Following up on two good performances against MLS Kansas City Wizards, Seacoast United U16 and U18 Academy squads took on another MLS Club in the Colorado Rapids on Sunday in US Soccer Development Academy’s Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies. The first game of the day involved the U16’s and just on the stroke of half time, the Colorado side took a 2-1 lead into the break with the last kick of the period. Just moments earlier, SUSC’s Matthew Cooper had got forward from left back scoring a 20 yard strike into the corner of the net, briefly tieing the game. Although disappointed to give up the late goal, the Seacoast lads rallied in the second half, passing the ball better and playing some very attractive soccer. Although Kevin DeSa had a 25 yard effort cannon back off the crossbar, the U16’s kept at it and were rewarded with a penalty in the last 10 minutes after Spencer Palmer was brought down in the box. Stefan Defregger calmly stepped up and stuck the ball neatly into the corner of the goal giving the keeper no chance. With their tails up, SUSC kept up the pressure and after some great play down the left Aaron Smith crossed for a wide open JP White to calmly slot the ball home and hand his team a well deserved 3-2 victory. Commenting on the result, SUSC Executive Director Paul Willis said “While the result is fantastic for the team, the way the boys played in the second half was wonderful to watch. They played with confidence and got their just rewards with the two late goals”.
Immediately after the game, SUSC’s U18 side took on a very talented Colorado Rapids team. The first half was limited to few real chances for either side and included good performances from Cam Baer, Chris George and Trent Roy. The second half was much the same except for the last 20 minutes where the opposition scored three unanswered goals. The first goal was a bit deflating as the ball just crossed the line after an initial spectacular save from in form goalkeeper Glen Martin. Fazal Nabi and Sam White impressed and certainly caught the eye of the many college coaches taking in the Seacoast United games. “While I thought we played well in the first half, we were tiring towards the end and the first goal really proved a game breaker. They have some players who have no doubt caught the eye of their professional side but I still have to be pleased with our overall performance” said SUSC coach and UNH assistant, Ewan Seabrook.
The boys completed their three games with matches against North Carolina’s North Meck United on Monday before returning home. The U16's controlled play and came away with a 2-1 win on goals were scored by Spencer Palmer and Jason Wade. In the U18 match, SUSC lead at the half 1-0 on a goal by Brock Barrett but gave up 2 later in the 2nd half and finished with a 2-1 loss.
In between their first and second games, the Seacoast boys enjoyed a quick visit to Sedona on Saturday and took in sights of the Arizona desert and the region’s famous Red Rock.
The full Academy schedule can be found at : http://www.ussoccer.com/Teams/Development-Academy/Academy.aspx