The STLFC Academy played their first home game of the season Saturday, albeit at the Missouri Rush soccer complex in Wentzville. All age groups (U13-U19) faced off against their counterparts at Indiana Fire Juniors in warm but windy conditions. I caught the U19 match that I’ll cover here and the first half of the U17 match. The U17’s will be part of a deeper dive into the Academy program as I expect a significant announcement from the club soon. STLFC Academy U19’s Win Thriller vs Indiana Fire Juniors
Here is a link to the PHOTO GALLERY of the match for photo purchases. My only income these days is via photo sales so if you appreciate my coverage of the game locally, buy a photo and help me continue this effort. Thanks!
STLFC took the lead in the fifth minute Saturday from the penalty spot after Connor Gramke was pulled down. The successful spot kick was taken by …? The Fire Juniors came back eight minutes later to tie the game as the boys were unable to clear a ball that was picked up in the offensive third and taken right down the middle by the attacker who then put his shot between the legs of the goalkeeper to knot things up.
Things remained tied until 17 minutes into the second half. Coach Luis Swisher made a tactical and lineup switch a minute prior, bringing Marc Levin in and taking Ian Drake off. The team plays a 4-3-3 with the three midfielders set up in a triangle with Jack Wagoner sitting in front of the defense and Drake with Kuzri playing as attacking midfielders in front of him. The tactical change was to move Kuzri back, alongside Wagoner, while Levin became the lone ACM (inverting the triangle). Unfortunately, a minute later Indiana took the lead with a goal off a set piece that again wasn’t cleared and after a couple of touches was put into the back of the net.
STLFC were able to tie the game ten minutes later when a foul 28 yards out provided a direct kick opportunity. Kuzri lined up along with Danny Goddard who eventually took the shot. It went in off the underside of the crossbar, bouncing down and across the line before spinning out. Goddard, who started at right wing, moved into the center forward spot soon afterwards when Gramke was replaced by Elijah Ochoa who took over on the wing.
Goddard continued to put his mark on the game as he picked up a ball near the center circle and fought off a tough challenge before moving into the left side of the box with two defenders attempting to stop him. As you can see in the picture, he had just pushed a square ball towards the penalty spot where Levin took one touch before firing from just outside the six yard box to score the game-winner.
The final result, 4-2 for STLFC, came as Goddard scored his second goal of the game in stoppage time. I need to teach him that celebrations should be on my side of the pitch, not the opposite corner 🙂 STLFC Academy U19’s Win Thriller vs Indiana Fire Juniors
The two teams played to a 3-3 draw in September in STLFC’s first match of the season. Four points from a touch challenger is always a good spot to be in.
No scores have been posted for the games yesterday so I’ll see what I can find this week in advance of the other news coming out from the club.
The first game has kicked off here in O’Fallon, MO.
— STLFC Academy (@STLFCAcademy) October 17, 2020
Late Winner for U19’s against Indy Fire Juniors
STLFC Academy U19’s Win Thriller vs Indiana Fire Juniors