The semifinals are set at this year’s MLS NEXT Cup.
Over the past two days, teams in all four age groups have battled high temperatures and tough competition in Texas, securing progress to the final four.
Here’s a look at where things stand across each age group as they pursue year-end silverware.
The New York Red Bulls continue to steal the show at MLS NEXT Cup. With a third straight win without conceding a goal, silverware is in sight. Four different players scored in the 4-0 victory against Seattle Sounders: Paul Sokoloff, Tanner Rosborough, Gil de Souza and Desmond Chemweno all found net.
Two Darian Rus goals helped LAFC to a 4-2 win against LA Galaxy in a mini-El Trafico. The Galaxy took an early lead thanks to Oluwakayode Aina. Rus’ first goal kicked off a scoring spree, however, with Cesar Villalba and Adrian Raygoza staking LAFC to a comfortable lead. Alexander Davis provided a late consolation.
Oliver Ba also bagged a brace, and his two goals were key in Strikers FC’s 3-1 win against Real Colorado. Gabriel Garcia put the Colorado side up first, but Ba quickly answered four minutes later. The two sides tussled before Santiago Higareda added the eventual winner. Ba scored again to secure the win.
Ashton Gordon’s brace led Atlanta United into the final four. Gordon scored early, 11 minutes into the game, and then late, to make it a 3-1 win against Weston FC. Jesse Garcia also found the back of the net, while Brock Lucena accounted for Weston’s goal.
Atlanta meet Solar SC next after the North Texas powerhouse defeated Breakers FC. Mason Kutch opened the scoring, while defender Hudson Sullivan added the second goal of the game in a 2-0 win.
Strikers FC have reached the semifinals once again. This time it was a goal from Mateos Carvalho that knocked out one of the top teams, FC United by a 1-0 scoreline. Up next is a matchup with Michigan Jaguars. The strike duo of Ren Sylvester and Colton Swan powered the Jaguars to a 2-0 win over Miami Rush Kendall.
After an El Trafico matchup in the Under-15 age group, a California Clasico will be served up by the Under-17s. Goals by Nicholas Schelotto and Harbor Miller punched LA Galaxy’s ticket to the semifinals with a 2-0 win against Total Futbol Academy.
Despite the late heroics from St. Louis CITY SC forward Caden Glover, Real Colorado held their nerve in a shootout to knock out the MLS newcomers. A goal from Cooper Hineline looked like it might be the winner with time ticking off the clock. Glover tallied a late goal to send the game to a shootout (1-1), but Real Colorado survived and advanced.
FC Delco are into the semifinals. The Pennsylvanian powerhouse is no stranger to this stage of the competition, and a 3-2 win against South Florida Football Academy has them one step closer to a title triumph. The match-winner in this one was a second-half tally by Joe McDaid. The future Maryland Terrapin broke the deadlock with a well-placed strike in the penalty box.
Waiting in the next round is another Florida side, as Weston FC bested Seacoast United in a penalty shootout. The two sides drew 1-1 in regulation, as Weston’s Tomas Sciarra opened the scoring with Myles Culley evening things out before the break.
An all-MLS matchup looms on the other side of the bracket after FC Dallas progressed past Real Colorado, 1-0. Adrian Anguiano’s goal in the second minute stood up as the difference.
FCD will meet the New England Revolution, as the defending Under-19 champions are still in the hunt. A penalty-kick shootout win against PDA secured a spot in the next round following a 2-2 draw. The New Jersey side had a lead thanks to goals from Alex Yablonovskiy and Arion Ulaj. Gianluca Armellino’s second goal of the game equalized things in stoppage time, and the Revolution won in a shootout.