Chivas USA Academy: U-18s advance to Finals Week in USSDA playoffs

Calvert scored on multiple occasions in Indianapolis. - Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Junior Goats reach the final round for the second time.

The annual U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs are underway, with the first phase taking place in Indianapolis this year. Though all three USSDA teams from Chivas USA's Academy have been involved in the proceedings this month, the oldest group, the U-17/18 team, was in the main event this time around, and as a result of their record in group play, will be moving on to the last round of the playoffs, the so-called "Finals Week."

Drawn into a group with the Capital Area RailHawks Academy and fellow MLS sides the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo, CUSA's U-18s opened play on Monday with a 2-1 win over the RailHawks, with goals from Michael Flores and Diego Sanchez for the Goats.

On Tuesday, they had a setback, as they lost to the Revs 4-3 (Chivas' goals from Eddie Cabrera and a pair from Homegrown pro Caleb Calvert).

But with a win over the Dynamo, they'd top the group and move on in the playoffs, and they did just that on Thursday, crushing Houston 4-0 behind goals from Calvert, Flores, and two from Paul Salcedo.

According to CUSA's website, they are the only Southern California team to make it to Finals Week, and that could prove to be a boost for the Goats as the last round will be held at the rather familiar confines of the StubHub Center. Proceedings begin next week, so be sure to head out if you can and cheer the Junior Goats on. Congrats to the U-18s and best of luck!

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