CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy U-16’s advanced to the semifinals of the United States Development Academy Playoffs with a 1-0 win over Real So Cal on Wednesday at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium.
Jonathan Estrada scored the lone goal for the Galaxy Academy in their quarterfinal victory.
The first half was an even affair as both sides traded opportunities. The Galaxy U-16’s best chance came midway through the opening 45 minutes when Oscar Penate saw his close-range attempt saved by Real So Cal goalkeeper Benjamin Roach. In the 38th minute, Kevin Negrete had his scoring chance turned away by Roach.
U-16 Head coach Brian Kleiban's squad started the second half on the front foot and in the 49th minute, nearly pulled ahead when Ian Lonergan saw his header sail just over the Real So Cal net. Moments later, Estrada saw his opportunity go begging as his shot was sent well over the goal frame.
Estrada bagged his goal in the 55th minute when he received a through-ball from midfield and then chipped Roach to open the scoring in stylish fashion. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Estrada’s finish was his celebration as he celebrated his goal with a hug from Galaxy first team player Giovani dos Santos, who was in attendance.
Real So Cal pushed for the equalizer in the closing minutes, but were unable to test Galaxy academy goalkeeper Eric Lopez in their search for the equalizer. The Galaxy nearly doubled their lead in 75th minute when Jorge Hernandez saw his free kick from just to the right of the box saved by the Real So Cal ‘keeper.
With their victory, the Galaxy U-16’s will take part in the USSDA Championship, which takes place from July 14-16 at StubHub Center. The semifinal will be held on July 14.