Chris Agorsor wasn’t supposed to play Friday -- and LAFC wishes he hadn’t.
On Thursday night, Agorsor, this year’s Gatorade boys’ soccer national player of the year and arguably the best youth prospect in American soccer, was barely able to walk in his hotel room after an MRI exam taken that day revealed he had suffered a sprained knee earlier in the tournament.
The Baltimore Bays forward wasn’t in the starting lineup for Friday’s inaugural Development Academy Under-17/18 national championship game, but he began warming up after LAFC, based in La Canada, took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute at the Home Depot Center.
“I just couldn’t sit on the bench any longer,” Agorsor said after having led the Bays to a 4-2 overtime win. “I didn’t wait for my coach. I just got up on my own.”
Despite his injury, Agorsor, who has a scholarship offer from Virginia but is considering playing professionally in Europe, brought back the Bays with his tournament-leading sixth goal and also drew a penalty kick in the 90th minute that forced the game to overtime.
A day after the loss, LAFC was still claiming that Agorsor drew favorable calls from the referee. “The fouls helped them,” said LAFC goalkeeper Giovanni Castaneda. “It came down to just that PK.”
LAFC President Don Sheppard, who was ejected for arguing the penalty kick, was still perplexed about how one of his players got two yellow cards on two fouls, both on Agorsor.
“The boys know who was better,” Sheppard said. “Everyone [who saw the game] knows who the best youth team in the nation is.”
On Saturday, LAFC’s penalty kick woes continued as the club’s other team in the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Development Academy lost in the Under-15/16 fifth-place game to the Chicago Magic, 4-2, in a shootout.
In other games, Schulz Academy of Boca Raton, Fla., beat Real Colorado, 2-0, to take home third place, and Indiana’s Carmel United was crowned U-15/16 national champion with a 1-0 win over PDA of New Jersey.