TheIMG U-16Boyshad two games within our division over the weekend -- FC Miami and Schulz Academy. More importantly, we were playing away and needed points after losing the previous weekend.
Our first game against Miami was a must win since we lost our previous encounter 1-0. During the week, we emphasized being disciplined in our roles and especially not to allow them to build up from the back. The team played exceptionally well from start to finish. Our communication on both sides of the ball and pressure on Miami's defense gave us numerous opportunities in the 1st half, but we just couldn't capitalize on them. At halftime it was 0-0, which we were comfortable with.
In the 2nd half, IMG completely dominated and were awarded for their efforts by scoring three goals. Cameron Baskett scored two goals and Matias Rubio scored the other. All three goals were scored with quick passes and players penetrating the box. Our balance and shape was outstanding and really stepped up to halt every effort that Miami made to get back in the game. It truly was our best performance of the season to date.
Building off the win, we had Schulz Academy on Sunday. They were a very athletic team, and we had to stay focused and keep our composure defensively. At the same time, while in possession, we had to dictate the pace of the game. In the 1st half, I thought both teams had an equal amount of chances. Our goal came with a great effort by Andres Acevedo sneaking in behind the defense and hitting a 1st time shot outside the box, which caught their keeper by surprise, leaving him no chance. Only four minutes later, Schultz scored the equalizer. We went into half 1-1.
In the 2nd half, we started to take control of the game a bit more and were rewarded with a goal from Acevedo from Andrew Clare, which was set up by a dummy run from Chase Miller with 25 minutes left in the game. Credit to our players; defensively we shut down Shultz for the last 20 minutes and fought for every loose ball. It seemed to frustrate our opponent and helped carry us to the victory.
Overall, it was a great weekend. We gained all six points, which put us back to 1st place in our division. Players should feel confident about the rest of the games and surely set the bar high for themselves. Now, they have to maintain the high standard that they have set for themselves and push and carry each other the rest of the season.