The Houston Dynamo Academy U17 and U15s teams got their first taste of competition in the GA Cup for the 2019/2020 season last weekend. The teams traveled to Colorado for a three-game weekend in the GA regional qualifiers.
Both teams had fairly productive showings this weekend. The U15s were able to secure four points and fourth place in the table after a tie against the Colorado Rapids, a win against the Portland Timbers and they fell to FC Dallas. The U17s were able to position themselves into third place in their group. After an opening loss to Colorado, Houston responded with two straight wins against Portland and Dallas.
For the U15s, they were able to find some success on offense to earn their first points of the competition. In their first game on Friday against Colorado, Houston was able to score two goals. However, they fell to the local side in a penalty kick shootout.
In their next game, they had an offensive explosion, picking up 6 goals in a 6-2 win over Portland. Ricardo Garcia and Benjamin Alimasi picked up two goals each as Houston cruised to a relatively easy win. Garcia and Alimasi were joined by Leonardo Herrera and Diego Rosas on the scoresheet for the Dynamo.
The U15s ended their weekend with a match against fellow in-state academy, FC Dallas. The Houston offense was not as successful in this game as it was the first time all weekend they had failed to score more than one goal. Garcia once again scored, and gave the Dynamo their only goal of the game in a 4-1 defeat.
While the U15s were playing hard to determine their GA Cup future, the U17s were also battling for their spot.
The U17’s had a quick start as they opened the scoring with a goal from Daniel Rios. However, the Rapids came back with two goals in the second half to give Houston its only loss over the weekend. The Dynamo Academy side bounced back in their next game against Portland. Rios scored two more goals, and along with Juan Castilla, the duo led the Dynamo to a 3-1 victory over the Timbers. The U17 team faced the FC Dallas in their final game of the weekend, and Houston found a way to come out on top. In an extremely defensive game, the deciding goal was sparked by Jack Clarkson and the Dynamo ended their weekend with a 1-0 win over their in-state rivals.
With the U15s and U17s taking fourth and third place respectively, the teams will get a chance to compete in the Premier Division of the GA Cup.
GA Cup play will continue in 2020, as the teams will return to the competition in mid-February.