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Villarreal U-18 squad defeats Southampton U-18's; American Akale scores one of the goals

A friendly matchup between Southampton and Villarreal--two clubs with great youth programs. The Submarine won 2-0, with goals from Beli and Akale.

Villarreal welcomed Southampton's youth squad to the Sports City, and from the report on Southampton's official site, it sounded like a wide-open game with lots of opportunities.

Southampton's official site has a nice writeup on the match; both clubs had shots off the woodwork, it sounds as though as the match went on Villarreal had more chances.  Midfielder Beli (Álvaro Belizón) had the bulk of them, and finally was able to break through in the 68th minute.  (Beli is 18, and plays for our Juvenil A club).

USMNT U-18 player Mukwelle Akale (he doesn't turn 18 until next year) finished things off with a fine individual effort to give us a 2-0 win.

The teams were:

Villarreal U18s: Javi, Miguelón, Maldo, Rafa (Cassano 46), Pau, Mathi, Chuca, Beli (Rodri 69), Chepe (Manu 46) Dario (Akale 46), Pablo (Pibe 46). Unused substitutes: Joan, Guinot.

Southampton U18s: Nick Croucher (James Needle 46), Richard Bakary (Alfie Jones 46), Ollie Cook, trialist (Ben Cull 50), Josh Debayo, Armani Little (Stuart Wilkin 78), Joe Lea, Dan Demkiv (Carel Kayembe 61), Mark Irvine (trialist 46), Stuart Wilkin (trialist 46), Marcus Barnes (Mark Irvine 69). Unused substitutes: Colm Deasy.

In fact, this was a bit more than just a friendly match, as the Southampton youngsters trained with our under-16 coaches while spending a couple of days in Vila-real.  The Saints have an outstanding development program, of course, with players such as Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw coming up through their ranks--of course, they have the same problem we do in keeping those players in the long-term when offers from "bigger clubs" come along.  Good luck to them this year!