07 Jul Game Preview: U-17s face Seattle Sounders FC in USSDA Championship Semifinal
Game Preview: U-17s face Seattle Sounders in USSDA Championship Semifinal
July 7, 2018
Barca Residency Academy will look to take one step closer to capturing the 2018 USSDA U-16/17 Academy Playoff Championship trophy in their inaugural season when they face Seattle Sounders FC in the semifinal tomorrow at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri at 1:30pm CT / 11:30am PT.
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH:
For the first time in its 11-year history, the Academy Championships will take place at Swope Soccer Village, the home training ground of Sporting Kansas City’s Academy programs and USL team.
Fans can tune into games live on ussoccerda.com, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Facebook page, the U.S. Soccer YouTube Channel and follow along through the Barca Residency Academy Twitter and Instagram accounts (@BarcaAcademyAZ) for live updates.
Previous matches: Although in the same conference, Barca Residency Academy and Seattle Sounders FC have only met once this season. The teams kicked off the 2018 USSDA season against each other on September 2, 2018 at Grande Sports World – Home of Barca Residency Academy.
The match was an exciting, end-to-end affair that resulted in a 5-4 loss for Barca Residency Academy in their first ever match.
A young Barca team opened scoring on that day courtesy of a goal by Jake LaCava in the 7th minute. Sounders FC drew level just four minutes later and went on to score two additional goals in the 35th minute.
Barca grabbed a goal in the 43rd minute by way of Roberto Molina but Sounders FC re-extended their lead at the brink of halftime to take a 4-2 lead into the interval.
Barca came flying out of the gates in the second half, drawing level once again with two scores in the first 30 minutes, LaCava for a brace in the 61st and Cameron Fisher in the 71st.
The match came to it’s final minute in what seemed would end in a well fought draw but a controversial foul call against a Barca player in the 90th minute changed the outcome of the match. Sounders FC converted the penalty kick with seconds left in the match and defeated Barca Residency Academy 5-4.
The teams thus far:
Barca Residency Academy
Regular season: No surprise for any Academy in it’s inaugural season, Barca Residency Academy has their highs and lows in the beginning of the season. They were 2W-6L-2D in their first 10 matches before finding their rhythm. They went undefeated for an eight game stretch that began in November before falling 1-2 to Real Salt Lake Academy on March 3rd. Barca Residency Academy only suffered three additional losses after that match and finished the regular season with a record of 19W-10L-3D. Their goal difference was +29, scoring 79 goals and conceding 50.
Playoffs: Entering in the #1 wildcard position, Barca Residency Academy has been brilliant in the playoffs. They shut out Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-0) and Philadelphia Union (2-0) before beating Orlando City SC (4-3) in the group stage. They then knocked off #3 nationally ranked New York Red Bulls (3-1) in the quarterfinals.
Seattle Sounders FC
Regular season: Seattle Sounders FC was very dominant in the regular season, finishing first in the Northwest Division and second in the overall playoff rankings. They had a record of 27W-3L-3D with a +81 goal difference (115 scored, 34 conceded).
Playoffs: The Seattle cruised through the group stage of playoffs by outscoring Concorde Fire, Sporting Kansas City and Pateadores 15-3 before knocking out Crew SC Academy 3-1 in the quarterfinals.
The match ahead:
J.R. Eskilson of TopDrawerSoccer calls first year academy – Barca Residency Academy “the spunky underdog of the games in Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City” this week. He also names this match up the best match to watch on tomorrow of the four semifinal matches (U-16/17 and U-18/19) as both teams play beautiful soccer.
Sounders FC are remarkably efficient in the attacking third with their one-touch style of play and though an underdog – Barca Residency Academy has been no pushover throughout the playoffs as they look to control the ball and dictate the game. This will be a fascinating battle to see. The winner of this match will be a favorite in the championship that will be played Tuesday, July 10 at 4:00pm versus the winner of the other semifinal between Atlanta United FC and Montreal Impact FC.
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