Manhattan SC PSG (E-NY) made its first trip to the US Youth Soccer National Championships in 2012 and failed to make it out of the group stage. After missing last year, Manhattan PSG has advanced out of the group stage in the Under-17 Boys group with a 4-0 victory over FC Golden State White (CA-S) on the final day of group play at the US Youth Soccer National Championships, presented by the National Guard.
Manhattan PSG started the tournament off with a 1-1 draw with Chicago Fire Youth Soccer Club (IL) before dismantling CUP Gold 96/97 (OH-S) 6-1 yesterday. Manhattan PSG’s offense picked up where it left off against FC Golden State after Golden State’s Oscar Palma was sent off for a deliberate handball in his own goal after Giansebastian Goicochea’s shot appeared destined to break the scoreless tie.
“Coming into the game we knew that a tie would put us through, but that isn’t our style of play to be safe,” Manhattan PSG coach, Wilson Egidio said. “We play for the win and like yesterday the team was able to put some great soccer together and the outcome shows the difference.”
Sean Fitzgerald scored his third goal of the tournament on the ensuing penalty kick to put Manhattan up 1-0. The rest of the scoring was left to Amara Sesay, who recorded a hat trick in the second half. Sesay’s first goal came off a driving free kick from Michael Stier in the 51st minute, which Sesay was able to head over everyone and into the far post. Sesay was able to double his total in the 80th minute off a counterattack that found Sesay one-on-one with the keeper and finishing with a simple chip. Five minutes later Sesay completed the hat trick thanks to Jack Harrison weaving his way through the Golden State defense before laying it off for Sesay to bury.
“We are very skillful especially in the attacking third and didn’t really need to change anything once they went down a player,” Egidio said. “They were a man down and needed a win so it was only a matter of time before we identified the holes and were able to put our opportunities away.”
FC Golden State’s best chance came in the closing moments when Jonathon Suarez’s free kick forced a diving save from recently subbed in Manhattan PSG keeper, Josh Newman. Manhattan PSG will next take on two-time national champ, Fullerton Rangers 96 White (CA-S) in the semifinals on Saturday, July 26.
“We came to the National Championships two years ago and played well, but we thought we could do better. Smithtown Kickers (E-NY) won it last year and it motivated us because we knew we could play with them.” Egidio said. “We have worked the last two years to get here and we want to grasp this opportunity.”
Watch the Under-17 Boys semifinals live on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/live