SAN JOSE, Calif. - It was yet another successful weekend for Earthquakes academy head coach Paul Holocher and his U18 and U16 sides as they compiled an impressive 3-1-0 record this past weekend against Southern California club’s Irvine Strikes FC and Pateadores.
Second half goals from George Korpontinos and Fernando Soria lifted the U18s to a 2-0 victory over visiting Strikers FC Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Stadium on the campus of California State University, East Bay.
Sunday’s fixture proved to be more of the same for the U18s as they sealed a commanding 3-1 victory over Pateadores behind two penalty kick goals from David Chavez and Johnathan Navarro, as well as a goal from Armon Ojuola through the run of play.
The U16s, victors in their last match against Northern California rivals De Anza Force, found goals from Adolfo Tuijllo, Arda Bulut and Luke Andrews in Saturday’s nail-biting 3-2 win over Strikers FC.
The U16s would have their three-game winning streak snapped Sunday at Pioneer Stadium after falling 0-2 to Pateadores, the top team in the U16 Academy West Division.
The U18s currently lead the nine team Northwest Division with a 5-2 record and 15 points while boasting a division-best 19 goals scored.
The U16s are now tied for third in the nine team Northwest Division with a 4-3 record and 12 points and second in the division in goals scored with 16.
“Overall, it was a very good weekend,” said Holocher, “We controlled each of the four games we played in over the weekend and created the majority of the chances. The boys are enjoying this way of playing and each week we are refining and expanding upon the philosophy and goal of looking to be the dominant and pro-active team with the ball-possession.”
Holocher, assistant coach Luis Trejo and the rest of the coaching staff anticipated a high-octane, weekend-long battle against two tough clubs from Southern California. Now twelve weeks into the season, Holocher was impressed with the team’s collective effort towards the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.
“When you come up against strong opponents like the Strikers and Pats you have to be committed to all the moments of the game - with the ball, without the ball and the transitional moments - both our teams showed that collective commitment this last weekend,” Holocher said. “The goals we did score came after some good sequences of passing and the goals we gave up, for example with the 16s on Sunday, came after ball loss in our efforts to build-up play from the back.
“These are great learning opportunities for us as a team to improve and solve the various soccer problems that come up throughout each game. Both teams showed a lot of good commitment to our way of playing and also played with resilience as they were both tough physical games.”
Both sides have Halloween weekend off before heading to the Pacific Northwest to face rival Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC from Nov. 7-8. The U18s are three points ahead of Portland for sole possession of the top spot in the Northwest Division. For the third place U16s, they’ll look to stave off fourth place Sounders FC and jump into either the first or second spot in the Northwest Division by the end of the weekend.
Academy Player Recieves International Call-up
Earthquakes academy head coach Paul Holocher announced today that U16 academy player and San Jose native Jean-Julien Foe Nuphaus has been called into next week’s U15 US National Team Camp in Carson, Calif.
“JJ is a 2000 born so is one of a handful of younger players playing on our U16 team,” Holocher said about Jean-Julien. “He is an outstanding player with strong technique, composure and very good reading and understanding of the game. He is the type of player that can play any position on the field very well. The U.S. Youth National team scout saw him perform very well in GA Cup as one of our center-backs and were encouraged by his ability to build-up from the back and also his defending. We are all excited for this opportunity for JJ and know he will perform very well and represents himself and the Quakes Academy in the mature way he always does.”