Arensal's Youth Club Makes Academy Debut
CHICAGO – Arsenal’s Under-17/18 Academy team opened their Development Academy campaign last Saturday with a 3-0 win over the Irvine Strikers. The loss was the first dealt to Irvine, who had previously tied Surf and Pateadores in their opening Academy efforts.
“The game was a good back and forth battle, especially into the 60th minute,” said Arsenal head coach Steve Lucey. “Both defenses played tight, and gave up very few chances. Our defense did well to keep them off the board and we found a way to capitalize on the other end.”
The first half witnessed both teams playing tight defense and giving up few opportunities, resulting in a 0-0 score line heading into the intermission. The stingy defense continued until the 60th minute, when Arsenal was able to break through the Irvine defense. The keeper did well to block the initial shot, but Michael Vega was there to finish the rebound and put Arsenal on top.
Arsenal maintained the offensive pressure when later in the half, Trenton Titus put away a ball from close range to double Arsenal’s lead. The Strikers had sent numbers forward looking for late goals, and Arsenal was able to take advantage. Eddie Valencia got behind the defense, touched the ball around the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home to make the final score 3-0. Goalkeeper Chris Lara was credited with the shutout in goal.
Arsenal has next weekend off from Academy action, and will host Washington Premier and FC Portland on February 2 and 3, while Irvine travels to take on Washington Premier on Saturday, January 26 and the Colorado Rush on Sunday, January 27.
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