MILWAUKEE, WIS. (July 16, 2011) – Three unanswered goals from William Raygoza, Justin Dhillon and Drew Murphy broke the game open in the final 20 minutes as the LA Galaxy defeated PA Classics 4-1 to win the 2011 Development Academy U-15/16 Championship.
Sean Dhillon put the Galaxy ahead after two minutes and they led at the interval, but PA Classics answered five minutes into the second stanza off a goal from Kyle Bitterman to set up an open and entertaining final half hour of attacking soccer.
LA Galaxy win the championship in their first visit to the final, and become the second team from Southern California to go home with a trophy from this Finals Week as Pateadores won the U-17/18 age group.
The game hadn’t caught its breath before the Galaxy opened the scoring. Christopher Antunez hurled a long thrown-in and found the head of Jack McBean in the area. His glancing header hit off a defender’s back and fell to Dhillon, who hit a low laser to the far post.
After adjusting to the Galaxy’s coordinated movements, PA Classics shook off the initial jitters and appeared organized and active.
A slip in concentration in the back from PA Classics gave the Galaxy an opening to double the lead in the 12th minute. Two defenders collided and Raygoza pounced, putting Justin Dhillon through on goal. He had a go from 25 yards out that ‘keeper Brent Arnold wisely tipped over the bar.
Finding their rhythm, PA Classics nearly leveled in the 24th after putting together one of several fine passing sequences they orchestrated throughout the night. Connor Maloney raced down the right and crossed from the end line across the goalmouth. Bitterman outpaced his marker and slid in an attempt to connect, but the ball skidded just out of reach.
U-17 FIFA World Cup veteran Jack McBean got a pair of looks after the half hour mark, the first on a nice back pass from Justin Dhillon near the right corner of the 18 yard box. Bean uncorked a drive that didn’t stay on frame. In the 36th minute he had a golden chance from six yards out after a lovely passing combination sent Sebastian Velasquez surging down the right flank. He picked out McBean right in front of the goal, the striker unable to get over the ball and firing over the goal.
PA Classics came out pressing in the second half, and the efforts were rewarded in the 49th minute on a great solo effort from Bitterman. Christian Kaschak lofted a well-weighted ball over the Galaxy backline, and Bitterman did well to fight off his defender. With Galaxy goalkeeper Josh McNeely closing, he neatly tucked a shot into the far side netting.
The next 10 minutes were filled with some fluid movement from both teams, PA Classics seemingly tilting the momentum in their favor. A goal didn’t appear imminent, which is the perfect time to strike and the Galaxy were able to capitalize when Raygoza took a crack at goal that deflected off Jonathan Wenger and wrong-footed Arnold, giving the Galaxy the lead for good.
The goal seemed to lift a weight off the Galaxy, and with their renewed spirit the chances continued to come. PA Classics stifled several, but eventually their defense broke down. In the 73rd minute, second-half substitute Drew Murphy attacked down the left side and picked out Justin Dhillon at the back post. With time and space, he made no mistake. Two minutes later, Dhillon returned the favor from the other side, dropping a perfectly-weighted ball onto the head of Murphy who nodded home the fourth and final goal.
- U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report -
Match: LA Galaxy vs. PA Classics
Date: July 16, 2011
Competition: 2011 Development Academy Finals Week; U-15/16 – Championship Game
Venue: Marquette University (Valley Fields); Milwaukee, Wis.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Weather: 76 degrees, Mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 1 3 4
PA Classics 0 1 1
LAG - Sean Dhillon 2nd minute
PAC – Kyle Bitterman (Christian Kaschak) 49
LAG – William Raygoza 60
LAG – Justin Dhillon (Drew Murphy) 73
LAG – Drew Murphy (Justin Dhillon) 75
LAG: 38-Josh McNeely; 48-Eric Gonzalez (32-Ludwing Vargas, 51), 46-Vincent Reyes, 77-Matthew Tilley, 50-Christopher Antunez (37-Sagar Jambusaria, 79); 28-Grady Howe, 45-William Raygoza, 42-Sean Dhillon; 53-Sebastian Velasquez (29-Drew Murphy, 70), 7-Jack McBean, 40-Justin Dhillon (3-Kevin Labastida, 79)
Subs not used: 8-Joze Avila, 30-Francisco Magallon, , 34-Ivan Vasquez, 39-Grayson Cornwell
Head Coach: Kenny Arena
PAC: 1-Brent Arnold; 21-Quincy Thomas (11-Shawn Morrison, 74), 20-Todd Pratzner (13-Eric Lavery, 70), 24-Jonathan Wenger, 23-Paul Carpenter (41-Bryce Cregan 52); 17-Cody Shirk (44-Joseph Julius 41), 12-Christian Kaschak, 19-Zachary Herstek (18-Kyle Phillips, 65), 16-Colin McNabb (8-Peter Ayers, 41); 4-Kyle Bitterman, 3-Connor Maloney
Subs not used: None
Head Coach: Steve Klein
Stats Summary: LAG / PAC
Shots: 15 / 8
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 7 / 2
Offside: 0 / 0
LAG - Grady Howe (caution) 64th minute
Referee: Kevin Terry, Jr.
Assistant Referee 1: Elie Aguilar
Assistant Referee 2: Kevin Klinger
Fourth Official: Marcos Deoliveira
ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Justin Dhillon (LA Galaxy)