Gottschee Winter Showcase
The undefeated BW Gottschee U-18 team arrived at the winter academy showcase boasting the best record and holding the number ranking in the United States Soccer Development Academy. They were honored accordingly by being featured in the stadium for their opening game. Gottschee kicked off against Chargers FC from Clearwater, Florida amidst an unrelenting torrent of rain that would batter the pitch the entire game. The first half was a tight affair with both teams struggling to find their footing in the slippery conditions. However, moments before halftime Gottschee capitalized on a free kick from half field to take a 1-0 lead. They continued to have their way in the second half, dominating the midfield play and eventually adding a second and third goal to take a well-deserved 3-0 win.
In their next encounter Gottschee faced the second ranked Houston Dynamo academy. In the first half, Gottschee continued their strong possession style play and created opportunities which they were unable to capitalize on. In the second half, a ten-minute offensive flurry from the Dynamo tested the Gottschee defense, but a strong showing from their goalkeeper safeguarded their clean sheet. Midway through the second half Gottschee poked in the winner off a cross from the right side of the field. They added an insurance goal with five minutes left in the game to cap off their second straight win at the showcase. This win was particularly impressive considering that three Houston Dynamo players have signed professional contracts for the upcoming year.
With a day of rest under their belt Gottschee faced the San Jose Earthquakes in their third and final game at the showcase, hoping to take their record to 15-0. Although they unfortunately suffered an injury during the first half, they took the lead off a brilliant solo run from the right back midway through the first half. Another goal minutes into the second half allowed Gottschee to sit back a little more and protect their lead. The defense absorbed a lot of pressure from San Jose but held strong to post their tenth consecutive clean sheet. With the win Gottschee capped of their perfect fall season and retained their number one ranking in the United States Soccer Development Academy.