Academy Playoffs: U-18s advance to Finals Week
FRISCO, Texas -- The FC Dallas U-18s have once again advanced to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week after posting its third straight shutout at the 2012 Academy Playoffs with a 3-0 win over Chicago-based Sockers FC. Forward Bobby Edet, Homegrown striker Jonathan Top and midfielder Danny Garcia all scored in the group-clinching victory.
The first half was dominated by FC Dallas, who played its trademark possession style. The majority of the action took place in the middle and attacking third for FCD. The pressure produced early scoring chances, as FC Dallas forced a save out of the Sockers goalkeeper in just the seventh minute.
Seconds later, Dallas cracked the right post behind the Sockers goalkeeper, but could not produce a goal until the 29th minute. The play began with a long ball played over the top of the Sockers defense to Top. The forward chipped a header over a defender, to Garcia, who collected the pass just outside the left side of the area. FCD's leading scorer wasted no time ripping a low strike to the far post to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Dallas continued to pressure as the half drew to a close, forcing the goalkeeper to make two more saves on Garcia and Top, respectively. But FCD doubled the lead in first half stoppage time when midfielder Marco Carrizales drove a well-placed ball over the defense down the middle of the pitch that put Top in alone on goal. With the goalkeeper off his line, Top made the most of the chance by chipping his shot over the 'keeper and into the back of the net.
The second half was not quite as favorable for FC Dallas. Sockers FC began to possess the ball more and spend more time in FCD's defensive third of the field.
In the 68th minute, Sockers took a corner kick from the left side that deflected out of the box to the feet of Garcia. The midfielder broke into a fast-paced dribble down the right flank before switching the ball over to captain Mikey Ambrose on the left side just past midfield. With space to run, Ambrose took three touches forward before sending a cross into the box that found Edet in stride breaking into the box. The young striker one-timed the shot past the goalkeeper to seal the win for FC Dallas.
The FC Dallas U-18s now have just over two weeks to prepare for Finals Week in Houston, where the team will once again contend for a national championship. Finals Week is scheduled to take place from July 16 to July 23 with the U-18 and U-16 Championship games to be played on July 22 and July 23, respectively, at the newly built BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston.
FCD - Garcia 29'
FCD - Top 45+'
FCD - Edet 68'
FC Dallas U-18 lineup: Sanchez (Cortes 77'), Ambrose, Guillen, Ashby, Rochowski (Laverde 74'), Carrizales (Ortiz 71'), Acosta, Robledo (Guzman 46'), Garcia (Gallegos 74'), de la Tejera (Portillo 71'), Top (Edet 62').