FC Delco’s celebrated 2005 boys MLS Next team — semifinalists in the U16 age group last season — kicked off their 2021-2022 season with a parade of goals in a 6-1 win over PA Classics at The Proving Grounds.
Kaio Reis had a first half hat trick, last year’s U16 golden ball winner Liam May had a second half brace and Francis Castillo scored a long range goal near the sideline to erase an early PA Classics lead.
“We were a bit rusty in the first 35 minutes,” head coach Matt Poole said. “But I think after that we had control of the game and created some chances so a solid first performance but a lot of room for improvement.”
Twin brothers Joe McDaid and John McDaid, who have been training in Ireland with Harps Academy and regular Nate Stewart were not available for the season opener but newcomer Caden Grabfelder made an impact in his first game after joining the team from the Union Academy.
After giving up a goal against the run of play, FC Delco was able to pin PA Classics in and create a flurry of chances that led to Reis’s hat trick. He subbed off at halftime in order to be available in the U19 game that followed but had to leave that match early with a shoulder injury.
“His ability to hold the ball, connect with teammates and combine is very good,” Poole said. “For me as a target forward at his age, he’s as good as I’ve seen.”
May subbed in after the break and quickly put his stamp on the game with a couple of goals Castillo’s goal was the exclamation point of the day.
Up next for the FC Delco MLS Next teams are a visit from the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, followed by a match-up with the Philadelphia Union the following Sunday.
“It’s a talented group,” Poole said. “It’ll be good to play against MLS teams the next two weeks and have a litmus test.”