Texas Side on Hot Streak Heading into its First Finals Week Appearance
Solar Chelsea SC entered its first Development Academy Playoffs as a U-17/18 side on a hot streak, going unbeaten in four straight games. That streak has carried over through the first round of the postseason as Solar Chelsea SC christens its first appearance at the U-17/18 Development Academy Finals Week.
How they got to Finals Week: Solar Chelsea SC rolled through Group 7 of the Development Academy Playoffs, winning all three games, conceding just two goals and scoring nine goals – the second-highest tally at the tournament. The club’s plus-7 goal differential tied FC Dallas for the largest margin of all eight group winners, and Solar Chelsea SC was the only team in its group to finish with a positive goal differential.
Finals Week and Academy Playoffs History: Solar Chelsea SC is making its first appearance at the Development Academy Finals Week, fresh off its first appearance in the Academy Playoffs as a U-17/18 side. Many players from the side were part of the U-15/16 Solar Chelsea SC team that qualified for the Academy Playoffs last year.
2011-12 Regular Season: The team finished in second place in the competitive Texas Division with a 14-6-4 record and a mark of 22-6-6 overall. Solar Chelsea SC scored an impressive 89 goals in 31 regular-season games.
About head coach Kevin Smith: For the past 10 years, Smith has served in various coaching roles within the club and currently serves as Director of Coaching for Solar Chelsea SC. A native of England, Smith began his professional career at the age of 17 with Charlton Athletic and became the youngest player to score a goal for Charlton. After a four-year career with the English side in which he made more than 100 appearances and scored 14 goals from 1979-84, Smith moved to Texas in 1984 to play for the Dallas Sidekicks of the Major Indoor Soccer League. Smith played for the Sidekicks in two stints from 1984-1992 (MISL) and 1995-98 (Continental Indoor Soccer League, Premier Soccer League).
About Solar Chelsea SC: Several high-profile players have come through the ranks at Solar Chelsea SC (formerly known as Dallas Solar Soccer Club), including current New York Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper, who has made 10 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team, and Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor. Alfred Koroma, who played for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, is on Solar Chelsea SC’s current roster.
Scoring Leader in Academy Playoffs: Zachary Mathers (2), Chandler Crosswait (2) and Ryan Condotta (2)
Scoring Leader During 2011-12 Regular Season: Mathers (12)
Inside the Numbers: Combined with the regular season and Academy Playoffs, Solar Chelsea SC’s 98 goals in 34 games is the most by any team in the Development Academy so far this season … Only four teams registered a higher points-per-games-played mark than Solar Chelsea SC (2.12) … Just seven of Solar Chelsea SC’s 28 combined wins and ties came via shutout.
Did you know … Kevin Smith’s No. 10 jersey was retired by the Dallas Sidekicks in 1999. Known by the nickname “Smudger,” Smith became the first Sidekicks field player to serve as an emergency goalkeeper in February of 1990 against the San Diego Sockers.
U-17/18 Solar Chelsea SC 2011-12 Finals Week Schedule:
Home team listed first
Monday, July 16: Solar Chelsea SC vs. Baltimore Bays Chelsea, 9 p.m. CT
Wednesday, July 18: Chivas USA vs. Solar Chelsea SC, 8 p.m. CT
Friday, July 20: FC Dallas vs. Solar Chelsea SC, 9 p.m. CT
Sunday, July 22: TBD