The 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase kicked off Saturday with 39 competitive matches at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Here are some standout moments from Day 1:
Defending national champion Players Development Academy scored two goals within a minute’s span early in the second half and held off Weston FC for a 2-1 victory. PDA’s Isaiah Young scored the opening goal in the 46th minute and Jalil Blalock followed in the 47th, to go along with a memorable flip celebration.
Real Salt Lake AZ defeated FC Dallas 3-2. Jose Hernandez’s 53rd-minute goal proved to be the game-winner, while Brooks Lennon and Amar Sejdic also tallied for RSL, which improved to 9-1-3 on the season.
Seattle Sounders FC’s Victor Mansaray tallied in the 70th minute and his goal held up for a 1-0 victory for Seattle (9-2-1) against the Philadelphia Union.
Andrew Giraldo broke a scoreless match with an 83rd-minute goal and the Houston Dynamo defeated the LA Galaxy 1-0. The Dynamo is the frontrunner in the Frontier Division at 6-1-1 and the Galaxy is second in the Southwest Division at 7-2-3, trailing Real Salt Lake AZ.
Away from the matches, the Academy Winter Showcase has introduced its #SkillCage that features two goals and a competitive setup for the Academy players to test their skills in a scoring format. FC Golden State’s Marty Raygoza recorded the highest score with 22 points during the “On a Platter” challenge. A new competition takes place every day during the Winter Showcase.
On Sunday, Nov. 30, the Academy’s U-16 teams open up Day 2 with their first games of the event, followed by the U-18s competing in their second matches. The afternoon also features the second day of competition for the 2014 Nike International Friendlies, with Brazil facing England at 3 p.m. ET and the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team taking on Australia at 6 p.m. Both games will be live on ussoccer.com.