Late goals and come-from-behind results were a theme over the weekend as four 2022-23 MLS NEXT Cup champions were crowned at Toyota Stadium.
Here’s a look at how each age group finished down in Texas, as well as the individual awards.
CF Montréal were just minutes away from capping off a dream run to an MLS NEXT Cup title.
A Zaky Lachhab goal in the 76th minute had the Canadian side poised for yet another win. The goal came late during a half where the New York Red Bulls had missed several chances to open the scoring.
But two of New York’s star strikers had other ideas. Two minutes after Lachhab’s goal, Julian Hall equalized. On the cusp of stoppage time, Tanner Rosborough raced onto a deflected ball in the box and lashed home the winning goal, sealing a 2-1 win.
- Top Scorer: Robert Jacobs (Strikers FC)
- Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate: Jean-Christophe Belzile (CF Montréal)
- MVP presented by adidas: Julian Hall (New York Red Bulls)
Two of the best Under-16 teams all year made it to the MLS NEXT Cup final. Top-seeded Strikers FC survived a series of tests in Frisco to square off against Atlanta United, the second seed entering the tournament.
Atlanta ultimately held on to lift the trophy, as a pair of first-half goals secured a 3-1 win against Strikers.
A great finish from Cooper Sanchez in the 15th minute provided a dream start for Atlanta. Rocket RItarita converted a penalty shortly after, putting Atlanta in a strong position against a potent Strikers FC attack.
It came as no surprise that Cole Harris cut into the lead, bagging a goal in the 57th minute. And when Sanchez picked up a second yellow, Atlanta had to finish the game down a man.
But a series of substitutions would pay off, as Joseph Gonzalez bagged a goal from the bench the round out the scoring and cue the celebrations.
- Top Scorer: Colton Swan (Michigan Jaguars)
- Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate: Dillon Griner (Atlanta United)
- MVP presented by adidas: Rocket Ritarita (Atlanta United)
A wild, back-and-forth affair between LA Galaxy and Real Colorado saw the MLS side pull away in the second half, as two second-half goals from Julian Placias led to a 4-2 victory.
LA Galaxy jumped out to a great start, as Harbor Miller and Ruben Ramos Jr. scored to put the Galaxy up by a 2-0 score 25 minutes into the game.
The Colorado side had the answers before the break, as goals from Eduardo Macias and Cooper Hineline made it a 2-2 game at the half.
That’s where Placias popped up again, scoring in the 50th and 70th minutes to capture the crown.
- Top Scorer: Julian Placias (LA Galaxy)
- Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate: Lucca Adams (LA Galaxy)
- MVP presented by adidas: Harbor Miller (LA Galaxy)
For the second year running, the New England Revolution are U-19 champs at MLS NEXT Cup.
With several players from last year’s title-winning team back – defenders Jack Burkhardt and Steban Betancur, midfielder Brandonn Bueno, goalkeeper Maxwell Weinstein and forward Jason Zacarias all started after playing in last year’s game – that experience helped the Revolution keep cool heads when they entered halftime down 1-0 against FC Delco. Forward Kaio Reis had tallied to give the Pennsylvania side the lead.
It didn’t take long for the Revolution to start the rally. Homegrown signing Peyton Miller entered as a sub, tying the game in the 51st minute. There was more depth added, including Olger Escobar and Alex St. John. It was the latter that eventually made the difference, scoring with 10 minutes left to secure the 2-1 final and title.
- Top Scorer: Kaio Reis (FC DELCO)
- Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate: Max Weinstein (New England Revolution)
- MVP presented by adidas: Jason Zacarias (New England Revolution)