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SF Glens' youth movement blitzes Academy of Art in 6-3 preseason win

By SF Glens Staff, 04/20/19, 8:00PM PDT

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Youth academy product Diego Grande scores in first-team debut

Photo Gallery (Vlad Frenkel)

SAN FRANCISCO — In their penultimate preseason game, the San Francisco Glens defeated the Academy of Art University Knights 6-3 at Beach Chalet on Friday with an unlikely boost from the youngest players on the field.

Glens Celtic Academy product Diego Grande, just 16 years old, scored in his first-team debut. He was joined on the scoresheet by Adrian Guzman, a high school junior, and Julio Gonzalez Ponce, a high school senior.

The Glens needed the youth movement to break open a game that opened with a hotly contested 45 minutes. 

After Academy of Art opened the scoring early in the first half, Glens forward Steve Cordova coolly converted a penalty kick minutes later. 

San Francisco’s Marco Iubel later followed with a shot down the right wing that caromed off a defender to give the Glens the lead. 

Midfielders Diego Lopez and Guzman then played a 1-2, with Lopez subsequently crossing the ball in from the left wing and Guzman volleying it home.

The Knights refused to fold and pulled a goal back for a 3-2 margin at the half.

The final 45 minutes were virtually all San Francisco, as Lopez extended the Glens’ lead back to two scores when he knifed through the backline and scored off his own rebound.

Though Academy of Art would once again draw closer with a goal to make the score 4-3, it was as close as they would get in the second half.

Gonzalez Ponce engineered a short through ball that found Grande, who meandered through the defense and slotted the ball high past the goalkeeper for his initial goal as a first-teamer.

Minutes later, Gonzalez Ponce found the back of the net as he gathered the ball in the box, turned, and fired for the final goal of the game.

The Glens conclude their preseason schedule on Saturday, April 27, when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at Skyline College at 5 p.m. The Quakes will be sending a mix of reserves and their Under-19 players led by coach Eder Quintanilla. Admission will be free.

You can find a comprehensive photo gallery from the game courtesy of Vlad Frenkel HERE.

About San Francisco Glens Soccer Club

Founded in 1961 by the Irish-American community, the Glens have been a mainstay of the San Francisco soccer landscape for decades, winning a pair of local amateur titles in the historic San Francisco Soccer Football League (1979, 1993) and advancing to two National Amateur Cup finals (1979, 1990).

Today, the Glens are open to all and offer a complete club pyramid, with the addition of their USL League Two team in 2018 as the latest evidence of growth on their path to the professional ranks. Along with their youth club, SF Glens Evolution—a U.S. Soccer Development Academy member, USL Academy founding member, and the first club in The City to earn NPL Club status on the field—the Glens are the largest soccer club in San Francisco, providing all levels of competition to over 70 teams and 1,300 players from micro soccer all the way to the USL League Two team at the top of the pyramid.

To learn more about the San Francisco Glens, visit SFGlens.com and follow the club on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat—all using the handle @SFGlensSC.

About USL League Two

A part of the United Soccer League family which also operates the USL Championship, USL League One, and Super Y-League, USL League Two (formerly the PDL) has served as the proven stepping-stone for aspiring professionals.

Over 70 percent of all MLS SuperDraft selections since 2010 have USL League Two experience, including four from the Glens in 2019 (Sam Junqua, Roy Boateng, Shinya Kadono, and Sam Ebstein—the first San Francisco club to ever have that many picked. Among the many players to have played in USL League Two before making their professional debuts include Newcastle United FC defender DeAndre Yedlin, 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Tim Melia, 2017 MLS Defender of the Year Ike Opara, 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year Corey Baird, and U.S. Men’s National Team members such as Darlington Nagbe, Brad Guzan, Geoff Cameron, Josh Sargent, and the Bay Area’s own Nick Lima.