The Orlando City U17s continued their historic run in the inaugural MLS NEXT Cup on Thursday night, knocking off the Sacramento Republic 2-1 to reach the final. The Lions will face the New Jersey-based Players Development Academy for the trophy on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m, with the match set to be streamed live on MLSSoccer.com.
“This is a fantastic achievement,” said Assistant Academy Director and Orlando City U17 Head Coach Javier Carrillo. “We have created a strong group, a strong bond where players are hungry and look forward to overcoming the next challenge. The standards are set for our Academy and we must focus on delivering the same level of quality and consistency in the years to come.”
It wasn’t easy getting past Sacramento, though it certainly looked like it could be early in the night. Ethan Subachan scored the first goal and assisted Gonzalo Agustoni for the second, giving Orlando a 2-0 lead at the first half hydration break.
But Sacramento would fight back, scoring in the 37th minute to cut the Orlando lead to 2-1 at halftime. The Lions held on throughout the second half, which included a second yellow for first team Homegrown defender Thomas Williams that set City back to 10 men for the last 20 or so minutes of action. In the end, Orlando was able to see out the 2-1 scoreline and move into the final.