MLS NEXT Cup Recap: Revs U-19s 3 - 0 FC Dallas
U-19s trounce FC Dallas to advance to their second-consecutive MLS NEXT Cup final!
Brad Knighton’s U-19s returned to action Friday morning as they faced FC Dallas in the MLS NEXT Cup semifinals. The Revs entered Friday’s contests following an epic comeback over Players Development Academy that saw the game go to penalties as the Revs advanced following a 4-3 shootout victory.
Max Weinstein started in goal as Steban Lopera, Jack Burkhardt, Garrett Holman, and Alex Parvu comprised the midfield. Brandonn Bueno, Gabriel Chavez, and Tyler Flowers filled out the midfield as Jason Zacarias, Bryce Flowers, and Marco Dos Santos provided the attack.
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There was concern early on for the Revolution as Brandonn Bueno went down after a collision with the FC Dallas goalkeeper. Medical staff came on to tend to Bueno as he exited to undergo further examination. With Bueno off the field, Gianluca Armellino served as a short-term substitute. Thankfully, Bueno came back on in the sixth minute.
FC Dallas looked dangerous in the 10th minute as they stretched the Revolution backline and drove down the left flank. Dallas attempted to send a shot on Weinstein but failed to send an accurate shot as it sailed out of play for a goal kick.
While the play was later called offsides, Max Weinstein flashed his goalkeeping ability in the 16th minute as FC Dallas' free kick led to a close-range header, which Weinstein quickly reacted to and stopped. The save will not appear on the stat sheet but it was still a good display by the Revolution II goalkeeper.
The Revolution wasted no time in the second half as Jason Zacarias slotted the ball into the net in the 46th minute to give the Revs U-19s a 1-0 lead early in the second half.
Gabriel Chavez came close to finding a second goal for New England in the 54th minute as he drove through the Dallas backline and got the goalkeeper to come off his line. Chavez evaded the charging keeper but maneuvered into a tough angle as he had to regroup. Chavez attempted to send a shot from the right flank, but the defense recovered as they deflected the ball away from danger.
Words can’t describe the Revs II offense in the 56th minute as an awkward bounce following a Revolution corner led the ball to an open Chavez in the box. Realizing there was no pressure, Chavez executed the bicycle kick. While Chavez’s bike did not find the net, it found Alexi Karalis in front of the goal, who tapped the ball into the net to extend New England’s lead to two
Future Revolution Homegrown Peyton Miller entered the match in the 63rd minute as he came on for Steban Lopera. Three more changes in the 75th minute as Olger Escobar, Ezra Widman, and Alex St. John entered the match. Brad Knighton’s final changes came in the 83rd as Gianluca Armellino and Jack LaBelle came on for Jason Zacarias and Marco Dos Santos.
Just as it looked like the Revolution was walking away with a 2-0 win and a trip to the finals, substitute Gianluca Armellino had other ideas. Armellino drove up the right flank and lobbed a ball from the Revolution's defensive half as he attempted to catch the keeper off guard. Armellino’s ball sailed into the air and cleared the trailing keeper as it crashed into the net to extend the lead to three.
With the win, the Revs notched a trip to their second-consecutive MLS NEXT Cup Final! Brad Knighton will look to win back-to-back MLS NEXT Cups as the U-19s will face FC Delco on Sunday.