D.C. United’s U-18 Academy team picked up their first loss of the USSDA season against Pennsylvania Classics on Saturday by a score of 4-2.
PA Classics scored twice in the opening five minutes to put United in a hole early. The Classics added a third goal just before halftime to take a 3-0 lead at the break. Despite an attempt to battle back in the second half, United could only pull back two late goals in an eventual 4-2 defeat. United’s goals came from Chike Nwaezeapu (Washington D.C./Maret School) in the 80th minute and Denis Najar, brother of first team defender and academy system product Andy Najar (Alexandria, Va.) in the 85th minute.
"It is a disappointing result,” said Nolan Sheldon, head coach of D.C. United’s U-18 Academy team. “We looked naïve in the opening minutes of the match against a team that we know quite well and respect. PA Classics are a very well-organized team, with some very dangerous players. To their credit, they started the match with the right intensity, we didn't."
The U-18 squad returns to action this weekend with a USSDA match against McLean Youth Soccer Academy on Saturday morning at Long Bridge Park and a friendly match against Philadelphia Union Academy team on Sunday.
D.C. United’s U-16 Academy team improved to 3-0 on the season following a resounding 5-0 win over PA Classics on Saturday afternoon.
After a lot of back and forth between the two teams during the opening 15 minutes of the match, D.C. United began to defend as a unit and were able to get into a rhythm. United’s composed, group effort was rewarded after Gerson Umana (Lorton, Va.) put away the first goal of the match after a quality combination and a through ball from Christophe Koffi (Potomac, Md). Umana was just getting started, as he finished the day having a hand in each of United’s five goals, tallying three goals and two assists. “Gerson had a great match and really showed his quality,” said Tom Torres, head coach of D.C. United’s U-16 Academy team. “Being on the younger side of the 15/16s, he's showing maturity well beyond his age. If he keeps his work rate high and stays humble, it will be fun to watch his progression.”
Julian Cummings (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford HS) and Graydon Hester (Middleburg, Va.) were the other goal scorers of the match, each recording their first goal of the season. Noah Pilato (Oak Hill, Va.) notched an assist on Umana’s second goal of the day. “It was a solid effort from every position,” added Torres. “The score did not reflect the quality both clubs showed for the first 20 minutes. We had some great individual performances, which led to a really strong group effort. We finished a high percentage of our chances, which is all we could ask the boys to do.”
The U-16 squad returns to action this weekend with a match against McLean Youth Soccer Academy on Saturday afternoon at Long Bridge Park.