The D.C. United U-17 team’s recent trip to Amsterdam didn’t disappoint, as the team finished in sixth place after four taxing games in three days. United youth coach Roberto da Silva thought the travel left a big impact on the play, though came away pleased with his side’s performance.
“I think fatigue was the biggest factor of this group,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “But I think [the kids] played really well.”
DC’s first game on April 23 against the Chinese U-17 national team got their tournament off to a good start. US youth international Patrick Foss scored a hat trick in a 3-2 win.
In the second game of the day, DC lost a close 1-0 game to eventual tournament champions Anderlecht. It was a game da Silva thought could have gone in favor of United.
“Anderlecht had to work really hard to beat us,” he said. “When they played against us, I think we had a chance to tie them and maybe even win.”
The club went on to lose 4-1 to Bayern Munich and eventually 4-0 to Ajax Cape Town to finish in sixth place. But despite the loss, da Silva thought the tournament was a valuable learning experience – and thinks it’s something other MLS teams should go through.
“I think every academy team if they could, they should go and experience a tournament like this,” he said. “The kids got to understand that we are not at that level yet, but we are very close.”