Academy Teams Put on Dominant Display in Front of Home Fans
St. Louis finally got a chance to watch the STL CITY Academy teams play, and the boys did not disappoint! The U16s started the day with an impressive 2-0 win and the U17s kept it going with a thumping of Shattuck-St. Mary’s 8-1 to remain undefeated in MLS NEXT action.
St. Louis CITY’s U16 team kicked off their MLS NEXT opener with an impressive performance in the first game of the double header. The team started the game positively, generating waves and waves of attack in the first 20 minutes of the match. Despite creating a plethora of chances, the ball just would not go in.
STL CITY’s pressure eventually paid off in the 36th minute when Jackson Delkus latched onto a string of passes and slotted home the first-ever goal for St. Louis CITY’s U16s. The home team largely dominated the game after the goal, with the players pressing the Shattuck-St. Mary’s defense and creating a ton of chances. After winning the ball back on the right in the 90th minute, forward Omar Cilic delivered a pin-point cross to Delkus, who headed in his second of the game, giving St. Louis CITY SC their first U16 win.
“Overall, it was a great performance from the boys,” said David Critchley, St. Louis CITY SC Academy Assistant Coach. “We always talk about creating waves of attack and finding the right opportunities to attack our opponents. I thought we were very aggressive in the final third, which was reflected in our two goals and the number of chances we created. That is a part of our identity, and the guys did a great job of displaying that today.”
Following the U16 team’s win, St. Louis CITY’s U17s kicked off their second game of the MLS NEXT season. Shattuck-St. Mary’s flew right out of the gate, scoring a goal five minutes into the match. St. Louis CITY took a while to find their feet but once they did, it became an onslaught of relentless attacking and counter pressing.
Anthony Faupel leveled the game in the 30th minute after pouncing on a loose ball in the box, netting his second goal of the campaign. From there on, the team put on a clinic of attacking play, creating chances after chances. Four minutes after leveling, St. Louis CITY was awarded a penalty, which was coolly dispatched in the middle of the goal by midfielder, Jacob Lusignan. The team put on an entertaining performance with Miguel Perez, Tyler Sargent (2), Mikey Lay (2) and Kai Pope adding goals to secure an emphatic 8-1 win for St. Louis CITY SC’s U17 team.
“This is the way we want to play,” explained Luis Swisher, St. Louis CITY Academy Assistant Coach. “You saw even in the last minute we still tried to create chances and score goals. We were super active on defense and tried to win the ball as a wolfpack, especially on the counter press. You can see key moments of our playing style and we are happy we were able to put on a good performance in front of our fans.”
St. Louis CITY SC’s Academy teams will continue their MLS NEXT season when they travel to Michigan next week to take on Midwest United on Saturday, September 11.
If you missed the home double header, you can watch both matches here.