Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

Academy Roundup - November 20

Dynamo Academy squads went 1-0-1 Saturday night against Internationals of Cleveland, Ohio, with the U-16s taking a 1-0 win in the nightcap after the U-18s drew 0-0 at the Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex.

WATCH: U-16 Highlights
WATCH: U-18 Highlights

With Internationals in their first game of the season as a non-division foe, the Dynamo tried some inexperienced players in the U-18 lineup, with mixed results. The Dynamo controlled play and almost took the lead just eight minutes in, when midfielder Josue Morales (Houston Chavez), wearing the captain's armband, teed up a left-footed strike from the top of the box but saw it well-saved.

The game, however, turned in the 33rd minute when Dynamo wing Diego Velazquez made his second sloppy challenge of the game and was ejected with a second yellow card. Playing with just 10 men, Houston had a tough time mounting scoring opportunities for the remainder of the game.

At the other end of the field, Internationals rarely threatened goalkeeper Graham Wheeler (Katy Taylor), who made three saves in the match. His best stop came in the 59th minute, when he dove to his left to tip a shot around the post. Center back Alan Hernandez (Pearland) stood out on the back line. Despite late pressure from the lone forward, Chance Bergen, the match finished 0-0, the third tie in the last five league games for the U-18s (2-4-4).

In the second game, the Dynamo's U-16 squad dominated Internationals with a smothering first half befitting a team with a three-game winning streak. The first 40 minutes were all Houston, with chance after chance generated by the attacking midfielders of Christian Camera (Fort Bend Elkins), Branco Ramirez, Alan Arellano (Cy Creek), and Raffi Gregorian (Spring Branch Stratford). Holding midfielder Christian Diaz (Cy Falls) and outside backs Nelson Castro (Eastwood Academy) and Alex Ochoa also showed their skill getting forward.

Chances came early and often, with Camera getting the ball to Lorenzo Salazar (Houston Austin) for a chance in the 14th minute, but his shot was saved. Salazar, found by the Dynamo in last spring's Sueño MLS competition, netted a solid strike in the 16th minute but was offside on the play.

Minutes later, Castro - the Sueño MLS winner earlier this year - set up Gregorian, an Armenian youth international, but his shot was saved. Gregorian then made a mazy run from the right wing to the center of the box in the 26th minute, but his left-footed strike was saved. Gregorian was stopped again in the 30th minute and forced a scramble in the box with a series of cutbacks just before halftime.

After carrying play with a 10-2 shot advantage and forcing six saves in the first half alone, the Dynamo U-16s looked more ordinary in the second half. Ironically, however, that's when they got their goal. Six minutes after halftime, a loose ball was deflected toward Camera near the top of the box. Coming in from the left, Camera trapped the ball with his chest, then ripped a right-footed half-volley to the top left corner for a highlight-reel goal. Camera has battled injuries since his impressive display on the Academy's European tour in 2009, and this was just his second goal since that tour, with the other coming in last June's U-18 playoffs.

Houston had a good chance to make it 2-0 in the 63rd minute when substitute Raymundo Marquez (Katy Cinco Ranch) played a long ball that Salazar chased down with the goalkeeper charging at him, but Salazar sent his shot over the top. Houston also had a good chance in the 78th minute when Camera crossed to Ramirez, but he pulled the ball back to his non-preferred right foot and saw a good shot saved.

Goalkeeper Juan Navarrete (Katy Cinco Ranch), guarded admirably by the aerial ability of center back Bradley Bourgeois (Cy-Fair), needed just three saves for his fourth shutout of the year. His most impressive stop came just after halftime when the game was still scoreless, stopping a shot from the left side of the penalty area. The other center back, Luis Mendoza (Alief Elsik), did well in his first start of the year.

The U-16s are now 5-1 in their last six games and 6-4 overall. Both teams will return to action at the USSF Development Academy Winter Showcase in Arizona December 4-7, facing the Clearwater Chargers (FL), Cosmos West (CA), and the California Development Academy.

U-18: Houston Dynamo 0, Internationals 0
November 20, 2010 -- Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex, Houston TX
USSF Development Academy

Scoring Summary: 

Dynamo Academy -- Graham Wheeler, Brandon Martin (C.J. Sutherland 90), Alan Hernandez, Erick Tello, Leo Ayala, Diego Velazquez, Marco Chacon, Josue Morales, Irvinn Ramirez (Bryan Celis 15, Isaiah Noreiga 83), Juan Ramirez (Abé Matamoros 67), Chance Bergen.

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

U-16: Houston Dynamo 1, Internationals 0
November 20, 2010 -- Carl Lewis Track & Field Complex, Houston TX
USSF Development Academy

Scoring Summary:
HOU -- Christian Camera 1 (unassisted) 46

Dynamo Academy -- Juan Navarrete, Nelson Castro (Roberto Chavira 70), Bradley Bourgeois, Luis Mendoza, Alex Ochoa, Raffi Gregorian (Roberto Navarro 75), Christian Diaz, Alan Arellano (Raymundo Marquez 55), Branco Ramirez (Jorge Andrade 80), Christian Camera (Matthew Alarcon 79), Lorenzo Salazar.

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial