2017 15U National Finalists
DALLAS (Sunday, July 30, 2017) -- Tuzos Academy 02 Boys are runner-ups at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Dallas following their 1-0 loss to Solar Chelsea Red 02 in the U-15 championship match on Sunday morning.
Tuzos jumped out to a strong start and had an early chance denied when Ivan Pino’s shot was saved in the 5th minute. Tuzos appeared to have the go-ahead goal in the 33rd minute when a ball was cleared forward by the Tuzos backline. The ball took a bounce in the box and Tuzo’s Brian Cicairos ran to the spot and headed the ball moments before the Solar goalkeeper was able to punch it out. As the ball was traveling to the empty net, a heads up play by a Solar defender allowed him to clear the ball off the line.
Tuzos had a few more looks in the early portions of the second half, but it was Solar who captured the lead in the 56th minute. After a period of prolonged pressure, a Solar player collected a clearance just on the edge of the box and dribbled forward. His first shot was blocked by a Tuzos defender and the ball took a fortunate deflection back to the feet of the Solar player. He took a touch to his right and fired to the far post giving Solar the 1-0 lead.
Tuzos fought for an equalizer and almost had one in the 60th minute when Pino dribbled through two Solar defenders and fired a shot from inside the box. The Solar goalkeeper made a kick save and Villalba, who was trailing the play, headed the ball, but the goalkeeper was able to get up in time to punch the ball out of the danger zone.
Tuzos had on final chance in the 80th minute when Solar committed a foul about 25 yards out. Villalba lined up for the free kick which was saved by the Solar goalkeeper.
AYSA would like to congratulate Tuzos on an incredible season. In the Far West Regional Championships and National Championships, Tuzos went a combined 9-2 with 22 goals scored and nine conceded. Tuzo’s Jason Villalba led all goal scorers with nine at Far West Regional Championships and he was tied for second with four at the National Championships.