Moon to McCrary on the Mark as U16s Earn 2-1 Road Victory over Magic; U18s Fall 0-3 After Risking All in Attempt to Earn a 1-1 Draw
Chicago, IL- FC Milwaukee's USSDA U16 boys continued to demonstrate forward movement along the developmental path by defeating Mid America Division rival Chicago Magic 2-1 on Sunday, September 30th at College of Dupage Stadium. The team's record entering their bye week (last weekend) stands at 3-1-1 in the nation's most rigorously competitive and developmentally focused league.
Head Coach Phil Presser was pleased with his team's defensive pressing and transition from defense to attack executed throughout the match. "I was proud that our boys were able to move the ball quickly once gaining possession from a turnover which enabled the midfield to consistently start attacking actions closer to goal," said Presser.
Fellow forwards Marcus McCrary and Nick Moon combined to provide the 16s with a 2 goal advantage with Moon assisting both of McCrary's goals. The 16's goals were scored in the first half in approximately the 20th and 30th minutes. However, proving the persistent soccer truth that a 2 goal lead is among the most dangerous to protect, the team's resilience and first half dominance would be tested.
As the Magic stepped up their pressure to swing momentum, FCMN conceded a goal at about the sixty minute mark providing FCMN supporters, staff and players with some entertaining and nervy moments late in the match.
In particular, the Magic's last best chance to draw level was created by a restart in the final 10 minutes of the match. An ensuing scramble for the ball resulted in a Magic shot fortuitously and dramatically cleared at the goal line by FCMN center back, William O'Neil.
Coach Presser remarked, "Having a 2 goal lead on the road is not a comfortable position given the amount of attacking talent in the US Academy. Our players were able to protect the lead in critical moments of concentration and walk away with three points." In addition to O'Neil's goal line clearance, goal keeper Alex Rodriguez was able to make a key save to preserve the victory.
U18's: First Half Set Piece Goal Against Provides a Brutal Lesson.
Regarding the overall performance of the U18s in their eventual 0-3 loss, coach Presser had this to say, "I was extremely pleased with the percentage of possession our team had tonight against arguably one of the best U18 teams in the USSDA under Louis Matteus."
That being said, in the first half FCMN's 18s allowed a short corner kick to the top of the box which quickly led to a rebounded Magic goal. Though the score remained 0-1 until the 70th minute, playing from behind left FCMN vulnerable to a powerful Magic strikeforce when they took greater risks in an attempt to equalize, late in the game.
Presser remarked, "Attention to details from our side is nowhere near where it needs to be before we begin seeing some success. All players on the field must understand the importance of their roles both positionally (thorugh the flow of play) and on set pieces. Unfortunately, what we lacked in that department ultimately cost us the game. Our staff decided to push the game in the last 15 minutes which left us exposed." The Magic's 70th minute 2nd goal was soon followed by a 3rd, and that was all she wrote.
Bye Week: An Opportunity for the USSDA to Mix it Up
This past weekend's bye week provided the Academy an opportunity to pair evenly matched squads in a "Red and White" USSDA U16/U18/Developmental Player (DP) intersquad scrimmage. With U16s, U18s and Developmental Players playing against each other, Coaches Jon Coleman and Presser were able to evaluate players in the lead up to selecting their starting XI and traveling squads for next weekend's trip to Michigan.
Blake Carr (U15 DP), a forward/winger for most of his playing days who has spent the majority of this season cross training as an outside back, scored twice from his more familiar forward position. Carr's goals opened the scoring and broke a 1-1 deadlock to secure victory for his side.
The USSDA's weekend trip to Michigan features a Saturday match up against Vardar and a Sunday battle with Crew Soccer Academy Wolves. Stay tuned, and GO FC!