A new star emerged in MLS NEXT Pro during Matchday 4 when 17-year-old forward David Vazquez sealed Union II’s 2-1 victory over Chicago Fire II.
The 81st-minute strike was extra special, not only because it clinched three points for Union II. It also marked the 1,000th regular-season goal in MLS NEXT Pro history.
In a story with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Vazquez talked about his journey from growing up in Los Angeles to landing with Philadelphia Union.
At a young age, Vazquez drew the attention of professional clubs, including his family's favorite team, Mexican side Chivas de Guadalajara. But when David and his father lost their travel bags en route to Mexico for a trial with Chivas, Philadelphia Union seized the opportunity and offered an academy contract to the young forward.
This decision proved fruitful, as Vazquez became a crucial player in the Union’s U-17 MLS NEXT Cup title-winning team in 2022, where he scored the tying goal in the final.
Vazquez’s play on the pitch led to him being selected for the United States in the 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship, where he dished out four assists and helped secure a place in the 2023 U-17 World Cup.
After Sunday's performance, Vazquez appears primed to have an impactful season in MLS NEXT Pro for Philadelphia Union II.