Generation adidas Cup qualifying continued on Saturday at Houston Sports Park with a full slate of high-energy, high-emotion contests.
U-15: Los Angeles FC 2-0 Houston Dynamo
A pair of goals, one near the end of each half, saw the visiting Los Angeles FC side through to a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo in the first match of the afternoon. Three minutes from halftime, LAFC forward Steven Ramirez (the younger brother of Dynamo forward Christian Ramirez) drew a foul in the penalty area and converted the ensuing penalty, driving a low shot down the middle, which eluded a diving effort from Houston goalkeeper Juan Castellanos. Then in the second half, LAFC forward Robert Willcot headed in a cross six minutes from full time for the final margin. Houston created chances throughout the first half when they were able to get wingers Iyke Dafe and Ricardo Garcia into space along the right flank. The home side’s best scoring chance came six minutes into the second half when forward Joseph Farouz ran onto a ball over the top of the LAFC back line, but his left-footed shot was parried away with a diving effort from LAFC goalkeeper Noah Livingston.
U-17: Colorado Rapids 3-0 FC Dallas
In the first match of the day for the Under-17 group, the Colorado Rapids used a brace from forward Matthew Roou and a goal from midfielder Saul Cisneros to emerge with a 3-0 victory over FC Dallas. The Rapids controlled the run of play for most of the contest, but the sides went to halftime scoreless. Roou broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half when he broke free down the left flank and ripped a low shot across the face of goal and into the lower right corner. The Rapids doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Cisneros won the second ball off of a free kick, turned and fired a shot past Dallas ‘keeper William Watson. Roou put the match on ice in the 71st minute when he tapped in a centering pass after a good buildup along the right wing. Dallas’ best chance came in the 17th minute when forward Diego Gamez got on the end of a cross and volleyed a shot back across goal, forcing an acrobatic save from Colorado goalkeeper Andrew Cordes to parry it over the bar.
U15: Colorado Rapids 0-3 FC Dallas
It was a reversal of fortune for the two clubs when the Under-15 sides met up in the middle match of the afternoon. Dallas controlled the rhythm of the match throughout en route to a 3-0 win. The North Texas side leapt out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals within seconds of one another. They opened the scoring in the 10th minute when forward Kevin Kelley blasted a shot into the roof of the net from the top of the penalty area. Less than a minute later, Colorado was whistled for a foul inside the area, and Dallas forward Tarik Scott converted the penalty to double the lead. The third member of the Dallas front line, forward Anthony Ramirez, rounded out the scoring when he finished off a cross with a left-footed volley to make it three. Colorado’s best chance came in the first minute of the game, when winger Derek Villa ripped a low shot from outside the penalty area, forcing a diving save from Dallas goalkeeper Victor Gomez.
U-17: Portland Timbers 3-2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The Cascadia Cup rivalry made its way to Southeast Texas and lived up to the intensity and passion that the clubs’ respective first teams show, as Portland edged Vancouver in a physical contest. The Timbers got on the board first thanks to midfielder Gerardo Duran. The playmaker collected a pass near the end line and deftly dribbled past two defenders before slotting home the opening goal in the 28th minute. Portland doubled the lead nine minutes later when forward Tega Ikoba converted a penalty after winger Shane de Flores drew a foul inside the box. Vancouver pulled a goal back just before halftime off of a corner kick. Midfielder Rohin Kapila’s headed effort off the corner caromed off the crossbar, and center back Joshua Ndakala was first to the rebound and volleyed it home. Duran made it 3-1 with his second of the day, scoring off of a corner kick in the 60th minute. Vancouver again pulled within a goal when midfielder Kamron Habibullah blasted a shot from distance to make it 3-2 in the 75th minute. The Whitecaps pressed for the late equalizer, but Portland’s back line stood firm to walk away with all three points.
U-15: Portland Timbers 0-3 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The younger Whitecaps side avenged the loss suffered by their older brethren with a dominant 3-0 win in the nightcap of the U-15 bracket. After a scoreless first half, the ‘Caps turned things on in the second half with three goals, including two in the span of a minute. Vancouver broke things open in the 53rd minute with a goal from midfielder Joel Demian. Midfielder Kallum Carr made it 2-0 in the 76th minute, and forward Michael Hennessy followed less than a minute later to cap off the scoring. Portland created chances throughout the second half along their right flank, but each time the Vancouver back line was able to recover in time to snuff out the attack. The Timbers’ best chance came in the 73rd minute when they again attacked down the right, and a purposeful centering pass fizzed across the six-yard box, forcing Vancouver goalkeeper Maxwell Campeau to be quick off his line to smother the pass before a Timbers player could get on the end of it.
U-17: Houston Dynamo 2-1 Los Angeles FC
The Dynamo clinched a spot in the Division 1 Finals with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over LAFC in the U-17 nightcap. The home side dominated much of the game, pressing LAFC high up the field and creating numerous turnovers and scoring chances off those takeaways. Despite carrying the run of play, Houston was unable to find the final ball it needed to break things open. LAFC was the opposite story in the first half, creating two scoring chances – the first coming off a free kick that forced Houston goalkeeper Logan Erb to dive low to his near post to prevent a goal, and the second coming on a breakaway a minute before halftime on a breakaway against the run of play. Forward Arnold Giron raced behind the Houston back line to get onto the end of a through ball, took a touch and slipped a low shot past Erb. As the second half got underway, Houston nearly answered immediately through winger 36, but his shot in the 41st minute whistled just wide. The Dynamo continued to press before finally breaking through in the 67th minute off of a free kick from 35 yards out. The initial ball was served into a dangerous spot at the near post, and a scrum ensued as players from both teams tried to get on the end of it. Houston forward Joyner Castillo Mejia won the battle for the loose ball and poked it into the back of the net to level the contest. As the game neared full time, it seemed destined to end in a draw until Dynamo forward Joshua Ofunrein got on the end of a corner kick from left back Kieran Sargeant in the final minute of regulation and tapped in the winner.