Another successful year is now in the books for St. Louis CITY SC Academy teams. In a season that began by instituting two new Academy squads (U-15s and UPSL team) in the fall and welcoming six new faces to coaching staffs across the Academy to boot, the boys excelled. Each team won at least one game in postseason play to round out winning seasons across the board.
U-15s shine in their inaugural season
During the regular season, the U-15s posted 5-3-4 and 8-5-1 records in League and MLS NEXT Flex play, respectively. At the MLS NEXT Fest event in December, the U-15s played in Generation adidas Cup qualifiers, going undefeated over three matches to emerge as Group B champions. When the Generation adidas Cup rolled around, the boys went 1-1-1 in three group stage contests but did not advance to the knockout rounds.
Although the team missed out on an MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs berth, they did not let that dissuade them from competing at a high level in the MLS NEXT Cup Showcase, winning two of their three games (4-3 versus ALBION SC San Diego and 2-1 against IMG Academy) in the event. Following the team’s strong season, head coach Anthony Wallace was tabbed to helm the MLS NEXT West team at the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game.
U-16s cap off dominant season with playoff victory
Across their 24 total regular-season contests, the U-16s dropped just one game. The team cruised to a 10-0-1 record in League fixtures and 11-1-1 record in MLS NEXT Flex matches, locking up the top spot in the U16 Mid-America Division in both cases. In December, the U-16s competed in Showcase fixtures at MLS NEXT Fest, continuing their season’s dominance with two wins and a draw over three matches.
In May, the U-16s snagged an automatic qualification for the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs after winning their group at MLS NEXT Flex. The boys won their first-round playoff matchup (4-3 over Alexandria SA) and then played to a draw their next time out (1-1 against Michigan Jaguars) but lost in shootouts. The boys then played one match in the Cup Showcase, drawing Chula Vista FC 1-1.
U-17s add to impressive season with playoff run
Taking home the U17 Central (North) Division crown after attaining a 7-2-3 record in League play, the U-17s also notched an excellent 8-3-2 record in their MLS NEXT Flex competitions. The team went to battle in their three Generation adidas Cup qualifiers at MLS NEXT Fest in December, winning twice in penalty shootouts. At the Generation adidas Cup in April, the U-17s played hard but did not break out of the group stage.
Entering the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs with an automatic bid after also winning their group during May’s MLS NEXT Flex event, the U-17s took care of business with victories in their first two rounds of playoff action (beating FC Boston Bolts 4-0 and then beating LAFC Academy 4-2). In their quarterfinal matchup, the boys grinded out a draw (1-1 versus Real Colorado) but had their Cup hopes dashed when they lost in the subsequent shootouts. With his stellar play, forward Caden Glover became one of 44 players across MLS NEXT selected to the MLS NEXT All-Star roster.
UPSL team shows out
Following up their successful inaugural campaign during the 2022 Fall season, the UPSL boys went 8-2-0 and finished second in the UPSL’s Kentucky-Tennessee division during the 2023 Spring season. With their regular season performance earning them a first-round bye, the boys took the pitch for their first playoff game in a divisional semifinal matchup with Bowling Green FC, besting them 4-1. With a slot in the UPSL national playoffs on the line, the team faced off against Beaman United FC in their divisional playoff final, but they lost 3-2 in the tightly contested affair. Forward Nathan Ferguson led the squad with fourteen (14) total goals across the regular season and playoffs.
Academy player Aaron Heard earned a call-up to the U.S. Men’s Youth National Team U-17 training camp in August.
Academy players Fritz Volmar and Tyson Pearce both earned call-ups to U.S. Men’s Youth National Team camps that took place in January, with Volmar joining the U-19 team and Pearce training with the U-16 squad.
Glover was called-up to the U-16 U.S. Men's Youth National Team in May for the 2023 International Dream Cup.
To watch Wallace and Glover at the 2023 MLS NEXT All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 19 at 9:30 a.m. CT, fans should tune in to MLS NEXT’s (@mlsnext) TikTok account.