FRISCO, Texas - The FC Dallas U-19 Boys Academy advanced to the quarterfinals of the MLS NEXT playoffs with a 1-0 win over Maryland's Bethesda SC Monday night at Toyota Soccer Center.
"We knew going in that they're going to be direct, they're gonna make it difficult," said U-19s head coach John Gall. "They didn't try try and play much football but in all fairness to them they had a system and they stuck to it and they didn't budge. We struggled a little bit dealing with the direct ball, but we got the goal we needed and managed to hold on at the end. Again, a little bit of a transitional game that we don't really need to be in. But at the end of the day it's the playoffs and you have to win the game if you want to get to the next round."
Will Baker had FC Dallas’ first chance of the game in the 12th minute when he connected with Diego Hernandez’s corner but his header was parried away. Bethesda created more chances over the first half hour, but Dallas found the opener against the run of play when Tarik Scott rounded the goalkeeper and slid it into the empty net in the 42nd minute.
"(When) Tarik gets a chance in the game, he's gonna put the ball in the back of the net," Gall said. "So in all fairness to him, he worked really hard in the game and he got the goal and won it."
Ty Reynolds, younger brother of former FCD Homegrown Bryan Reynolds, nearly drew a penalty at the hour mark when he drove into the box from his right back spot and was tripped but the referee pointed for a corner kick. Bethesda thought they had the equalizer five minutes later when a low cross was tapped in from close range but the assistant referee immediately signaled for offside. Undeterred, the Maryland-based club created another golden opportunity but goalkeeper Aaron Salinas was quick off his line to smother the chance. Dallas survived another nervy moment in the 68th minute when a free kick fell kindly to Bethesda in the box the first-time volley clipped the top of Salinas’ crossbar and sailed over.
Scott had a chance to seal the victory with a late tap in at the back post but the Bethesda keeper made an outstanding save to deny him from close range. Regardless, Gall's team was able to close the game out to move on to the quarterfinals where they'll face either Wake FC on Wednesday, June 29 at 11AM on Field 5 at Toyota Soccer Center.