MLS NEXT Cup: Who are this year's finalists?

MLS NEXT Cup 6.23.23

After almost a week of matches at the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup, two teams remain in each age group.

The tournament wraps up this weekend, with the U-15 and U-16 finals set for Saturday and U-17 and U-19 finals scheduled for Sunday. You can stream them via MLS Season Pass as well.

Here’s a rundown of how the semifinals wrapped up.

Red Bulls, CF Montréal reach U-15 title match

The New York Red Bulls continue to march through the U-15 competition.

In Thursday’s semifinal there was a bit of a wobble, as Anthony Munoz opened the scoring for LAFC. It was the first goal New York conceded in the tournament. But as they've done throughout MLS NEXT Cup, the Red Bulls found the back of the net multiple times.

Jaylen Lester equalized before the half, and Julian Hall put the Red Bulls in front for good. Adri Mehmeti rounded out the scoring in the 3-1 win.

CF Montréal progressed on penalties for the second straight round, getting the better of Strikers FC. It was a back-and-forth matchup between the two sides. Strikers FC took the lead through Santiago Higareda, but Montréal jumped in front with two goals in two minutes in the second half, getting tallies from Owen Graham-Roache and Eliott Germain-Aubrey. Robert Jacobs tied the game for Strikers, sending it to penalties, where they ultimately fell to their Canadian opponents 5-4.

High-scoring Strikers reach U-16 final again

For the second straight season, a Strikers team faces off against MLS opposition to determine the champion at the U-16 age group.

There were goals early and often as Maxim Scordo and Cristiano Florez put the California club up early. Michigan answered with a quickfire double from the dynamic striker partnership of Colton Swan and Ren Sylvester.

Right after the Jaguars hit the woodwork, Mateos Carvalho scored to put Strikers back in front. An own-goal from goalkeeper Ezra Horlings early in the second half put the game to bed for good, with Strikers securing a 4-2 win.

Waiting in the final are Atlanta United, who held on for a 2-1 win against Solar SC. Forward Ashton Gordon continued his strong showing at MLS NEXT Cup, scoring in the first minute to put Atlanta up early. Benjamin Mulrooney equalized in the 16th minute. Late in the second half, Jesse Garcia bagged the winning goal.

Real Colorado, LA Galaxy set for U-17 final clash

An own goal proved to be the difference in the U-17 edition of the California Clasico, with the LA Galaxy beating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 and securing a spot in the championship game.

Galaxy scoring ace Julian Placias provided the opening goal 11 minutes into the game and by halftime, LA had doubled their lead. Tomo Allen pulled one back for San Jose in the final minutes, but a late push came up short.

Real Colorado defeated Orlando City SC by a 1-0 score to progress. Grant Lund bagged the lone goal of the game in the sixth minute and then led the defensive effort in front of goalkeeper Kiernan Dibella to keep the clean sheet.

Revs in the mix for a U-19 repeat

There will also be a return finalist in the U-19 title match after the New England Revolution rolled to a 3-0 win over FC Dallas.

After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Jason Zacarias found the breakthrough for the Revs two minutes into the second half. Alexi Karalis added a second goal 10 minutes later, and Gianluca Armellino rounded the scoring with seconds to go on a world-class strike from beyond midfield.

Pre-tournament favorites FC Delco continue to live up to their billing, reaching the final on the back of a 1-0 win against Weston FC. It was another dramatic scene as forward Kaio Reis scored a stoppage-time goal to punch their ticket into the final.