New York City FC U16s are Generation adidas Cup Premier Division Champions!
Giovanni Reyna scored the only goal from the penalty spot in Saturday evening’s final versus Tigres to clinch victory for Matt Pilkington’s side in Frisco, Texas.
It was nothing less than the youngest side at the competition deserved after yet another authoritative performance which belied the modest average age of this group.
Incredibly, the boys in blue won the Generation adidas Cup without conceding a single goal in the five matches they played over the ten days of tournament play.
In addition, NYCFC swept the individual awards, with Johan Penaranda earning the Golden Gloves award and 14-year old Reyna taking the Golden Ball for Best Player.
NYCFC, who named three 14-year olds in their XI, dominated a goalless first half in the final against Tigres, asking questions of the Mexican backline throughout and carving out many promising goalscoring opportunities.
Both Reyna and Joe Scally met crosses into the box and headed narrowly wide, while Will Sands was denied by a sprawling save from the onrushing goalkeeper when he broke the lines.
The Mexican side came out strong in the second half and exerted pressure on the NYCFC backline but they found a goalkeeper in Johan Penaranda at the top of his game as the young stopper made a couple of crucial saves and came off his line to sweep up on a number of occasions.
With the game heading for extratime, Reyna very nearly won it for the boys in blue in the last minute, embarking on a mazy run and forcing a great save from the Tigres ‘keeper.
However, Reyna would only have to wait for one minute into the first extratime period to strike, picking himself up, dusting himself down and converting the penalty after he was fouled inside the box.
That’s how it stayed, meaning NYCFC clinched their first major piece of silverware.
NYCFC had booked their place in the final thanks to a 2-0 victory over San Jose Earthquakes in the semifinals, continuing their excellent record from the group stages.
Pilkington’s side kicked off the competition with a penalty shootout win over Seattle Sounders following a goalless draw, before they bested Deportivo Saprissa 2-0 and rounded off group play with a 1-0 triumph over Pumas.
Everyone at New York City FC would like to congratulate the team and staff on their phenomenal achievements in Texas and we’ll have more reaction and highlights of the tournament on NYCFC.com in the coming days.
NYCFC 0-0 Seattle Sounders (NYCFC win 5-4 on penalties)
NYCFC 2-0 Deportivo Saprissa
NYCFC 1-0 Pumas
NYCFC 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
NYCFC 1-0 Tigres
Alex Rando, Kwaku Owusu, Joseph Scally, Will Citron, Nico Benalcazar, Justin Haak, Alexsi Morel, Kim Colman, Thirston Briscoe, Giovanni Reyna, Salvatore Rasizzi, Johan Penaranda, Eder Mosquera, Harrison Robledo, Jose Flores, Will Sands, Yaya Bakayoko, Andres Jasson, Victor Sousa, Veljko Petkovic