Man I love the Florida weather. After 3 dreary days of cold rain and grey skies in North Carolina it is great to be back at IMGA.
Despite being the away team, playing on a synthetic surface and poor playing conditions the U18 Academy Team tied the highly rated CASL Elite Chelsea side in a well played and hard fought game. Missing were Luis Calzadilla, John Rayha and Manuel Hernandez due to injury and illness and midway thru the first half Alex Walters went down with an ankle sprain. These loses put IMG at a disadvantage in defense, midfield and attack were goals have been hard to come by as of late in league play. None the less it was one of the team's best performances to date and despite poor training the group seems to rise to the big occasion. The marking system was completely perplexing to the opponent and neutralized their build up and attack as Larry Jackson faced just 2 shots and handled 1 cross. Ambry Moss and Jorge Risquez demonstrated adept handling of their defensive roles while John Eckford and Joel Mitchell filled in nicely to complete the spinal column. Miguel Medina and Tyler Currence held down the flanks and Medina was dangerous going forward. Miguel in particular has the habit of playing well in the big games. New addition Martin Ontiveros is a player for the future and provides a much needed elements of skill and surprise to the attack. Luis Ocejo gave a brave performance with a nagging groin injury and seemed to improve as the game wore on. The best chances of the day either involved or fell to Ocejo who with a little luck could have had 2 goals. IMG created the most opportunity in the match getting the ball and a player into dangerous positions but failing to take the chance with conviction. Although 0-0 is a just result IMG probably did enough to win.
The second Game at Greensboro was abandoned at the half due to unfavorable pitch conditions. The league declared the match a 0-0 draw.