U17s Return Home With 2 Points Towards Seeding in Next Year’s Generation Adidas Cup
St. Louis CITY’s U17s return home with two points from the Generation adidas Cup Qualifiers where they had three matches in four days. While the club left sunny California with a loss and two draws against other Major League Soccer (MLS) academies, the boys’ high press proved to be a tough challenge for their opponents throughout the tournament.
Red Bull New York
Starting XI – Harrison Engel, Joshua Maher, Fritz Volmar, Nolan McGuire, Jacob Lusignan, Miguel Perez, Brian Franco, Anthony Faupel, Aaron Heard, Nathan Ferguson, Owen Spore
Kicking off their first Generation adidas Cup Qualifier match against Red Bull New York, STL CITY’s U17 team got off to a flying start when Anthony Faupel was able to get past Red Bull’s backline down the right-wing before putting his shot wide in just the second minute of the game. STL CITY remained on the front foot for the first 15 minutes of the match as the club’s constant pressure forced their opponent to make mistakes and turn the ball over. Then in the 19th minute, against the run of play, Red Bull were able to beat STL CITY’s high press down the right side which led to the first goal of the match. Following the goal, the game began opening up as both teams traded scoring opportunities but neither side were able to capitalize until the 45th minute when Red Bulls put home their second goal of the half off a STL CITY turnover.
The second half picked up where the first half left off with both clubs going back and forth with scoring chances. Around the 60th minute mark, STL CITY brought on fresh legs which brought some much-needed energy to continue their high pressing mentality. Although the boys were able to pressure their opponents into making mistakes, they were unable to convert their scoring chances into goals. Red Bull New York were able to put in a third goal in the 80th minute which ultimately led to a 3-0 defeat for STL CITY.
Starting XI – Timothy Walshauser, Joshua Maher, Nathan Yao, Nolan McGuire, Mikey Lay, Oscar Solis, Tyler Sargent, Anthony Faupel, Brayden Sellers, Kai Pope, Cal L’Hommedieu
Looking to bounce back from their loss the day before, STL CITY once again got off to a quick start in their match against Portland Timbers. In just the third minute, the boys’ high press led to a Portland turnover and a long-range effort from Kai Pope went just wide of the net. STL CITY’s relentless pressure continued into the 11th minute when a Portland player went down thinking he was fouled and grabbed the ball with his hands, only to be called for a handball himself, earning STL CITY a free kick in dangerous position. STL CITY were able to put the free kick on net with the Portland keeper making a save but coughing up the rebound to Timmy Walshauser who was unable to keep his shot on frame. Just a minute later, on a counterattack by Portland, STL CITY was called for a foul in their own box, leading to a penalty kick and ultimately putting the boys down a goal. Portland was able to hold onto their lead going into halftime.
However, STL CITY made a few substitutions at the halftime break as they looked to continue their high energy, high press mentality throughout the second half. The substitutions made an immediate impact as Nathan Ferguson was able to collect the ball off a Portland turnover and put Aaron Heard in behind their defense for a shot on goal, forcing the Timber’s keeper to make a good save in the 47th minute. STL CITY’s constant pressure continued to keep Portland on the backfoot and finally paid dividends when Tyler Sargent was able to control a loose ball in Portland’s box before being fouled by a Timbers defender, resulting in a penalty kick. Miguel Perez stepped up to the spot and calmly fired the ball past the keeper to tie the game. While STL CITY continued to dominate the majority of the second half, they were unable to find that final touch to give them the lead, resulting in a 1-1 draw at the final whistle.
Starting XI – Joshua Maher, Fritz Volmar, Nolan McGuire, Jacob Luisgnan, Mikey Lay, Miguel Perez, Aaron Heard, Anthony Faupel, Nathan Yao, Nathan Ferguson, Owen Spore
Following a much-needed day off, STL CITY took the pitch for their third and final match of the tournament against Chicago Fire. A constant theme throughout the weekend, STL CITY came flying out of the gates as Perez was able to jump on a loose ball and get a shot away that went just wide only a minute into the game. Two minutes later, STL CITY’s high press led to a chance where Faupel was able to get in behind Chicago’s backline, before getting taken down by the opponent’s goalie just outside the box. Off a clever set-piece by the boys, Nolan McGuire ripped a shot that went just wide of the net. Then in the seventh minute, Chicago was able to capitalize on a turnover in STL CITY’s defensive zone which gave the opponent a 1-0 lead. However, the boys were determined to not let the early deficit affect their gameplan as they continued to pressure their opponents high up on the field which paid off in the 13th minute when Perez stole the ball from a Chicago defender off the high press and put in a perfectly weighted through ball to Ferguson who took the ball on his left foot before cutting back inside the defender and slotting his shot past Chicago’s keeper to the bottom right, leveling the match at one a piece. STL CITY’s match tying goal boosted the lad’s confidence as they started to dictate the flow of the game, preventing Chicago from getting another scoring opportunity in the first half while creating wave after wave of attack for themselves.
The boys came out in the second half with the same intensity, highlighted in the 47thminute when Perez drove a corner kick to the back post where Josh Maher was able to flick the ball across the face of goal to Ferguson, who headed home the pass for his second goal of the game. Chicago began to claw their way back into the game and found the equalizer in the 58th minute off a free-kick. STL CITY continued to attack in search of the game-winning goal over the last 20 minutes of the match but saw Chicago’s keeper thwart their best scoring opportunities, resulting in a 2-2 draw.
“Playing three games in four days is tough for any player, no matter their age or level they’re playing at, so our coaching staff was very proud of the effort the boys showed throughout,” said Andreas Schumacher, St. Louis CITY Academy Head Coach. “I thought the final results were not a fair reflection of the actual performances as we saw our boys really buying into our CITY philosophy and beginning to execute it on a higher level than I’ve seen before. Now it is important for us to build from these performances and improve for the spring season next year.”
To learn more about the academy, find player bios and rosters here. Stay up to date on all things St. Louis CITY SC by downloading the official team app and follow the club on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and our Academy Twitter.