FC Dallas Academy continued its impressive postseason run, pitching a fifth straight shutout in a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Union U-16 Academy team in Carson, California on Thursday.
Adrian Ramos opened the scoring for Dallas in the 16th minute of a game that was streamed live but difficult to follow for the fans back home because of technical difficulties. Tashikii Yasuda's goal just before halftime doubled the lead and the mountain to climb for a Union team that had not been kept off the scoreboard all season long.
Proving its defensive prowess in the first four playoff games was no fluke, FC Dallas kept the Union off the board in the second half and added a third goal from Weston McKennie in the 63rd minute.
Just the first clean sheet against the team this year, it was also only the fourth loss of the season for a Union team that came into the tournament the No. 2 overall seed. Two of their other three losses came against division rivals and No. 1 overall seed New York Red Bulls, which beat Georgia United 2-1 in the other semifinal match on Thursday to advance to Saturday's final.
"Although we're disappointed that we haven't advanced to the final, I am very proud of our team in the excellent season we've had so far," Head Coach Jeff Cook was quoted saying on the Academy's Twitter account after the match, played on a field outside the StubHub Center in Carson. "I thought FCD were an outstanding team and we wish them luck in the final."
The U-16s will turn their focus to third place with one last match to play Saturday morning against Georgia United. The New York Red Bulls vs FC Dallas final will be streamed on www.ussoccer.com at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Real Salt Lake AZ and Chicago Fire will play for the U-18 title in a game being streamed live at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.