CARSON, California (July 19, 2014) – The LA Galaxy had the opportunity to celebrate on its home field Saturday afternoon after beating defending champion Real Salt Lake AZ 2-0 in the 2013-14 Development Academy U-15/16 Championship at StubHub Center.
The team’s leading scorer, Dylan Smith, tallied his 19th goal of the season in the 28th minute to open the scoring for the Galaxy, a goal that would end up being the game-winner.
With the victory, the LA Galaxy won its second national title at this U-15/16 age group. The other national crown came during the 2010-11 Development Academy Finals when the Galaxy defeated PA Classics.
On Saturday, the Galaxy got on the score sheet in the first half when Alex Ramos took an initial shot that hit the left upright and ricocheted directly to Smith’s feet right in front of the goal. Smith took just one touch to hammer it home and give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.
After multiple chances by both teams, the Galaxy added an insurance goal in the 52nd minute. Forward Ethan Zubak took a shot that forced a diving save by Real Salt Lake AZ keeper Christian Herrera, deflecting the ball out of bounds. On the ensuing corner kick, BJ O’Hara got the initial touch after Rey Ortiz’s cross, heading the ball to Juan Orozco who corralled and shot from just right of the penalty area to extend the lead to 2-0.
Real Salt Lake AZ pushed to get back into the game, but the Galaxy defense was up to the task and thwarted every chance RSL AZ had. Goalkeeper Bennett Sneddon ended the game with six saves to earn the clean sheet.
From the onset, both teams had quality looks. The Galaxy put pressure on RSL AZ in the 11th minute when Adrian Vera got loose up the seam with a head of steam. Defender Miles Stray cut him off just in time, leading to a corner kick for the Galaxy.
Danilo Acosta forced the issue for RSL AZ in the 16th minute, playing a cross into traffic in front of the Galaxy goal and leading to a corner for RSL AZ. A couple of chances materialized, but the Galaxy defense cleared the ball to end the threat.
RSL AZ pressured again in the 25th minute with a free kick into the box and then a corner kick, but the Galaxy defense won each of those set piece opportunities.
Down 1-0, RSL continued to pressure, producing a quality look in the 34th minute as Evan Waldrep found Josh Doughty on the left side just inside the box. His left-footed shot was handled by Sneddon.
The Galaxy almost extended the lead in the 50th minute, as Ethan Zubak shot from the left side and forced a diving save to RSL goalkeeper’s right. The Galaxy threatened again in the 56th minute, as Zubak put a header on frame from a Galaxy corner.
RSL AZ had another chance in the 72nd minute when Sebastian Saucedo found himself open on the left flank. He passed to the middle and connected with Doughty. He shot to his left, forcing a diving save from Sneddon and leading to a corner kick. Tate Schmitt had a chance on the corner, heading the ball just over the crossbar.
-U-15/16 Development Academy Championship Match Report-
Match: Real Salt Lake AZ vs. LA Galaxy
Date: July 19, 2014
Competition: 2013-14 Development Academy Championships
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Weather: Partly cloudy, 76 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake AZ 0 0 0
LA Galaxy 1 1 2
LAG – Dylan Smith 28th minute
LAG – Juan Orozco (BJ O’Hara) 52
RSL: 79-Christian Herrera; 31-Christian Hererra, 15-Miles Stray, 35-Justen Glad, 11-Diego Silva; 8-Adolfo Ovalle (Tate Schmitt, 52), 17-Danilo Acosta, 7-Evan Waldrep (Alexander Knox, 61), 12-Gavino Carranza; 9-Josh Doughty, 10-Sebastian Saucedo
Head Coach: Martin Vazquez
LAG: 12-Bennett Sneddon; 2-Michael Lopez, 17-BJ O’Hara, 3-Malcolm Jones, 6-Christian Segovia; 31-Rey Ortiz, 8-Juan Orozco (25-Andrew Perez, 69), 6-Christian Segovia, 7-Adrian Vera; 10-Ethan Zubak (22-Jorge Ruiz, 69), 27-Dylan Smith
Head Coach: Michael Munoz
Stats Summary: RSL / LAG
Shots: 10 / 8
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 8 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 18
Offside: 0 / 1
LAG – Juan Orozco (caution) 32nd minute
LAG – Dylan Smith (caution) 50
RSL – Josh Doughty (caution) 58
Referee: Randall Kelley
Assistant Referee: Koffi Agbossou
Assistant Referee: Alicia Messer
Fourth Official: Joseph Brice