Strong First Half Performance Helps STL CITY Stay Unbeaten at Home
St. Louis CITY’s U17s continued their perfect run at home, after ousting FC Dallas U17s 4-2 in MLS NEXT action. Getting off to an impressive start, the team took an early lead in the second minute when Anthony Faupel slipped a through ball in behind the defense for Caden Glover, who slotted a composed shot into the bottom corner of the net.
After the opening goal, STL CITY continued to dominate in the final third, and were unlucky not get another goal in the 5th minute when Nolan McGuire rattled a shot off the crossbar. While the team created a lot of chances in the early stages of the game, it was their defensive acumen that allowed them to generate goalscoring opportunities as they relentlessly forced turnovers deep in the opposition’s half. That pressure allowed STL CITY to double their lead in the 20th minute when Aaron Heard dribbled past a FC Dallas defender on the left wing before whipping a telling cross at the near post for Miguel Perez to tuck home.
FC Dallas tried to claw their way back into the game but STL CITY’s U17s turned it up another notch as they looked to add a third goal before the end of the first half. They came very close in the 28th minute when Brian Franco thumped a thunderous shot off the crossbar – STL CITY’s second time hitting the woodwork. With FC Dallas looking to reduce the deficit just before the half, STL CITY’s Anthony Faupel stripped the ball from a defender and launched a one-man counterattack before he was fouled in the box, which resulted in a penalty for STL CITY in the 44th minute. Jacob Lusignan stepped up and coolly dispatch the spot kick in the bottom corner of the net, sending STL CITY into the break with a commanding lead 3-0 lead.
It was clear FC Dallas had a shift in their mentality at the start of the second half. Tactically, they switched to a high press, putting pressure on STL CITY’s backline as they searched for a way back into the game. After being pinned back in their defensive end for the majority of the second half, STL CITY launched another counterattack with Heard again finding himself 1v1 with an FC Dallas defender in the 56th minute. He showed tremendous composure in the 18-yard box after faking a shot, which created enough space for him to put a lovely ball in for Faupel who finished for STL CITY’s fourth goal of the game. FC Dallas kept up their heavy pressure and later scored in the 64th and 90th minutes, but their two goals were not enough stop STL CITY from maintaining their hot streak at home in MLS NEXT competition.
“The boys can be proud of their effort today,” said Luis Swisher, St. Louis CITY Academy Assistant Coach. “From the very first minute we showed the right mentality on both ends of the field. We wanted to get the clean sheet but we are happy with the chances we created, which gave us a huge boost especially in the first half. I was happy our fans had the chance to celebrate another home win.”
MATCHDAY NOTES – STARTING XI
Jacob Lusignan, Joshua Maher, Anthony Faupel, Brian Franco, Nolan McGuire, Aaron Heard, Nathan Yao, Fritz Volmar, Miguel Perez, Caden Glover, Nick Bishop