U19s Win Two as Academy Splits Up for the Weekend


This weekend’s Academy action saw the young Loons split up, with the U15s and the U17s traveling south to Kansas City and St. Louis while the U19s took on a pair of Michigan sides. After a week off from MLS NEXT competition, the boys were well-rested, leading to some improved results and impressive performances from several individuals in each age group. 


Though there weren’t any goals in the U15s 0-0 draw against Sporting Kansas City, there were encouraging signs throughout the match. Brody Schauf played his part well, creating chances from the right side of the field and working hard to regain possession for his teammates. In the back, goalkeeper Mateo Molina made several crucial saves to preserve the clean sheet as well, giving his team a chance to snag all three points until the final whistle. 

A disciplined defensive display provided a platform for chance creation at the other end, with several golden opportunities just missing in the first half. After what was a solid performance against SKC, the squad was reasonably disappointed to walk away without all three points. 

Their second game of the weekend was also close, but unfortunately ended in a 2-3 loss to St. Louis CITY. A slow start to the match ended up digging a hole too deep to dig out of, but the Loons showed great resilience to nearly come back from their early two-goal deficit. Midfielder George Porter impressed his coaches in what was just his third game for the club, demonstrating great adaptability and intensity to help keep his team in the match. Moments of great quality provided hope, and, moving forward, the focus will be on maintaining a high level for the entire match.


For the U17s, it was a tougher weekend in terms of results. A 2-5 loss to SKC doesn’t quite tell the story of the match, as goals from Donovan Sinicropi and Anderson Farris cut a 0-3 deficit down to just a single goal midway through the second half. A late two-goal response from the hosts put the game to bed, though, and the Loons’ efforts went in vain. Head coach Justin Ferguson saw growth in his side after this tough test, commending the performances of his goal scorers and emphasizing the importance of facing off against other MLS academy sides.

In their second match, a similar trend continued. Despite scoring first, the Loons found themselves down 1-2 at the half, still very much in the game. Three goals for the hosts ended the contest in the second half, leaving the U17s without any points to show for their efforts this weekend. 

Standout performances from Donovan Sinicropi, Aidan Martinez, and Kai Zeruhn against CITY weren’t enough to take any points from the match, but they made their coach proud, though he saw learning opportunities in the finishing department.

“I thought for a long stretch of the first half we were really good,” Ferguson said. “We struggled to convert some of those chances that we created, and then we let them get back into the game. Any time you're on the road, it's important to capitalize on your early chances because the home team will gain momentum as the match continues.”


A pair of 3-1 wins against the Michigan Wolves and Michigan Vardar saw the U19s come out as the most successful of the three Academy sides this weekend. Saturday’s match against the Wolves was part of the U19s MLS NEXT Flex campaign, while the match against the Vardar was part of their regular league schedule.

All three Academy teams will be visiting Midwest United in Grand Rapids, Michigan this Saturday, getting a break from the two-game weekends. The young Loons won’t be back at the National Sports Center until the following week, when they’ll be hosting FC Cincinnati, the Columbus Crew, Bavarian United, and SC Wave in a jam-packed weekend.