One of the top Under-15 teams in the United States and Canada, LAFC backed it up in impressive fashion on Saturday.
Facing Club Leon to open up the Generation adidas Cup, LAFC burst out of the gates, beating the Liga MX academy side by a 3-1 score. Dempsey Resich scored three minutes into each half, and Matias Wanchope added a third, as the young LAFC academy side impressed nearly from start to finish.
Playing an up-tempo, possession-oriented style, LAFC opened up the game with a flurry of chances. Resich lasered home the game’s opener, finding just enough space to pick out the far corner, curling it away from the goalkeeper to put LAFC up by a 1-0 score.
Shortly after halftime Resich extended the lead. The forward’s press started it and finished it. His pressure caused a turnover high up the field, and Resich followed the play. When the Leon goalkeeper spilled a cross in the six-yard box, Resich looped it in over a clearance attempt and into the back of the net.
Playing on the left side of LAFC’s 4-3-3 formation, James Arteaga created the Black & Gold’s third of the day. After a couple of near-misses of his own in the first half, Arteaga ghosted past a Leon defender and cut back to Wanchope, who swept home to extend the lead.
While Resich and Wanchope got the goals, several players made an impression. The midfield duo of Decarla Guerro and Kyrome Lumsden ensured LAFC controlled long stretches of the game; Dennis Ramirez picked his chances to attack from his left back spot. Goalkeeper Dylan Auffret made a crucial save to protect a two-goal lead with five minutes to go in the second half.
It’s the perfect start for LAFC in Group C, with Vancouver Whitecaps FC next up on Sunday. They sit in first place in their group at the end of the day.
Celtic FC 0, Austin FC 2
Austin FC joined LAFC by topping an international opponent. The Texan side secured a 2-0 win against Scotland's Celtic FC to pick up the full points in their opening match in Group H.
Deadlocked at the half, Austin bagged a pair in the second stanza. Jesus Gonzalez opened the scoring with a left-footed delivery that looped into the back of the net. Joah-Mikel Reyna engineered the second four minutes later. Receiving the ball in the center circle, he turned through pressure and slipped Rahul Kuthiala in behind for the second goal.
Manchester United 1, Minnesota United FC 1
Minnesota United FC’s Prince Massaquoi scored a late equalizer, securing a 1-1 draw against England's Manchester United. Minnesota won on penalty kicks to grab the extra point.
Pumas 3, Colorado Rapids 1
In a 3-1 defeat against Pumas, Colorado Rapids gave the Liga MX squad problems. Shortly after his side went down 1-0 early in the second half, Rapids goalkeeper Leonardo Medina saved a penalty kick. Amos Glah provided the lone goal of the day, a nice finish to gear around the ‘keeper and slot into an empty net.
New England Revolution 0, CF Montréal 1
Inter Miami CF 1, Nashville SC 0
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1, Chicago Fire FC 2
Chicago Fire academy midfielder Daven Arias opened the scoring against Vancouver Whitecaps with a rocket from just outside the penalty area. Marius Aiyenero pounced on a rebound just before the half to double Chicago’s lead, and they would hold on for a 2-1 win in Group C.
Real Salt Lake 3, FC Dallas 1
FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake boast two of the best academies in MLS and are pitted together in Group D. RSL emerged victorious in this round, beating the host side 3-1. Luca Moisa opened the scoring, while Zavier Gozo added a brace.
New York Red Bulls 0, River Plate 2
Despite his team falling by a 2-0 score against a talented River Plate side, New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Aidan Stokes made the most of his Generation adidas Cup debut. Along with making a couple of impressive saves, his positioning was sound, and he did well coming off his line to limit the danger against the Argentine powerhouse.