Things are looking pretty good for the under-15/16 Dallas Texans of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's Central Conference.
The Dallas Texans are 4-0 and lead the Texas Division ahead of Texans SC Houston and Solar Chelsea, each of whom are 2-1-1.
This past weekend, the Texans never trailed during Saturday's 3-2 victory over division rival FC Dallas (1-2-1).
The Dallas Texas led 1-0 early, turned a 1-1 halftime tie into a 3-1 advantage, and pulled together defensively to close the door down the stretch in front of goalie John Melito.
"The guy on our under-15/16 team has been Brandon Aubrey, who has scored four goals. But I moved him back toward the end of the game," said coach David Hudgell. "And then, from there, really, the whole back four -- Brandon Moore, Jared Rice, Felix Charles and Jordan Speed -- they all played well in the back."
Charles scored the Dallas Texans' first goal and forward Chrstian Soldat netted the second to give the team a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute.
The Dallas Texans were up 3-1 following a score by Christian Ramirez in the 78th minute, but FC Dallas was within the final margin two minutes later.
"Christian has done well coming off the bench, and as a group, as I said, we all defended well," Hudgell said. "But it was a bit hairy holding on there at the end, to be honest with you. It was an exciting game."
Milton Rosales and Jonathan Sanchez were the goal-scorers for FC Dallas.
"I honestly don't want to make too big of a deal of it at this point, because our under-15/16 last year was 5-0 and then the next five games we got one point," Hudgell said. Actually, the team started 4-0 then secured only two points over its next six matches.
"As I said at the beginning of the year, it's a very, very competitive conference," he said. "Things can change very, very quickly. Obviously, at this point, we have a number of players who are hungry and who want to do well and probably at this point, we've exceeded expectations."
A straight-A student at Plano Senior (Plano, Texas), Aubrey is smart enough to know that the season's just begun and to keep things in perspective, especially considering last year's showing.
Aubrey, who took a visit to Northwestern University on Sunday, remains determined, nevertheless, to help the Dallas Texans to improve on last season.
"I'm really excited that we're playing well and winning all of the games so far, because it was really disappointing that we didn't go farther last year," said Aubrey, who scored his team's initial two goals in a 4-1 victory over Classics Elite (0-4) on Oct. 2. "But I'm really starting to believe that we have the ability to go much farther this year."
This past weekend's top Academy goal scorers
2, James Carlin, South Carolina United Battery, in 2-2 tie with Georgia United
2, Iain Holmes, McLean Youth Soccer, in 3-0 win over Richmond Strikers
2, Jorge Ruiz, Chivas, in 3-2 win over Nomads SC
2, Alan Winn, Solar Chelsea, in 2-0 win over Houston Dynamos
3, James Huffer, De Anza Force, in 5-1 win over California Development Academy
3, Leobardo Vazquez, Texans SC Houston, in 3-1 win over Andromeda FC
2, Mason Duke, Virginia Rush, in 5-3 loss to Richmond Kickers
2, Tucker Hume, Classics Elite, in 5-4 loss to Lonestar SC
2, Daniel Lauretano, Richmond Kickers, in 5-3 win over Virginia Rush
2, Kekuta Manneh, Lonestar SC, in 5-4 win over Classics Elite
2, Michael Nelson, Lonestar SC, in 5-4 win over Classics Elite
2, Sebastian Valesquez, LA Galaxy, in 4-0 win over San Diego Surf
2, Todd Wharton, Richmond Strikers, in 4-3 loss to McLean Youth Soccer