Sparks Extra Time Winner Sends Solar Soccer Club to U-16/17 Semifinals

Bailey Sparks scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in the 100th minute, as Solar Soccer Club defeated 10-man FC Dallas, 3-2, on Tuesday afternoon in the 2019 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Boys U-16/17 Quarterfinals. Solar Soccer Club led twice in the 90 minutes but was pegged back by FC Dallas twice before Sparks' extra time tally settled the quarterfinal between to two Dallas-area rivals.

It took Solar Soccer Club just over five minutes to take the lead with its first chance of the game on a free kick from Sparks. A foul just outside the box led to the chance for Solar Soccer Club and, after one of his teammates ran over it, Sparks curled a right-footed shot into the upper corner to give Solar Soccer Club a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.

Just three minutes later FC Dallas was level through Diego Letayf. On the first corner kick of the game, a pair of FC Dallas attackers passed up the opportunity to shoot as the ball found its way to Letayf who converted from about eight yards past Solar goalkeeper Chris Edwards to tie the game, 1-1, in the ninth minute.

David Rodriguez nearly put FC Dallas in front in the 13th minute as his low shot from just outside the box forced a good save from Edwards down to his left to keep the game level.

FC Dallas continued to be on the front-foot after conceding the early goal but, on the half-hour mark, the MLS Academy side was reduced to 10-men when goalkeeper Seth Wilson was given a red card after coming out of his box to defend a quick free kick taken by Solar Soccer Club.

On the ensuing free kick, Sparks nearly netted a second, cannoning the free kick off the crossbar as the contest between the two Dallas cubs went into halftime even at 1-1.

Three minutes after the break, Solar Soccer Club reclaimed the lead courtesy of a header from Jon Paul Jordan II. The cross came in from the right side and Jordan finished with a perfect glancing header to the back post, beating FC Dallas substitute goalkeeper Jack Waterman to give Solar Soccer Club a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute.

Just a minute after going behind, FC Dallas had a chance to equalize again as Cristian Escribano's curling effort went just wide of the far post.

Chances continued back-and-forth as Solar Soccer Club's Bryce Boneau hit the woodwork in the 53rd minute.

FC Dallas had an excellent opportunity in the 71st minute as Rodriguez had a shot cleared away from goal by Jordan. Jonathan Gomez did an excellent job to get down the left side and into the box before cutting it back for Rodriguez who had enough space to get a good look at goal, but Jordan was in the right place at the right time to sweep it away from danger as Solar maintained its 2-1 advantage.

Rodriguez did get the equalizer in the 76th minute, bending a perfect free kick into the net past Edwards. A foul right on the edge of the box created the opportunity and Rodriguez bent a perfect, left-footed free kick past Edwards to even the game, 2-2.

Just a few minutes later, Edwards was called upon to make an excellent save on a shot from a tight angle by Michael Sosa as the game remained deadlocked at two. Edwards made another terrific save in the 84th minute off a FC Dallas free kick as 90 minutes would not be enough to separate the two Dallas-area sides.

Solar Soccer Club went in front again as Sparks scored his second of the game, and what would prove to be the game-winner, in the 100th minute. The initial shot came from Richard Garcia, his shot was parried away by Waterman but it was Sparks who pounced on the rebound to give Solar Soccer Club a 3-2 lead.

Solar Soccer Club nearly added a fourth in the first minute of the second half of extra time as Nicolas Nee cut in on his right and smashed a shot past Waterman but off the crossbar.

Two minutes from time, Solar Soccer Club had another chance as Waterman was off his line to deny an initial opportunity, but the ball fell to Ray Serrano whose shot was cleared off the line by a FC Dallas defender.

Solar was unable to get the insurance goal but it wasn't needed as the Frontier Division runners-up outlasted their North Texas rivals to advance to the 2019 Development Academy Championships, July 8-11, in Irvine, Calif.

Watch the full match here: https://ussoc.cr/8da20