Development Academy Results In

CHICAGO – Last minute goals, hat tricks and a defensive duel highlighted the latest set of weekend games in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, the first-year grassroots program designed to revamp the youth game to improve the United States as a soccer playing nation.

In perhaps the game of the weekend, Bridge FA (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) U-17/18 looked to have a comfortable 3-0 lead over the Richmond Kickers on Saturday afternoon, with two goals from Rudiger Hellberger. After heading into halftime with a one goal advantage, Daniel Bowers and Hellberger each added second-half tallies to seemingly put the game away.

But Richmond continued to battle back, and just three minutes after going down, 3-0, Patrick Innes get the Kickers back within two. A Nathan Roberts goal in the 81st minute put the game in reach for Richmond, who then put everyone forward looking for the equalizer. It took until the fourth minute of stoppage time, but the offensive barrage finally paid off, earning the Kickers a draw on the road and a point against a conference opponent.

In other U-17/18 action, a hat trick from Riley Sumpter and a brace from Nick Burton led the Concorde Fire to an 8-0 win over Birmingham United in the weekend’s most lopsided game. The Fire didn’t get on the board until the 28th minute, and were up just 2-0 at halftime, but a second-half offensive explosion, including four goals in the final 10 minutes were too much for Birmingham to overcome.

Chivas USA’s youth team scored three second-half goals in a 4-0 victory over San Diego Surf. Four different scorers found the back of the net for Chivas, including Mario Ledezma, who was credited with the game-winner in the 37th minute.

Another high scoring affair saw the Richmond Strikers top the Virginia Rush, 4-2, in Richmond. Brian Ownby and Sam Schaffer each scored two goals for Richmond, who played the final 21 minutes with 10 men after Ownby was shown his second yellow card.

In Boca Raton, Fla., Miami FC Kendall also took home a point from Schulz Academy after Pablo Punyed scored the game-tying goal in the final minute. Christian Gonzales opened scoring in the game in the 32nd minute, but just six minutes later Jesse Chang evened the score for Schulz. The home team looked to have taken the game when Jamel Johnson put Schulz up, 2-1, but Punyed's second goal helped Kendall come away with the draw.

The AFC Lightning (Fayetteville, Ga.), playing at home, topped crosstown rival Atlanta Fire, 3-1. Goals from Christopher Feigenbaum, Robbie Deider and Sean Grisham gave the Lightning a three goal advantage before the Fire got one back in the final minute.

In the U-15/16 group, Chivas USA and the San Diego Surf kicked off the weekend with a 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center Saturday morning. The Surf looked to take control of the game when Zach Wolfenzon scored in the first minute, but Chivas bounced back with an equalizer just minutes before halftime to come away with the point.

The Atlanta Fire visited AFC Lightning on Sunday, coming away with a 2-2 tie. The Lightning’s Andrew Pritchard scored early in the second half, but two Taylor Krek goals pulled the Fire ahead. A minute later, Leonardo Guttierez tied the game just before the final whistle blew.

In the highest scoring game of the weekend for the U-15/16s, Bridge FA took a 5-2 victory over the Richmond Kickers in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Justin Watson opened the scoring for Bridge in the 26th minute before Ian Major tied it up for the Kickers eight minutes later. Watson scored again in the 49th minute, and in the second half, Richmond had no answer for Austin Savage, who tallied three goals in the span of 19 minutes to lead his team in the win.

It was a defensive battle in Alabama as Birmingham United played to a scoreless draw with the visiting Concorde Fire. Concorde’s Brendan Moore and Birmingham’s combination of Joseph Levinson and Nicolas Piola were in opposing nets, preserving the shutout for their respective teams.

Three early goals led the way for Miami FC Kendall’s 3-0 road victory over Schulz Academy. Christian Ramos opened the scoring in the 18th minute, and Alvaro Bastidas scored in the 26th minute to give Miami FC Kendall a 2-0 lead into halftime. Less than a minute into the second half, Andre Seidenthal found the back of the net for the final score of 3-0.

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