Houston – They’re through! After a strong qualifying campaign, both the TFC Academy U-17 (2002/2003) and U-15 (2004) teams are moving on to 2019 Generation adidas Cup Finals in Dallas. The Reds, along with the New York Red Bulls, are the only team to have both their U-17 and U-15 squads qualify for the Finals/Championship division.
Both teams headed into the Family Day weekend needing to pick up points to secure their spots in Dallas. The U-17s opened up on Friday with an impressive 3-2 come from behind victory. The Reds were stuck two goals just 20 minutes in but battled back to win with goals from Ralph Priso, Jacen Russell-Rowe and Julian Altobelli.
The U-15s followed up by knocking off the Columbus Crew 2-1 with goals from Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and Marko Stojadinovic. The Younger Reds then faced off against the Chicago Fire on Saturday. It was a tough battle, but the Reds fell 2-1 with the goal coming from Hugo Mbongue.
Both teams headed into Monday needing a win to lock up their places in the Finals. The U-15s were first up and once again bested the Columbus Crew this time picking up a 2-0 win. Luca Accettola and Shayan Soltanzadeh had the goals while Dino Bontis was in goal picking up the clean sheet.
The older Reds bested Sporting Kansas City in their final qualifier by a score of 3-0. Both Russell-Rowe and Altobelli scored again with Will Manning adding the third. Nathan Frans held it down for the clean sheet.
The U-17s finished the qualifying stages with a 4-2-0 record finishing in second place in Group B. They have qualified for the Championship division where they will be joined by the other top qualifying MLS sides and top international competition. Last year TFC’s U-17s took on Eintracht Frankfurt, River Plate, and Real Madrid.
The U-15s finished their qualifying with a 5-1-0 record. The 15 points sat them atop of Group B which secured their place at the first-ever U-15 GA Cup Final. The Final will feature four MLS sides taking on four LIGA MX sides in what is being called a “Ryder Cup” style tournament. Both Finals get underway in mid-April.