LA Galaxy Erase 2-0 Deficit to Punch Ticket to Academy Championships Final

Despite a 2-0 halftime deficit, second half goals from Efrain Alvarez and Ulysses Llanez and an extra time finish from Ethan Zubak earned LA Galaxy a 3-2 comeback victory against the Seattle Sounders and a place in Sunday's U-17/18 Final against Texans SC Houston. The Galaxy will now look to win the Development Academy Championships Final after entering the initial round-robin playoffs as the last team to make it into the tournament, as the 32nd seed. A victory on Sunday would be LA's first title at the U-17/18 level and most recent hardware collection since the club's U-15/16 team won it all in 2010-2011 and 2013-2014.

"Way too much fun for the fans, but it was not fun for us, as a staff," LA Galaxy head coach Brian Kleibansaid. "Seattle had a fantastic start, a great first half from them. We recapped at halftime and went over the details we didn't execute. Credit to the guys, they did what they needed to do. Tremendous personality and mentality to be able to come back from a 2-0 deficit against a very good Seattle team. We've overcome a lot this season."

Seattle began to take command of the game in the 22nd minute. Slashing through a duo of LA Galaxy defenders, Paul Rothrock played in a ball from the right side of the box to a sliding Gregory Sutton, who displayed a great finishing touch with his left foot, on a volley, driving the Sounders to an early 1-0 lead.

Under two minutes later, Sutton put an exclamation point on Seattle's control of the game. Racing down the left side of the field, Sutton continued his breakaway into the box, faked a left-footed shot to send his defender diving, cut back to his right and used his right foot to tuck the ball past the Galaxy keeper.

It wouldn't be until the 71st minute that the Galaxy managed to get themselves back into the game. After a failed corner kick attempt appeared to be clear from any danger, Efrain Alvarez received a pass, took a couple small touches to get himself a little closer to the top of the box and simply pulled the trigger. The ball tucked just between the near post and the left hand of Seattle goalkeeper and U-17/18 West Conference Player of the Year, Trey Muse.

With the local crowd of supporters behind them, the Galaxy continued to push for an equalizer and found what they needed in the 78th. Switching the field from left to right, Ethan Zubak fed his teammate, Zico Bailey, who met the pass and sent in a cross near the right edge of the box. The effort found Ulysses Llanez, who buried the effort to even the scoreboard and ultimately, send the game into extra time.

In extra time, it took the Galaxy only seven minutes to completely put Seattle in a state of shock. After a deep ball by Alex Mendez got behind the Sounders' defense, Zubak rushed on to put the Galaxy in front for the first time of the night. The 97th minute score would be all that the Galaxy would need, as the team would hold on the rest of the extra time to seal the victory.

Up next, the LA Galaxy will look to once again use their home field advantage as they take on the only non-MLS team to advance to this year's finals from either age group, Texans SC Houston. That game will kick off from the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at 6:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, July 16. Fans who want to tune into the game can watch it live on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Facebook page.

Wild Finish over Colorado Rapids sends Texans SC Houston to Development Academy U-17/18 Final

It took 120 minutes and nine penalty kick attempts to crown a winner in the first U-17/18 semifinal game of the Development Academy Championships Friday night. In the end, Texans SC Houston scored in stoppage time of the second half to send the game into extra time, where, after a scoreless 30 minutes, the Texas team outlasted Colorado Rapids 3-2 on penalties. With the win, Texans SC Houston becomes the first ever Development Academy program to advance to the championship game in either age group from the city of Houston.

"When you throw numbers in the box and you're going for it, you never know what could happen," Texans SC Houston head coach Eric Quill said. "We got lucky and sometimes you need some luck. That is a really, really good Colorado Rapids team that is really well coached and organized. It was fun to watch them. They were everywhere, all night long… But this group, all year long, has found a way. They're special."

After 23 minutes of a scoreless deadlock, Texans SC Houston's Alex Bruce finally got the scoring started. After an attempted through ball was played toward Bruce on the right flank, the attacker found himself jockeying for position on the ball with a Rapids defender. After out-muscling his defender to take command of the ball, Bruce broke free with the ball, took a touch and stabbed the ball past the charging goalkeeper, floating to the right sideline of Houston crowd of supporters to celebrate as the ball rolled into the net.

Looking to bounce back in the second half, Colorado did just that in the first 60 seconds of play. After a free kick was awarded to the Rapids a few yards outside the top of the box's left corner, Samuel Vines took care of the rest in world-class fashion. Using his left foot, the defender targeted the ball over the Rapids wall, curling from left to right. Using the Carson wind, the ball curled beautifully into the net. A dream second half start for the Rapids put them right back into the game.

As Colorado continued to lean on their momentous start to the half, their attacking push was once again rewarded in the 78th minute. After Enoch Mushagalusa broke a loose ball down the left flank, the forward cut back into the middle and fed Gregory Tracey who, instead of taking his shot at the charging goalkeeper, threaded the ball across the box, finding Damen Marcu for the easy finish. With 12 minutes left in regulation, the Rapids were leaning towards the finish line.

With three minutes of stoppage time added by the referee, Texans SC Houston began to throw numbers forward in search of the desperation equalizer. In the 90+2 minute, Houston found their miracle goal. After a long throw-in attempt kept numbers in the box, Bryant Huerta sent the Colorado clearance back into the danger zone, where Bruce flicked the ball over the keeper and into the right side of the net for his most important goal of the season to force extra time.

