealing a place in the final. But Vardar answered back with a goal in the second minute of added time to go ahead 3-0 and take the top place in Group 1.
Group 2 also featured late goals and surprise endings, as FC Dallas started the day in first place in their group, but finished in third place after a thriller that saw CASL FC Chelsea take the lead twice before scoring the game-winning goal with 10 men in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Though that goal gave CASL six points on the week, on the next field over, Crossfire Premier scored a 90th minute goal of their own to make it 2-0 and gave them the goal differential tiebreaker.
U-17/18 Placement Matchups
|7th Place Game||Concorde Fire vs. Derby County Wolves||1 p.m.||Field 2|
|5th Place Game||Baltimore Bays Chelsea FC vs. FC Dallas||3 p.m.||Field 3|
|3rd Place Game||Real So Cal vs. CASL Chelsea FC||5 p.m.||Field 2|
|1st Place Game||Vardar vs. Crossfire Premier||7 p.m.||Field 1|
Final U-17/18 Group 1 Standings
Final U-17/18 Group 2 Standings
Complete U-17/18 Results and Standings
A LOOK AT THE U-15/16 PAIRINGS: The younger age group will wrap up their Finals Week with four placement matches on Friday evening. The day will start with CASL FC Chelsea taking on D.C. United and conclude with the championship game, slated for 7 p.m. PT on the Glenn â€œMoochâ€ Myernick Field at The Home Depot Center.
U-15/16 Placement Games Schedule
|7th Place Game||CASL Chelsea FC vs. D.C. United||1 p.m.||Field 2|
|5th Place Game||Internationals vs. Sockers FC||3 p.m.||Field 3|
|3rd Place Game||Baltimore Bays Chelsea vs. DeAnza Force||5 p.m.||Field 2|
|1st Place Game||Cal Odyssey vs Chicago Fire||7 p.m.||Field 1|
Full U-15/16 Results and Standings
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Chicago Fire came through a tough Frontier Division and a competitive Playoff group to reach Finals Week, and continued their streak of impressive play at The Home Depot Center. In Carson, the Fire bested local rival Sockers FC 2-1 to take control of Group 1. On Monday evening, Larry Sunderlandâ€™s club topped D.C. United 2-0, and with Sockers FC and Baltimore Bays Chelsea playing to a tie, the Fire were assured of a place in the championship game.
Chicago Fire Finals Week Results
|Date||Opponent||Result||Chicago Fire Goalscorer(s)|
|July 10||Sockers FC||2-1 W||Pineda, Albert|
|July 12||D.C. United||2-0 W||L. Medina, J. Medina|
|July 14||DeAnza Force||0-2 L||--|
THEY SAID IT: â€œWeâ€™ve had our ups and downs but weâ€™ve come through and started to play well when it matters. We support each other on and off the field. Weâ€™re like a family, so we play well together.â€ â€“ Peter Beasley, Chicago Fire Captain
Last yearâ€™s runners up Cal Odyssey returned six players to the 2010 squad, and will be looking to build on its championship experience Friday night. JJ Wozniakâ€™s team opened Finals Week with a 4-2 victory against CASL Chelsea FC behind two goals from team captain Villyan Bijev. Two days later, the Oxnard, Calif.-side overcame a 1-0 deficit to clinch the top place in Group 2 with a 2-1 win and aÂ game to spare.
Cal Odyssey Finals Week Results
|Date||Opponent||Result||Cal Odyssey Goalscorer(s)|
|July 10||CASL Chelsea FC||4-2 W||Bijev (2), Rodarte, Flores|
|July 12||Internationals||2-1 W||Antognolli, Flores|
|July 14||Baltimore Bays Chelsea||0-2 L||--|
THEY SAID IT: â€œItâ€™s not going to be easy, but we just have to go out and play hard. I still donâ€™t think weâ€™ve played our best game yet, but weâ€™ll get there. We have to play hard and stay focused and do what we do.â€ â€“Daniel Flores, Cal Odyssey Forward
SEASON FINALE: The Development Academy playoff system was created to add to the number of meaningful games for Academy athletes, further enhancing the player development process. Since its launch in the fall of 2007, the Academy has improved the training environment, provided relevant, high-level matches on a consistent basis, increased the level and efficiency of scouting for the national teams and provided players, coaches and referees with structured programming.