The 2014-15 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Season comes to its conclusion on July 18 at the Glenn “Mooch” Myernick Field at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California. Highlighting Saturday’s fixtures are New York Red Bulls U-15/16 vs. FC Dallas U-15/16 and Real Salt Lake AZ U-17/18 vs. Chicago Fire U-17/18 in the Academy Championship Game. These games will be streamed live on ussoccer.com at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. PT, respectively.
U15/16 Championship: New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas
Following in the footsteps of the 2011-12 U-15/16 Development Academy Champions, the 98/99’s of the Red Bulls will look to repeat success and hoist the Championship Trophy by defeating a very strong and in-form FC Dallas U-15/16 squad. Red Bulls top goalscorer Brian Saramago scored 31 goals in 27 games started this season and will look to continue his incredible scoring tally. Both Saramago and Red Bulls defender Mason Deeds were named to the 2014-15 East Conference Starting XI. RBNY are currently on a 13-game winning streak.
The Red Bulls claimed a 2-1 victory over Georgia United in the Academy Semifinals on Thursday which turned out to be a thrilling affair from the first whistle. The New York side scored early with Brian Saramago scoring in the 4th minute and Noah Powder scoring what was to become the game-winner four minutes later. The 2-0 scoreline didn’t hold long though with East Conference Starting XI player Patrick Okonkwo scoring his 33rd goal of this campaign in the 11th minute. Although both sides created ample scoring opportunities, neither side was able to add to its tallies.
FC Dallas are led by 2014-15 Development Academy Central Conference Player of the Year and Starting XI player Devin Vega, and Central Conference Starting XI players Ben Hale, Reggie Cannon, Weston McKennie. The dynamic FC Dallas offense features three goalscorers with 18 or more goals on the season; Devin Vega (21), Giovanni Montesdoeca (20), and Toshiki Yasuda (18). FC Dallas are on a 7-game winning streak; not allowing a single-goal and going 22-0 in that time.
The Texas side controlled the tempo of the semifinal game and defeated the Union by three goals. The first goal was in the 14th minute, scored by FC Dallas’ Adrian Ramos with a fierce shot from outside the box. FC Dallas continued to push forward and were rewarded a minute before halftime as Toshiki Yasuda consolidated their lead with his 17th goal of the season. The victory was assured when standout Weston McKennie scored the third of the match in the 61st minute. FC Dallas move onto the final against the New York Red Bulls with a fantastic post-season offensive record, outscoring their opponents 15-1.
U17/18 Championship: Real Salt Lake AZ vs. Chicago Fire
In the U17/18 age group, Real Salt Lake AZ will face Chicago Fire in the second all-MLS Championship contest of the day. Real Salt Lake AZ took care of business in the semifinals, dispatching fellow West Conference foe San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Thursday. San Jose went into this game looking to avenge a regular season 3-0 loss to RSL AZ, but this semifinal played out in a similar vein to the first matchup. Real Salt Lake had the better of possession – and the score line – with Amar Sejdic scoring in both games.
Chicago Fire’s extra-time victory over Montreal Impact proved to be a fiery affair as their workmanlike approach overcame a pacy Impact side 4-2. The Fire thought they were on their way to victory after a 79th minute goal from midfielder Djordje Mihalovic made it 2-1, only for the Montreal Impact to score a late equalizer. In extra-time the Fire seized their opportunities and pulled away with a two-goal cushion. The Impact were awarded a penalty in the second half of extra-time, but a strong save from Fire goalkeeper Sawyer Jackman thwarted another late comeback from Montreal.
The Championship game will feature six nationally recognized players with Danilo Acosta (RSL AZ), Cameron Lindley (Fire), Djordje Mihalovic (Fire), Mauricio Pineda (Fire), and Diego Silva (RSL AZ) all named to their respective conference’s Starting XI. Additionally, Jose Hernandez from Real Salt Lake AZ was named West Conference Player of the Year in the U-17/18 age group. This star-studded final will start at 7:30pm PT, and will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.
U15/16 and U17/18 Third Place Matches
Playing in the U-15/16 Academy Championship third place game will be the Philadelphia Union and Georgia United, and in the U17/18 game will be Montréal Impact and San Jose Earthquakes. Both games will kick off at 10 a.m. PT. Live coverage can be found on Twitter @ussoccer_acad.