U-16s in Mexico

LIGA MX Internacional Tournament Recap

Mexico City - The Toronto FC Academy U-16 (2002) team was in Mexico City taking part in the LIGA MX Internacional tournament. The tournament features four teams from MLS and LIGA MX in a seven day round robin tournament.

The Reds opened up the tournament against Mexican side Pachuca. Tuzos jumped in front but Julian Altobelli converted a PK to draw it even. However, Pachuca scored within the final 10 minutes to take the opener of the tournament 2-1. TFC then played a difficult match against Club America falling 3-0.

The third match of the tournament pitted TFC against their first MLS opponent: Atlanta United. Ralph Priso put the Reds in front within the first minute and Jacen Russell-Rowe converted a PK to pace the Reds to a 2-1 win.  After an off day, the boys fell to Guadalajara 2-0.

The tournament is structured so the top MLS side plays the top LIGA MX side in the final so the Reds came into their fifth game against LA Galaxy with an opportunity to still make it to the finale with a win.

It was looking good for the Reds as Altobelli scored in the 58th minute to give the boys the lead. However, the Galaxy tied it up deep into extra time with just about the last kick of the game.

TFC finished the marathon of a tournament with a pair of defeats to FC Dallas and Atlas. Jayden Nelson scored in the 2-1 loss to Dallas and Priso and Malik Henry scored in a 3-2 defeat to Atlas.

FC Dallas and Pachuca will meet in the tournament finale.

Here is the full squad that was down in Mexico.

  1. Eleais HIMARAS #1 (GK)
  2. Rohan GOULBOURNE #3 (D)
  3. Bennett ALMEIDA #5 (D)
  4. Nicholas CASTILLO #6 (M)
  5. Julian ALTOBELLI #10 (M)
  6. Nakye GREENIDGE-DUNCAN #11 (M)
  7. Denilson CLAMP #15 (D)
  8. Ralph PRISO #16 (M)
  9. Josh SOLOMON #17 (F)
  10. Julian ACCETTOLA #19 (S)
  11. Alex MARIN #21 (F)
  12. Malik HENRY #2 (M)
  13. Ola OGUNNOTE #4 (D)
  14. Jayden NELSON #7 (M)
  15. Ryan FAZZALARI #8 (M)
  16. Will MANNING #20 (M)
  17. Jacen RUSSELL-ROWE #9 (F)
  18. Nathan FRANS #12 (GK)
  19. Sidney PARIS #13 (M)
  20. Jake CRATH #14 (D)
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