2017.07.14 Academy Semifinals

Match Report: U18s fall in semifinals to Texans SC Houston 3-2 on penalty kicks

Colorado Rapids’ dream of claiming a first U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship ended on Friday night in Carson, California as they agonizingly lost to Texans SC Houston 3-2 on penalties, after the teams were tied at 2-2 after extra-time.

The Rapids thought they had won it inside the regulation 90 minutes. Having come from a goal down, Samuel Vines leveled just after the break, before substitute Damen Marcu slammed in a second with 12 minutes left on the clock.

Alex Bruce guided in the Texans’ equalizer in stoppage time, sending the game into extra-time. With no further goals, the tie went to penalties, with the team from Houston hanging on to move into Sunday’s championship game. The Rapids will play in the third/fourth-place game.

Vines and Liam Johnson had the team’s first two penalties saved, opting for placement over power. The Texans netted their first three, before Kainoa Likewise got across to one to cast a little doubt on the outcome. Rhys De Sota - the quarterfinal hero - stepped up in round five of the shootout, needing to score. His effort was launched over the bar, ending the championship push in the most painful manner.

The Rapids had earlier gone behind to a breakaway on 24 minutes, with Bruce muscling his way through after being released by Christian Cappis to slide the ball beyond Likewise.

A goal down at the interval, the deficit disappeared within two minutes of the re-start, as Vines scored with a wonderful wind-assisted freekick.

Good work from Enoch Mushagalusa, and unselfish play from Gregory Tracey, allowed Marcu to convert from 15 yards, and as the game crept into stoppage time the Rapids had half a foot in the final, only for Bruce to get ahead of a stranded Likewise. The Texans carried that momentum into extra-time, and ultimately the penalty shootout.

It can be a cruel game …

Colorado Rapids 2-2 Texans SC Houston - Texans win 3-2 on penalties
U.S. Soccer National Training Center, Carson, California
Friday, July 14, 2017

TEX: Alex Bruce (Christian Cappis) 24’
COL: Samuel Vines (unassisted) 47’
COL: Damen Marcu (Enoch Mushagalusa, Gregory Tracey) 78’
TEX: Alex Bruce (Bryant Huerta) 90’+2

TEX: Jacob Bates (caution) 49'
COL: Liam Johnson (caution) 70'
TEX: Alex Bruce (caution) 109'

Rapids: Kainoa Likewise; David Garcia, Evan Austin, Desmond Cole, Samuel Vines, Milo Garvanian (Tennyson Stevens 90’), Aaron Martinez (Damen Marcu 71’), Liam Johnson, Gregory Tracey, Enoch Mushagalusa (Moises Martinez 81’), Rhys De Sota. Subs not used: Sean Roberts, Mason Shortt, Carlos Vasquez.

Texans: Gregory Baxa; Alejandro Alaniz (Patrick Coto 81’), Jacob Bates, Chris Richards, Omar Vasquez (Jonathan Cervantes 81’), Edgar Alaniz Jr, Christian Cappis, Mitchell Cashion, Fabian Becerra (Jefferson Barrios Amador 117’), Bryant Huerta, Alex Bruce. Subs not used: Samuel Marvin, Kyle Hastings, Marco Roman.