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Youth/High School Soccer

FC Delco wins U16 MLS Next Cup



Photo by Matt Ralph

The Philadelphia region will soon be proudly displaying new hardware, courtesy of FC Delco’s impressive victory over Real Colorado in the U-16 MLS Next Cup. On Sunday morning, fans grabbed their coffee and turned on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV for the 10 a.m. kickoff to watch the U-16 cup finals at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tennessee.

Remy Tshibangu was the first to get on the scorer’s sheet with a goal coming just after the final hydration break in the first half. It felt like FC Delco had a plan coming out of that break to get a goal, as they loaded the 18-yard box with five players. After a shot deflected off the goalie, the ball found the foot of Tshibangu, who had just milliseconds to set himself and the ball correctly before sending it into the net to get Delco on the board in the first half.

In the 64th minute, Real Colorado turned the ball over and FC Delco capitalized on the mistake. After a cross was sent into the box, a Colorado defender got a head on the ball to clear it, but the defender deflected it to the far post, where Seamus Lannon was waiting. Lannon jumped in the air and adjusted his body to guide the ball into the back of the net, putting FC Delco up 2-0.

Michael Capretto entered Sunday’s final after scoring a brace in the semi-final game against the Philadelphia Union. About seven minutes after Lannon scored the game’s second goal, Capretto put the game on ice when he beat his defender and delivered a strike in the 70th minute. That goal marked his 8th of the MLS Next Cup Tournament.

The final minutes saw FC Delco continue to overmatch Real Colorado, as they just couldn’t find an answer to the team from the Philadelphia region. The final whistle blew four minutes into stoppage time, confirming FC Delco’s victory.

This victory marks the first national championship for FC Delco since the U-19 Arsenal II boys won the USYS national title in 2003. It is also the program’s first MLS Next national title.

Sean Sullivan is an Associate Editor for Philadelphia Soccer Now/Brotherly Game, where he has spent the past few years covering game day events for the Philadelphia Union. In his day job, he oversees creative and studio production for a corporate event streaming company based in the Philadelphia region.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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