U16s Dominate in 11-0 Win, Late Goal Snaps U17s’ Win Streak
It was a bittersweet trip to Michigan this past weekend for St. Louis CITY SC’s Academy. STL CITY U16s secured an emphatic 11-0 win, but the U17s were edged 3-2, ending a perfect start to their inaugural MLS NEXT season.
St. Louis CITY’s U16 team had a strong start to the game, controlling the tempo of the match and dominating possession with drive and purpose. The team’s defensive discipline limited the opponents to long shots and allowed the attackers to win the ball in dangerous areas. Midwest United had a rare 1v1 chance in the 15th minute, but a perfectly timed tackle from goalkeeper Nick Bishop kept the game level.
Tactically, the team found a lot of success by isolating their defenders on the wings and creating 2v1 situations, especially on the right side. In the 18th minute, Omar Cilic pounced on a loose ball on the right before his deflected cross found the feet of Jackson Delkus, who slotted home St. Louis CITY’s first goal of the day. And then the flood gates opened and STL CITY turned it up a notch physically, relentlessly pressing their opponents and creating continuous goalscoring chances.
In the 21st minute, Cilic tapped in a shot from close range after Landon Weber’s long-range strike forced a save from the goalkeeper. St. Louis CITY went on to add a whopping 9 more goals, with Jackson Delkus (6), Omar Cilic (2), Landon Weber, Gavin Netzel and Nathan Harmon all adding goals to round out a statement win for the U16 team.
“I know it is very easy to look at the result and be happy,” said David Critchley, St. Louis CITY SC Academy Assistant Coach. “But I was more impressed with our overall performance especially on the defensive end – which resulted in another clean sheet. The boys executed everything we worked on in training this week, and I was happy with how supportive and positive they were throughout the game.”
St. Louis CITY’s U17 team played from behind for most of the first half after conceding one to Midwest United 8 minutes into the game. Following the goal, chances weren’t easy to come by, however, St. Louis CITY kept pushing to get back into the game and succeeded when Adam Boykin got on the end of a lovely cross from Aaron Heard, leveling the match in the 28th minute. St. Louis CITY took the lead just before half-time after Jacob Lusignan slotted home his second penalty kick of the season.
STL CITY started the second half a lot better, and while chances were still at a premium, the boys did a great job of retaining possession as they searched for the third goal. Midwest United eventually tied the game in the 73rd and took the lead in the 81st minute. Despite creating a few opportunities in the final minutes of the game, the end result was the team’s first defeat of the season.
“The result is certainly not what we wanted,” explained Luis Swisher, St. Louis CITY Academy Assistant Coach. “We started slowly again, and it ended up costing us the game. However, we can’t dwell on the result too much, so it is important for us to go back to the drawing board and learn from our mistakes, so we can continue to improve as a team.”
To learn more about the academy, find player bios and rosters here.