The U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs kicked off Monday in Frisco, Texas. After strong regular seasons, the Crew Soccer Academy U-18 and Crew Soccer Academy Wolves U-16 teams were both in action looking for a berth in Finals Week next month in Houston.
The CSA U-18 squad won its first match in group play, defeating local favorite FC Dallas, 1-0. Noah Hutchins netted the difference for the Black & Gold from Brady Blackwell's service. On Tuesday, the U-18s fell to Albertson SC, 4-1. William Bayemi scored the lone goal for the Black & Gold. The U-18 squad closes out play in its group on Thursday against Concorde FC.
On the U-16 level, the CSA Wolves claimed a 4-1 victory over Orlando City SC on Tuesday night behind goals from Blake Townes, Kosti Moni, Ahinga Selemani and Kalenga Selemani. The Wolves face Real So Cal on Wednesday evening before rounding out the group stage on Friday against Seattle Sounders FC.
In the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Championships in Iowa, the Crew Juniors U-19s were knocked out of contention to repeat as James P. McGuire Cup champions despite two victories over the weekend. On Saturday, the Black & Gold opened Regionals with a 4-1 win over Westside United from Indiana. Connor Klekota scored two goals within the first 18 minutes of the match, while also assisting on the Crew's third goal scored by Chris Davis in the 59th minute. Four minutes later, Klekota completed his hat trick to extend the Black & Gold's lead to 4-0 before Westside United earned one back in the final minutes.
On Sunday, Crew Juniors fell 4-1 to four-time Iowa State Cup champions EIU in their second match of the tournament. The Juniors responded on Monday with an 8-2 victory against WAZA FC from Michigan to close out their play in the Regional II Championships. Chris Davis and Tommy Thompson each netted a brace, while David Witkoff, Louis Berra, Brett Elder and Matt Foldesy also added goals.
While the U-19s' season is over, the team will carry on in USL Super-20 league play. The Black & Gold will host four home matches between June 28 and July 5 before heading to Bradenton, Fla. on July 18 for the national championship tournament.