Jonathan Kaplan / HoustonDynamo.com

Academy Roundup - May 28

Houston Dynamo Academy teams closed their regular season Saturday with two positive results against the Texas Rush at the Houston Amatuer Sports Park. The U-18s closed out division play with a 2-0 win, pushing them higher up the table, while the U-16s rallied from a one-goal deficit while down to 10 men to earn a 3-3 draw and help their playoff chances.

The U-18 game got off to an exciting start, with two penalty kicks whistled in the first seven minutes. The Dynamo got things started in the fourth minute when Bryan Celis (Katy Mayde Creek) dribbled into the penalty area, drew the goalkeeper, and laid the ball off for Ábe Matamoros (Strake Jesuit) at the top of the box. Matamoros' shot was blocked by a Rush defender's arm, and forward Nono easily converted from the penalty spot for a 1-0 lead.

The Rush got a chance to respond just three minutes later when a stray clearance struck a Dynamo defender's arm at the edge of the penalty area, but goalkeeper Kevin Suarez - a late starter due to injury - dove to his right to stop the shot. Suarez finished with nine saves on a career day, keeping a clean sheet for the victory.

With five players called up for tomorrow's Dynamo Reserves match, Houston rested two normal starters and pulled three others by halftime. The Dynamo finally put the game away in the 73rd minute, when Brandon Martin (Pearland) won a header out of the back. Nono then stole the ball from a defender, broke toward the top of the penalty area, side-stepped the goalkeeper, and slotted home his second goal of the game.

The U-16 game was for higher stakes, with the Rush and Dynamo tied atop the standings in points, although the Rush has a game in hand and two other teams have a chance to pass the two for first place. The Rush have been led all year by Gambian forward Kekuta Manneh, who entered the game with 29 goals.

Manneh made it 30 just six minutes into the game, breaking into the Dynamo penalty area to draw a penalty kick, then converting it easily. Houston responded by controlling the half, getting chances from Bryan Salazar (Fort Bend Bush) and Alan Arellano (Cy Creek). The breakthrough came in the 30th minute, as left back Alex Ochoa played a through ball on the left for central midfielder Jorge Andrade (Cy Ridge) at the end line. Andrade cut the ball back to the penalty spot, where Arellano finished to give the Dynamo a lift before halftime.

The game turned just three minutes into the second half, as Houston forward Manuel Chavez (Cy Springs) was taken down in the penalty area. Arellano converted the penalty kick to give Houston a deserved lead, but in a bizarre sequence, he was given his second yellow card during the celebrations for not returning to the halfway line quickly enough for the referee.

Down a man, the Dynamo soon were down a goal, as Manneh struck for a scrappy goal in the 47th minute and went on a superb individual dribbling run to complete his hat trick in the 54th minute, putting the Rush up 3-2.

The Dynamo responded, however, with goalkeeper Juan Navarrete (Katy Cinco Ranch) making a key save in the 70th minute to keep it a one-goal deficit. A minute later, substitute forward Lorenzo Salazar (Houston Austin) won a free kick at the left corner of the penalty area, then took it quickly to Andrade in the middle of the field. Andrade faked a shot to get past one defender, then drove a right-footed shot into the lower right corner of the net to tie the match.

Houston held on for a 3-3 tie, keeping the teams tied atop the division and extending their unbeaten streak to nine games. The U-16s - supplemented by age-eligible players from the U-18 squad - will head to the Netherlands next week to participate in Eurovoetbal Tournament. Upon their return, the U-16s are likely to qualify for the USSF Development Academy playoffs.

U-18: Texas Rush (6-12-4, 3-8-4) vs. Houston Dynamo (6-11-6, 4-9-3)
May 28, 2011 -- Houston Amateur Sports Park
USSF Development Academy League -- Texas Division

Scoring Summary:
HOU -- Nono 1 (penalty kick) 4
HOU -- Nono 2 (unassisted) 73

Houston Dynamo Academy -- Kevin Suarez, Alan Hernandez, Brandon Martin, Erick Tello, Leo Ayala, Diego Velazquez (Siegfried Casar 64), Bryan Celis (Irvinn Ramirez 46), Ábe Matamoros (Juan Lopez 40), Hector Ramirez (Marco Chacon 31), Nono, Chance Bergen (Mario Diaz 46).

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.

U-16: Texas Rush (13-5-4, 9-4-2) vs. Houston Dynamo (15-7-1, 9-5-2)
May 28, 2011 -- Houston Amateur Sports Park
USSF Development Academy League -- Texas Division

Scoring Summary:
RUSH -- Kekuta Manneh 30 (penalty kick) 6
HOU -- Alan Arellano 8 (Jorge Andrade, Alex Ochoa) 30
HOU -- Alan Arellano 9 (penalty kick) 43
RUSH -- Kekuta Manneh 31 (unassisted) 47
RUSH -- Kekuta Manneh 32 (unassisted) 54
HOU -- Jorge Andrade 4 (Lorenzo Salazar) 71

Houston Dynamo Academy -- Juan Navarrete, Matthew Alarcon (Nelson Castro 67), Bradley Bourgeois, Luis Mendoza, Alex Ochoa, Bryan Salazar (Raffi Gregorian 60), Raymundo Marquez (Christian Diaz 22), Jorge Andrade, Branco Ramirez (Christian Manisck 41), Alan Arellano, Manuel Chavez (Lorenzo Salazar 57).

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.