Playing close to home for the 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase in Lakewood Ranch, several Florida-based sides had a good showing in the U-18 age division.
With three highly competitive games at the Winter Showcase, Orlando City stepped up with a 3-0-0 record to improve to 6-5-2 on the season. Orlando City earned wins against the Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA and Sockers FC. The opening win against the Colorado Rapids included a rally from two deficits, with Jaiden Fortune scoring the winner in the closing minutes.
Nearby IMG Academy was in need of a jumpstart entering the Winter Showcase with one victory. IMG took a step in the right direction with a 2-0-1 showing. IMG earned 1-0 victories against the Minnesota Thunder Academy and San Juan Soccer Club and ended the event with a 1-1 draw against Arsenal FC.
Southern Florida side Kendall SC, the frontrunner in the Southeast Division, won two of its three games at the Winter Showcase, defeating Real So Cal and Oakwood Soccer Club.
Elsewhere, Real Salt Lake AZ improved to 11-1-3 on the season, thanks to a three-win stretch. Real Salt Lake opened with a victory against FC Dallas, followed by shutout wins against the Philadelphia Union and Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL.
The Houston Dynamo U-18s had three big victories, earning shutout wins against the LA Galaxy and Carolina Rapids, followed by a 3-2 win against the New York Red Bulls. In the latter match, Christian Lucatero scored the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute, and the defense held strong for the next 34 minutes. The Dynamo is 8-1-1 this season, in first place in the Frontier Division. The Red Bulls dropped their first match of the season.