If there is one thing that Bryan Salazar's signing did for the Houston Dynamo so far, it has drawn attention to the Dynamo Academy a bit and made fans who'd otherwise not even realize we had an Academy take notice.
Right now, the youth of the Dynamo are in the middle of the 2013 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs. Both the U-18's and U-16's are in the tournament, but unfortunately the U-18's have been eliminated and do not have the ability to move on to Finals Week, which will be played right here in Houston.
The U-18's entered the group stage paired with Vancouver Whitecaps, PA Classics, and the Chicago Fire. They dropped their opening two games and will finish group play against the Chicago Fire this morning. Regardless of the result, they will not be moving on. So much for a fairy tale ending for Bryan Salazar and his teammates. Salazar was in Dallas for the tournament, but now with the Academy officially behind him will turn his focus to the Dynamo first team.
The U-16's are the story right now after winning their first two matches in group play against Concorde Fire and PA Classics. The two wins set up a final match you'll want to keep an eye on as the Dynamo will take on the New York Red Bulls, who are the defending Academy champions, and a force to be reckoned with.
The NYRB kids finished their season with a 23-1-3 record, collecting 2.67 points per game and with an astounding 84-9 goal differential. You didn't read that wrong - they scored 84 goals, while conceding only nine.
Based on results, New York holds the advantage in goal differential in the group stage with +5. Houston has +3 and control their destiny with tomorrow's result. The Dynamo will get through with a win.
Houston and New York will play tomorrow morning (June 28) at 11:00 a.m. As of now, I'm not aware of any streaming of the game and I'll do my best to get any information out as it becomes available. There are a few outlets in Dallas covering the matches and if I can determine who'll be tweeting about the Dynamo game, I'll share that with our readers.
While Salazar is by far the Academy story of 2013, fans interested in keeping up with the U-16's should keep an eye on Elo Ozumba. He's eclipsed Salazar's goal scoring total this season with a team leading 23 goals, including one in yesterday's 2-1 win over PA Classics.