The U18 USADL team ran its record to 5-0 in the Southern Conference to remain undefeated in Southern Conference with a 3-2 victory over Concorde Fire of Atlanta. Once again the game was not without incident and for the second consecutive week a lack of discipline saw the team go down to ten men before the half. IMG Academy conceded a goal 25 minutes in after mounting a wave of unsuccessful attacks. The team lacked rhythm and focus for the first 30 minutes and both attack and defense were caught on the wrong foot time and again. The effort was disjointed and the team was often behind the game after taking a play off here and there and failing to sustain possession. The goal was a wake up call and as IMG Academy stepped up its lines to pressure the opponents build up the game momentum took a sharp swing to IMG Academy' favor. After 5 minutes of pressing Matteo Vertucci was ejected for unsporting conduct for a deliberate handball, harsh but with in the letter of the law.
The second half was vintage IMG Academy soccer. Despite being a man down the possession arrow was only going one way and IMG Academy equalized with in the first quarter hour. Electing to plat with 3 at the back and adjust the midfield to stay with 2 strikers was the order. The boys were instructed to rest and sit in for 5 minutes but they instead elected to continue sensing victory and unfortunately conceded to go down 2-1. In a true demonstration of character the team kept pushing and turned the tables again setting up the substitutions and a dramatic finish. Manuel Hernandez, Joe McDowell, Bernardo Zamora, and Ariel Hughes energized the team with McDowell scoring a right footed blast in the upper corner to make it 2-2. The boys left it late and after several missed chances and frustration Luis Ocejo bagged the game winner after Rienaldo Brennes solo run was thwarted as Ocejo worked hard to be in a position to pick up the loose ball and covert with time running out.
IMG Academy-3 vs. Concorde-2