A player who scored 14 goals in the regional championships spoiled Lower Merion SC’s first day at the U.S. Youth Soccer national championships in Frisco, Texas, on Tuesday.
Forward Evangelo Spartiaris opened the scoring in the first half on a quick restart and added a second goal later in the game to lead the Chicago Fire Academy Raiders to a 3-1 victory over the LMSC Sabertooth Rats in the U15 boys division.
The three goals by the Raiders - Julio Acosta headed home a goal off a long cross before halftime - were more than the Sabertooth Rats conceded in all five of their regional matches.
It could have been a lot more if not for some heroic goalkeeping by Luke Smith, who was tested repeatedly throughout the course of the game by a potent Raiders attack.
The Rats created a number of their own chances, especially early in the match with Timothy O’Hare providing the spark in the midfield and did manage to get one goal back and reduce their goal differential when Jared Dillon set up Philip Burckhardt for a late goal. But the climb will be steep from here on out as they face SC Sporting early Wednesday morning and finish preliminary play against McLean on Thursday morning.
Lehigh Valley top FC Dallas 98 Premier on Evan Vare goal
State player of the year Evan Vare scored in the 85th minute to lift Lehigh Valley United to a 2-1 win over FC Dallas 98 Premier to open play in the U18 boys division.
Lehigh took the lead on a Sebastian Venegas goal in the 12th minute but FC Dallas found an equalizer through Brian Gilligan in the 68th minute.
They face FC Golden State Platinum, which also won their first match, on Wednesday in a game that is being live streamed on the U.S. Youth Soccer YouTube channel at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.