Wilf Thorne

Both Galaxy Academy teams finish trip to Arizona with wins over Birmingham United

The LA Galaxy Youth Academy teams completed their five-day trip to Arizona on Tuesday with a bang. Make that two.

Led by forward Justin Dhillon’s hat trick, the U-16’s closed its participation in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Winter Showcase Tuesday with a 3-1 win over Birmingham United to remain unbeaten on the season. The U-18’s also got a win, 1-0, over Birmingham United to finish strong.

Overall, the Academy leaves the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona with a combined record of 5-1-0, including four wins on the last two days of the showcase.

The record may imply it was a stroll through the desert, but the final match was anything but easy.

After heading into halftime tied at 0-0, midfielder Cameron Souri, who came on in the second half for Jake LaPorte, came to the rescue and score the game-winning goal in the 76th minute. The win, improved the U-18’s record to 7-3-1 on the season, 2-1-0 in the showcase and complimented the superb play of goalkeepers Vince Paladino and Adam Zepeda, who combined for the shutou

The clean sheet was the second in as many days for the squad, who beat South Carolina United FC, 3-0, on Monday.

Souri was one of five substitutions Matt Mennell’s staff made in the game, including three at halftime - Zepeda in for Paladino and Neil Ignacio and Juan Mendoza in for Nathaniel Schnitman and Dyllan Stevens. The squad’s final substitution came in the 82nd minute, Dylan Seedman in for Angel Ayala.

Complete statistics from this game can be found here.

It wasn’t easy for the U-16’s either.

After shutting out the opposition through the first 180 minutes of the showcase, the U-16’s gave up their first goal of the trip and fell behind 1-0 to Birmingham United in the 24th minute.

However, the opposition’s lead didn’t last long as Dhillon responded with the equalizer in the 38th minute.

Dhillon, whose brother Sean played 68 minutes in the game, then tallied two more strikes in the second half in the 53rd and 74th minutes to power the squad to victory. The brothers combined for four goals in the showcase

With the come-from-behind win, the U-16’s improved to 10-0-1 on the season, 3-0-0 in the showcase. The early goal was the only score the U-16’s conceded in Arizona, where the Galaxy outscored opponents by margin of 10-1.

Complete statistics from this game can be found here.

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