FRISCO, Texas (Sunday June 25, 2023) – The LA Galaxy Academy U-17s defeated Real Colorado U-17s 4-2 in the final of the 2023 U-17 MLS NEXT Cup to become champions of the tournament at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on Sunday. Julian Placias recorded a brace in the final, while Harbor Miller and Ruben Ramos Jr. both scored goals in the LA Galaxy Academy’s championship win over Colorado.
U-17 MLS NEXT Cup Playoff Individual Awards
Following the win, Harbor Miller, who scored the opening goal in the match against Real Colorado, was named the MLS NEXT Cup MVP presented by adidas. Julian Placias, who tallied a tournament-high six goals, was named the MLS NEXT Cup Top Scorer. Additionally, goalkeeper Lucca Adams was named the MLS NEXT Cup Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate.
Road to the Championship
The LA Galaxy Academy U-17 team defeated NYCFC 6-2 in the Round of 32, with Julian Placias recording a hat-trick in the win. In the Round of 16, the Galaxy Academy drew the Philadelphia Union Academy 0-0, before defeating Philadelphia 5-4 in a penalty-kick shootout. The Galaxy Academy then defeated Total Futbol Academy 2-0 in the Quarterfinals, before beating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in the Semifinals of the tournament to advance to the U17 MLS NEXT Cup Final.
LA – Harbor Miller (Riley Dalgado), 6th minute –Harbor Miller picked up the ball just inside his own half dribbled towards the edge of the 18-yard box and fired his left-footed shot into the lower left corner of the goal
LA – Ruben Ramos Jr. (Paulo Rudisill), 23rd minute – Working down the right flank, Paulo Rudisill dribbled past three defenders near the end line and delivered a low pass into the center of the box to Ruben Ramos Jr., who drilled his low shot past the Real Colorado goalkeeper.
RC – Eduardo Macias, 30th minute – From a corner kick, a loose ball in the box fell to Eduardo Macias, whose low shot squeezed past a group of players into the goal.
RC – Cooper Hineline, 37th minute – A slipped pass into the penalty area found Cooper Hineline, whose low shot found the far corner of the goal.
LA – Julian Placias, 50th minute – Harbor Miller delivered a cross into the box that was knocked down by a Real Colorado defender. The ball fell to Julian Placias, whose left-footed shot was poked into the back of the net from close range.
LA – Julian Placias (Gustavo Gonzalez), 70th minute – Julian Placias received the ball down the left flank and dribbled towards goal before firing a low shot at the near post that beat the Real Colorado goalkeeper.
- LA Galaxy Academy claimed their first U17 MLS NEXT Cup title with the win over Real Colorado.
- Julian Placias tallied a brace in the victory against Real Colorado.
- Placias, who tallied a tournament-high six goals, was named the MLS NEXT Cup Top Scorer.
- Harbor Miller and Ruben Ramos Jr. both recorded goals in the victory.
- Miller was named MLS NEXT Cup MVP presented by adidas.
- Goalkeeper Lucca Adams was named MLS NEXT Cup Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate.
- Paulo Rudisill, Gustavo Gonzalez and Riley Dalgado each registered assists in the match.
To view highlights from the U17 LA Galaxy Academy’s first-ever MLS NEXT Cup Championship victory, click here.
2023 MLS NEXT Cup Final
LA Galaxy Academy U-17s vs. Real Colorado U-17s **
Sunday, June 25, 2023 – Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
U17 LA Galaxy Academy 2 2 4
U17 Real Colorado 2 0 2
LA: Miller (Dalgado), 6
LA: Ramos Jr. (Rudisill), 23
RC: Macias, 30
RC: Hineline, 37
LA: Placias, 50
LA: Placias (G. Gonzalez), 70
RC: Lund (caution) 46
LA: Rudisill (caution), 54
LA: Corona (caution), 56
LA: Garcia (caution), 59
LA: Legaspi (caution), 82
LA: Adams (caution), 83
RC: Hineline (caution), 89
LA: GK Lucca Adams; D Harbor Miller, D Allan Legaspi ©, D Emiliano Garcia, D Riley Dalgado (Gustavo Gonzalez, 45); M Nicolas Schelotto, M Omar Garcia (Gabriel Arnold, 45), M Paulo Rudisill (Jose Magana, 90+4); F Ruben Ramos Jr., F Javier Corona (Taj Eagleston, 58), F Julian Placias (Adam Dunbar, 87)
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Correas, Michael Gale, Nathan Nava, Jesse Gonzalez, Victor Casillas**
RC: GK K. Dibella, D C. Carroll, D G. Lund, D T. Harzb, D G. Diaz; M J. Ramos, M D. Macias, M A. Lucas, M C. Hineline, M E. Macias; F X. Sevian
Weather: Clear, 91 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
LA GALAXY POSTGAME QUOTES
LA GALAXY U17 HEAD COACH SHAUN TSAKIRIS
On his thoughts on the match:
“Firstly, I want to congratulate Colorado. They were in the final for a reason. The coaches and the staff do a very good job with them. They’re really hard workers. We know that 2-0 is a very dangerous lead to have and they proved that. They caught us right after the water break. We made a game of it just not being sharp and they responded being 2-0 down. Not taking anything away from them, but I felt like we had a lot of control of the match. I really was proud of how brave we were in buildup. Our second goal showed our model and showed how we want to break opponents down, so I’m very proud of that goal. Then it’s all about execution. The players were executing and then allowing these guys to get back in the game. We created a little bit of a dog fight for ourselves, but we regrouped at halftime and challenged them again. I just love it because they responded and found another gear. Not to take anything away from Colorado… I would say I’m happy because I think we deserved the points, but we of course have nothing but respect for our opponents.”
On the U17 LA Galaxy Academy winning the MLS NEXT Cup Final:
“Super excited for the boys and super proud for the entire group, everybody in the department… the staff, the players and even the players we left home. The boys have put so much work into the last 11 months. I’m just happy they’re able to be finally rewarded by it. I’m proud and happy, no question.”
On what this championship win means to the LA Galaxy Academy and to the LA Galaxy organization:
“Competition and learning how to compete at this age is part of their development. To say that you can have one without the other is just simply not true. The priority is for us to develop individual players and then the collective will follow. There’s no question that individuals have thrived, but the entire group has created a standard at training. The expectations that the club has set and that we have set… The credit is to the boys because they’re the ones doing the work. I’m just very happy for everybody involved. The support that we’ve gotten from above us within the club… The support that we’ve gotten from all departments like the medical side, the physical side and the goalkeeping side… Everybody allows us to just do our job because they’re very good at what they do. This is a credit to the entire group and the direction of where we’re heading, which we’re very proud of. We’re humbled by it, but we’re proud of it.”
On a number of standout performers that were recognized with awards, but the group as a whole playing extremely well throughout the tournament:
“We recognize and don’t want to take away the individual accolades that some players on our team achieved and that MLS has during this tournament, but the reality is our strength, we recognize, is in our numbers. Our strength is in our system and in our collective. No question that we’re happy for the individual players. I have always told our players that the second that we really recognize that our strength is in numbers then a lot of our individuals will shine. Credit to them. They’ve bought into not what I’m saying, but what the direction of the club is going and where we’re heading. They’ve bought into it and they’ve been brave to do it in a competition like this. Anytime that you are recognized for the work that you’ve done, we’re very proud of them. You can tell just by the way they were celebrating that the entire group is very proud of those individuals. This is a family, no question, and proved it in the type of tournament that this is and the conditions that we’re in. These guys are fighters. I’m just really, really happy for them.”