After neither team produced a score in the additional 30 minutes, the game was decided in penalty kicks. Houston converted their first two attempts and their goalkeeper, Gregory Baxa, saved the Rapids' initial pair. Needing a conversion on their fourth attempt to clinch their spot in the final, Houston would miss and allow the Rapids to force a final, tenth attempt from Houston. Fortunately for the Texans, Colorado's final kicker would slice the over the crossbar, sending an elated Houston team into a team dogpile.

The Texans will look to put their name officially in the record books when they take on the winner of the LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders U-17/18 semifinal. Fans can watch the U-17/18 final live on the Development Academy Facebook page, Sunday July 16 at 6:00 p.m. PT.

Goals from Carleton and Conway lift Atlanta United FC over Vancouver Whitecaps

In their first year in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Atlanta United FC U-15/16s are advancing to the 2017 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Final thanks to a 2-0 victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps U-15/16 side on Friday afternoon. Strikes from Andrew Carleton and Jackson Conway made the difference in the game, as both teams came in well-prepared and gave one another matchup difficulties.

"I was really pleased with the first half," Atlanta United FC head coach Tony Annan said. "I thought we came out well and controlled the game. But they are a good team, you can't take anything away from them at this level. You are always going to get a great game at this stage in the Development Academy, and it was a great game. I think we showed good resolve in our defending, not letting them get the ball and we dealt with their attack very well. And we managed to capitalize on a few attacks that we created in the second half. It was a good game for the Development Academy Semifinals."

Homegrown forward Andrew Carleton got the scoring started for Atlanta in the 32'. Building up in the Vancouver backfield with several passes, switching the field, the ball finally met Alessandro Castro in the middle of the field. Castro moved the ball forward to a streaking Carleton, along the right side of the box. The forward then turned on a dime and curled his effort from right to left, beating the goalkeeper to the far side netting to create something out of nothing.

"To be in our first season and going to the National Championship, it's honestly amazing and hopefully we'll be able to win the final on Sunday," Carleton said. "Everybody's dream is to be able to play professional soccer on the first team, but also everybody's dream is to win a national championship. I'm blessed that I'll get the chance to do both."

With four minutes remaining in regulation, Atlanta continued to search for a second goal to put the game on ice. Carleton was once again involved in the action, this time on the assisting end. After controlling a down-field throw in, with a defender on his back, Carleton quickly turned with the ball towards the sidelines and curled a 30-yard pass up the left side of the field for Jackson Conway. After taking a touch, Conway accelerated to draw out the Vancouver goalkeeper, and slotted the ball to the near post as soon as he sensed a slight commitment to cover the far post.

The goal would secure Atlanta United FC's trip to the final, where two-time defending Development Academy Champions, FC Dallas await. Fans can tune into that game live on Sunday, July 16 at 3:30 p.m. PT on the Development Academy Facebook page.

FC Dallas Advance to Third Straight Development Academy Finals

Led by two goals from MLS homegrown player Jesus Ferreira, combined with an incredible goalkeeping performance by Michael Collodi, FC Dallas U-15/16's took another step towards a third straight U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship on Friday, defeating Real Salt Lake AZ 3-0.

"This is the first half of two halves," FC Dallas U-15/16 head coach Luchi Gonzalez said. "Now we are preparing for the next one. Nothing to celebrate. We are going to learn from this past game. There are certainly things we need to do better. But all the credit to RSL. Very well coached, professional and young team. Could have gone either way at one point, but Collodi had a great game that kept us in it. They opened up a little and we took advantage of some transition counters. I thought we had some good moments of pressure, but we also had some good moments to be patient, compact and wait for them to create space from behind."

As the two teams started the game out by trading attacking promises, Dallas found the net in the 14th minute to set the bar high, early on. Attacking up the left flank, Thomas Roberts finished his run by collecting himself and driving the ball into the box. On the receiving end of the pass was Jesus Ferreira, who calmly finished the effort.

Sixteen minutes later, RSL earned a penalty kick and looked to even the score line. Taken by RSL's Sebastian Soto, the ball went to the left and Collodi dove in the same direction. The massive save was a momentum shift, keeping FC Dallas in control.

After ending the first break 1-0, RSL bounced back in the second half, creating another opportunity to even the score in the 49th. After Benjamin Ortiz whipped it in, Soto got everything on it, only to be denied by a point blank save from Collodi to edge the ball over the cross bar.

In the 53rd minute, Ferreira provided the breathing room FC Dallas desperately were digging for. With his winger attacking down the right side, Ferreira sniffed out the run, lurking just beneath the six-yard box as the cross came through. The goal marked Ferreira's third against the RSL organization this season, with his first coming on June 3rd during his MLS debut.

Less than 10 minutes later, FC Dallas put the game away for good, as Edwin Cerrillo used another run down the flank to feed Brayan Padilla, who tucked the ball into the far post. It was the Central Conference Player of the Year's 31st goal of the season.

Collodi put an exclamation point on his performance in the 75th minute with a full-stretch save to the top left corner, denying RSL and keeping his shutout intact.

Next up for FC Dallas is the winner of Friday's second U-15/16 semifinal game between Atlanta United FC and Vancouver Whitecaps. That game can we seen live on the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Facebook page Sunday, July 16 at 3:30 p.m. PT.