The LA Galaxy U-16’s are one win away from earning a spot in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals after claiming a win and a draw during their first two games of the tournament, which is being held in Milwaukee, Wis.
Facing their SoCal Division rivals Real So Cal, a team that the Galaxy beat twice during the regular season, the Galaxy earned a 1-1 draw in their first game of Finals Week on Sunday. Playing in Finals Week for the first time in the program’s history, the Galaxy took a 1-0 lead late in the first half thanks to the second goal of the season for Ludwing Vargas, who beat the Real goalkeeper from a tight angle. Justin Dhillon, Drew Murphy and Matt Tilley each went close in the final minutes of the first half, but could not add to the Galaxy lead.
The Galaxy held onto their 1-0 lead until the 68th minute when a deflected shot from Brandon Vincent beat Josh McNeely in the Galaxy goal, tying the score at 1-1 and giving each team a point from their opener.
On Tuesday, the Galaxy got their first win of Finals Week, defeating the Dallas Texans 4-0 despite finishing the game with just nine players. Sean Dhillon had two goals while Jack McBean, who signed as a Home Grown player for the Galaxy in January, scored one and set up another in the win.
McBean gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute, beating the Dallas goalkeeper with a low shot from inside the box off a pass from Willie Raygoza. Sixteen minutes later, Sean Dhillon got his first of the game, collecting a pass from Sebastian Velasquaz and beating Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Wright from 30 yards out, giving his team a 2-0 halftime advantage.
Ivan Vasquez was sent off for LA in the 53rd minute, but it would be the Galaxy that would strike next, making the score 3-0 in the 59th minute despite playing with just 10 men. McBean set up the Galaxy’s leading scorer Justin Dhillon for his 20th goal of the year, beating his defender on the left flank before playing the ball across the face of goal for Dhillon to tap home.
Sean Dhillon rounded out the scoring in the 68th minute, getting on the end of a pass from Chris Antunez, who was sent off four minutes later, and scoring from inside the box to give LA a 4-0 victory.
The Galaxy will play their final game in Group 1 on Thursday when they face Seattle Sounders FC, a team that they beat 3-0 in their only past meeting, back in October 2010. The Sounders also have four points thanks to a 1-1 draw with the Texans and a 2-1 win over Real So Cal.
Because of their better goal difference, the Galaxy will advance to the U-16 Academy Final with a win or a draw against Seattle on Thursday in a game that kicks off at 1 p.m.
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