Two Weekends of Action Teach Loons Valuable Lessons


The young Loons have been busy over the last two weeks, with all three squads getting plenty of gametime at the National Sports Center. Across both weekends, they faced off against FC Chicago United, FC Cincinnati, and FC Dallas, putting their best foot forward for some impressive performances. 

The U19s had the lightest schedule of the group, playing just a single game against FC United on Saturday, October 28. Goals from Justin Arias and Darius Randell pushed the Loons past the visitors by a score of 2-0, but after taking nearly 20 shots in the match, it could have easily been a few more goals. Oliver Kelly’s penalty save helped secure the clean sheet in the end, making for a complete performance from the eldest Academy squad. 

The U17 team found mixed results across the two weekends, beating FC United handily, tying FC Cincinnati, and losing to FC Dallas. Aidan Martinez continued to stand out in the attack, with other goal contributions coming from Danny Boakai and Donovan Sinicropi. Fullbacks Anderson Ferris and Ethan Mueller put in three solid shifts, providing effective defense and excellent contributions to the attack. 

The U15s proved outstanding going forward but were unable to get any positive results after some mishaps in the back. Losses to FC United, FC Cincinnati, and FC Dallas saw the youngsters score seven total goals and concede 11. It was a good lesson to show the squad what they’re capable of doing in front of goal while also illuminating the defensive work that still needs to be done. Lazar Anjelovski, Tim Dennis and Grady Muir were the dangermen for their side across all three matchdays.

U17 Assistant Coach Tomaz Marinelli was pleased with the progress made by the Academy over the last two weeks, noting the importance of getting plenty of valuable gametime. 

“With the entirety of the roster getting prolonged minutes in the U17 games as well as the U15 game in the morning versus FC United, these match weekends provided ample opportunity for everyone to perform and showcase their abilities,” Marinelli said. “The definite high point was our ability to play so well against FC Cincinnati, dictating play for most of the match.”

Just two weeks of the regular season remain before the winter break, leaving two more matchups before the squads head to Arizona for MLS NEXT Fest in early December. All three Academy teams will be heading to Indianapolis this weekend to take on the Indy Eleven, whom the U19s beat last month by a score of 3-1. After that, it’s back to the NSC to take on the Columbus Crew and Midwest United in the dome.