U17s Earn a Point From Road Trip, U16s Share the Spoils in Friendly Games
St. Louis CITY SC’s U16 and U17 academy teams were back in action in Ohio this past weekend against FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew academy teams. The U17s ended the weekend with a tie and a loss, while the U16 team shared the spoils in their friendly games.
In the club’s first game against FC Cincinnati, the U17s played to a 1-1 draw in a tight and competitive matchup. The team started the game positively, dominating possession and putting pressure on Cincinnati’s defense, especially on the flanks. In the 32nd minute, FC Cincinnati were reduced to 10 men after the referee issued a second yellow card to one of their players for a poorly timed tackle outside the box.
With the player advantage, STL CITY’s U17s pressed for the opening goal but was hit with a counterattack in the 48th minute that resulted in a goal for FC Cincinnati. After the goal, the team created numerous chances as they searched for the equalizer, and were rewarded in the 65th minute when Brian Franco headed home a cross from Nathan Yao to level the game. Despite dominating in the latter stages of the game, the boys had to settle for one point.
The team enjoyed a similar start to their game against Columbus Crew but went in the halftime break a goal down after Columbus Crew found the net in the 42nd minute. The boys created a lot of goalscoring opportunities but just could not find the back of the net. Columbus Crew added their second goal in the 55th minute and another in the 86th minute.
With the game dwindling, Jacob Lusignan converted from the penalty spot, setting up a tense end to the match. At the end of the regular period, the referee signaled six minutes of added time, providing the team with a small window to launch a comeback. STL CITY piled the pressure on Columbus Crew and had chances to tie the game, but a missed penalty and a lack of clinical finishing ensured that the three points stayed with Columbus Crew.
“The results didn’t go the way we wanted them to this weekend,” said Luis Swisher, St. Louis CITY SC Academy Assistant Coach. “But I thought we showed a lot of good moments in both games. We created a lot of chances, but we just couldn’t get the ball in. Now, we have to turn our focus to training and preparing for our next game.”
The U16s came into the weekend of friendlies looking to continue their perfect record across all competitions this season but ended up tasting defeat for the first time, losing to an older mixed squad of FC Cincinnati’s academy teams. Despite going down by three goals, the boys put on a spirited performance and added a goal late in the game with Landon Weber curling a brilliant strike in the top right corner.
In their second friendly game against Columbus Crew, the U16s dominated from the first minute of the game, with the players attacking and pressing the opponent’s defense. Columbus Crew put up a strong fight at first but could not handle STL CITY’s unrelenting attack. In the
15th minute, the in-form striker Jackson Delkus gave STL CITY a first half lead after slotting home a composed shot from the left side of the box.
STL CITY started the second half with drive, controlling the flow of the game and creating goalscoring chances at will. However, the U16 team didn’t add another goal until the 76th minute, when Omar Cilic finished off a lovely play from close range. Two minutes later, Gavin Netzel netted the team’s third goal, as STL CITY continued to generate waves of attack. In the dying moments of the game, Landon Veach added the team’s fourth goal, capping off a dominant away display from the team.
“I’m really proud of the effort shown by the lads in both games this weekend,” said David Critchley, St. Louis CITY SC Academy Assistant Coach. “It’s always exciting to see how the boys are adapting to our playing style. I thought they did a great job of finding solutions in the game, which speaks to their maturity as players.”
MATCHDAY NOTES – STARTING XI
VS FC Cincinnati
Tyson Pearce, Thomas Pratl, Zach Stanton, Dustin Randazzo, Gavin Netzel, Nate Harmon, Eddie Stewart, Jack DiMaria, Zach Van Hee, Jackson Delkus, Nick Bishop
Jacob Lusignan, Joshua Maher, Anthony Faupel, Aaron Heard, Miguel Perez, Tyler Sargent, Nathan Yao, Fritz Volmar, Nolan McGuire, Caden Glover, Mason Beck
VS Columbus Crew
Tyson Pearce, Jacksen McNeal, Zach Stanton, Blas Urbano, Landon Weber, Landon Veach, Eddie Stewart, Jack DiMaria, Zach Van Hee, Jackson Delkus, Nick Bishop
Max Vuong, Harrison Engel, Anthony Faupel, Aaron Heard, Brian Franco, Connor Lovell, Nathan Yao, Fritz Volmar, Nolan McGuire, Kai Pope, Owen Spore