Matt Ralph asked me to fill in for the second day of Generation Adidas Cup qualifying. I did. Here’s what happened from a goal filled Saturday.
Orlando City v New York City FC:
Saturday started off with a bang. Orlando and New York came out in a (pretty dry) matinee and decided to go easy on the defense, with Orlando coming out on top 5-2. The Young Lions got off the blocks first with a sweet strike from Jose Aldaco. Aldaco found the ball at the top of the box and unleashed a screamer that went top left of the net, leaving the NYCFC keeper defenseless. New York City responded with a solid team goal as Thriston Briscoe and Gio Reyna linked up, with Reyna playing matador on the Young Lions’ keeper to make it tied at 1-1. Orlando put the last kick of the half in the back of the net with Jose Aldaco again finding the corner of the net on a rebound right before the break. The second half was back and forth as well, with Alejandro Pereira putting home a rebound with his head to make it 3-1. New York had another 1-2 play as Jose Flores got the ball to Will Sands who finished from close range to trim Orlando’s lead to one. From there however OCSC found the back breaker. Trying to get an equalizer tends to leave your team prone for a counter attack, and Orlando proved that to be true. They brought on Andres Ojeda in the second half, and the big winger had plenty of space, which he used well and banged in Orlando’s fourth and fifth goals. The match would end that way with Florida’s City taking all three points.
D.C. United v Atlanta United:
I was actually super excited to see Atlanta United play against DC today, and they didn’t disappoint. Early on however it was all DC. Atlanta didn’t seem like they knew how to get stuck into the match, and were probably lucky to only be down a goal by the time they woke up. The tale of two halves was terribly obvious. Atlanta used their height (I’m 5’9, was definitely not at eye level with a lot of these kids) and pace (no comment there) to wear down DC and reaped the rewards. Atlanta’s homegrown signing Chris Goslin had himself a game. His free kick in the second, a gorgeous ball that floated over the wall and out of reach of the keeper, tied the game at 1 all early on. His action on and off the ball all game was worth noting and Atlanta might have themselves an under the radar MLS talent if everything pans out for him. Saul Tinoco nodded down a cross to James Brighton who put the ball in for a 2-1 Atlanta lead. Shortly after it was the youngster (January 2002 young) George Bello who fed the ball in for a good assist to make it 3-1. Atlanta added another to finish the game off with a convincing 4-1 tilt.
Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution:
Well, the Union made up for their loss against Atlanta with a convincing 4-0 win over a flat Revolution team. Chad Letts opened up the scoring after the Revs keeper tried to win the ball and took out the Union forward instead. Letts converted from the spot calmly and gave the U the 1-0 lead early. New England didn’t force the issue and Philly couldn’t find anything else so we went into the half with the score the same, however the Union looked to have most of the offense going forward. The short break didn’t dampen the momentum of the hosts in the slightest. Issa Rayyan showed great awareness to pounce on a poor Revs clearance and finish far side to put his side up 2-0. He followed that up with a perfect over the top ball that found the outstretched foot of John Wagner which pretty much iced the game at 3-0. Not content to play out a 3-0 win Rayyan and Letts connected for Letts’ second goal, Rayyan’s third point and the club’s fourth goal. Watching those two play was a treat regardless of the weather and the Union comfortably took the points against a Revs team that didn’t show much in Chester.
Miss out on both days so far? Clear up your Monday for the third and final day of Generation adidas Cup Qualifying. It’s completely free and definitely an easy way to see the best young talent in American soccer close to home.