USSDA Playoff Recap – U-15s mount comeback vs. LAFC, win first-ever Development Academy national title

USSDA U-15 Title

The first U-15 U.S. Soccer Development Academy title is heading north and to the trophy cabinet of Toronto FC.

The Reds came from behind to beat LAFC, 3-2, Tuesday afternoon, creating some history for the Canadian youngsters.

LAFC was up 2-0 through 35 minutes, only for an entirely different story to emerge in the second half. Two towering headers from Hugo Mbongue drew Toronto level, then Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty deposited a penalty kick in the 78th minute, leaving a few minutes plus stoppage time to see out the result.

The penalty kick included some controversy, as Toronto was allowed to retake it after an initial stop from LAFC goalkeeper Donovan Palomares. Marshall-Rutty, signed to TFC II in USL League One, put pen to paper with the club at age 14.

It was a cathartic ending to Toronto’s season, as they previously fell in the U-15 MLS-Liga MX Challenge final at the 2019 Generation adidas Cup. They were level 1-1 with Liga MX side Chivas de Guadalajara after regulation, but lost 5-4, in a penalty-kick shootout. To reach the U-15 final, Toronto won Group A, booking a spot against LAFC, winners of Group B. In advancing to the year-end event in Oceanside, Calif., Toronto went undefeated in the Mid-America Division.