Today marked an exciting and historic day for the Revs’ youth teams, the U18s claiming a spot in their first-ever U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals Week.
The day began earlier than usual given the U18s’ 9 a.m. kickoff. After breakfast at the hotel, the team boarded the bus for 7:30 and made its way to the fields.
Going into the match, the Revs needed to win and the Earthquakes needed to beat the Dallas Texans for New England to advance. So while the U18 coaches did their part on the bench, the remainder of the staff kept tabs on the game a few fields over and exchanged updates. The Revs did their part, topping the LA Galaxy, 4-2, but were several minutes ahead of the other game. San Jose led, 2-1, and Dallas equalized late in the game, leaving the staff scrambling to figure out what that meant for their advancement scenarios. But San Jose came up big, scoring a go-ahead goal to ensure things panned out for the Revs.
Three staff members waited (for what seemed like forever) with U.S. Soccer officials to confirm, before crossing the field to share the good news with the team.
After the initial celebration, the group took an official photo and conducted interviews with U.S. Soccer, officially announcing New England as one of eight teams in the 80-team Development Academy to advance to Finals Week.
The U16s played their final game of the Showcase at 1 p.m., battling weary legs and 96-degree temperatures to come away with a 1-1 draw.
Full game recaps are available on revolutionsoccer.net.
After returning to the hotel, the teams made sandwiches before returning to their rooms for a few hours of down time.
Capping off the trip, dinner was held at a different restaurant. Afterwards, the players took the opportunity to thank the coaches for their hard work.
Tomorrow, the group heads back to Boston. While the U16s’ year has officially come to a close, the U18s now have two week to prepare for Finals Week in Houston.
NOTE: Nearly 50 new photos were added to Flickr gallery today, so don’t forget to check that out!