FRISCO, Tex. — For the second straight year there will be an MLS team that takes the crown in the Premier Division at the Generation adidas Cup, but we will have to wait until Saturday to find out which team will lift the trophy.
After New York City FC won in 2017, the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls will meet in the Premier Division final on Saturday at 6:30 pm ET. The match will be streamed live on MLS's YouTube channel.
Seattle reach the final after beating the Montreal Impact 2-1 in the semifinals, thanks to goals from Sounders 2 signee Ray Serrano and Marlon Vargas. Serrano was the beneficiary of a great individual play from fellow S2 signee Azriel Gonzalez, who broke through the Impact defense to force a save out of Jonathan Sirois, but Serrano was there to blast home the rebound into the empty net to give the Sounders a lead in the sixth minute.
An even match changed in the 42nd minute, when striker Woobens Pacius was shown a red card for violent conduct after Video Review. The Impact managed to control the match despite being a man down, but Seattle were finally able to breakthrough as Gonzalez hooked up with Marlon Vargas to give Seattle the 2-1 win. Vargas was Seattle's top performer during the group stage, collecting two goals and four assists.
The Red Bulls advanced past Liga MX side Monterrey in a penalty-kick shootout after the two sides played to a stalemate in regular time. Duke commit and RBNY standout striker Scotty Taylor opened the scoring in the 39th minute but Monterrey were able to equalize in the 56th minute before the two sides went into penalties.
Both sides scored their first three kicks, with Red Bulls goalkeeper Matthew Goodman guessing early on Monterrey's early shots. He was able to guess right on their fourth, and after Jose Escandon buried his kick, Monterrey's fifth shot sailed over the bar. The Red Bulls would capture their second Premier Division crown if they are able to win on Saturday, after winning the division in 2015. That team included current Orange County SC defender Noah Powder and Georgetown center back Mason Deeds.
Llanez impresses in only showing
LA Galaxy academy product Ulysses Llanez was one of the bigger names expected in Frisco heading into the 2018 GA Cup, but the 17-year-old was called into camp with the US Under-20's as they traveled to Spain to play against the French U-21's twice. The US split the series with Llanez playing 45 minutes in a 2-0 loss last Thursday, following it up with a start and 74 minutes in a 1-0 win on Saturday.
He arrived in Texas on Tuesday and started for the LA Galaxy as they faced off against Atlanta United. Both teams were eliminated from contention in the Champions Division, so both teams featured some of their younger players in the match.
Llanez was a terror on the left wing, displaying his superior technical ability by creating multiple chances for himself and his teammates. While he did not directly contribute to LA's only goal in a 1-0 win, the attention he drew from the Atlanta defenders allowed his teammates, like Nestor Molina, to cause some havoc.
San Jose midfielder Gilbert Fuentes and Houston Dynamo top prospect Marcelo Palomino traded dueling curlers from outside the box, as Houston beat the Earthquakes 3-1 and in the wildest match of the day, Colorado's Jason Robles scored two goals in the final three minutes and stoppage time to lead the Rapids over Matsumoto Yamaga FC 4-3.