The New England Revolution’s U-19 squad returned to action Friday morning as they faced FC Dallas in the semifinals of the MLS NEXT Cup.
New England entered the semifinals after a run that saw them defeat IMG Academy, Real Colorado, and come back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Players Development Academy.
There were two changes to the lineup from Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over PDA as Zach Sardi-Santos and Triton Beauvois join the staring eleven. Max Weinstein was in goal again as Zach Sardi-Santos, Jack Burkhardt, Dylan Walsh, and Steban Betancur comprised the back line. Brandonn Bueno, Jack Panayotou, and Morris Matthews stood in the middle as Triton Beauvois, Isaie Louis, and Jason Zacarias were up top.
Panayotou wasted no time trying to get the Revs offense rolling in the 2nd minute as he drove forward towards the Dallas goal. Although quite a distance out, Panayotou created himself some space and lasered a ball right at the net, hoping to catch Aaron Salinas sleeping in the opening minute, but Salinas was all over it.
Weinstein came up huge for the Revs in the 23rd minute as Ty Reynolds’ throw-in found Timothy Ospina. Ospina drove forward, where he cut the ball back to Emanuel Martinez. Weinstein quickly shuffled to the center of the goal as Martinez sent a shot right at Weinstein. Thankfully, Martinez did not get enough on the ball to pose a threat for the Revs as Weinstein kept things scoreless.
Walsh showed excellence on both sides of the ball in the 24th minute as he turned on the jets to intercept a pass near the centerline and took a few steps towards the goal as he laid a rocket of a shot onto Dallas’s goal. Again, Salina made the save.
A dangerous chance from Dallas came in the 31st minute as a free-kick outside the box led to a close-range shot from Tarik Scott. Weinstein was alert as he positioned his body to make the save. Weinstein again came up big for New England in the 41st minute as he touched Cezar Elizalde’s laser of a shot from outside the box up and over the crossbar.
Although both teams had phenomenal chances in the first 45 minutes, neither side found the back of the net as things remained scoreless at halftime.
There was one change at half as Malcolm Fry entered the game. Fry came in hot after notching a goal and an assist against PDA in the quarterfinals.
The Revolution offense wasted no time getting the offense rolling in the 48th minute as Bueno sent a pass into the box for Isaie Louis. Despite the pressure enforced by the Dallas defense, Louis stood tall as he slipped the ball between the defender’s legs to Panayotou atop the 6-yard-box. Panayotou slotted the ball past Salinas and into the back of the net to give the Revs a crucial 1-0 lead!
The Isaie Louis-Jack Panayotou connection shined again in the 71st minute as Louis found himself in the center of the box, he flicked the ball to his right to find Panayotou. Panayotou fooled the defender to slide tackle as he cut it to his left and sent a left-footed shot to the left side of the net to give the Revs a 2-0 lead. Panayotou’s brace awarded him his fifth goal of the tournament.
As the game looked to be over, Dallas got a boost in the 85th minute as the referee awarded them a penalty kick after a handball in the Revs box. Michael Morales stepped up to the spot for Dallas as he sent a blistering shot down the middle as Weinstein dove to his right. 2-1 with under five minutes to go.
The U19’s will face the winners of Tampa Bay United and San Francisco Glens on July 3rd at 6:00 PM ET, streaming on YouTube and Twitch!