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New York Red Bulls Academy U16s advance to national championship match

The Baby Bulls are heading to the national championship!

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls U16s are 90 minutes away from being named the national champions following a 2-1 win over Georgia United.

All three goals came in the first 11 minutes of the match. To open the scoring, Jeanpaul Marin took advantage of a turnover, sprinted up the wing, and played the ball in to Brian Saramago who calmly finished to put the U16s up in the 4th minute. Trinidadian youth international Noah Powder added a second in the 8th minute, blocking a clearance into the net. Patrick Okonkwo pulled one back for Georgia United in the 11th minute after beating center back Mason Deeds to the ball and slotting it past keeper Xavier Kennedy.

Both teams continued to battle back and forth, but neither managed score again. Kennedy made a few key saves for the Red Bulls to maintain the lead. Okonkwo was sent off in the 62nd minute after elbowing Deeds in the head while both were on the ground following a challenge. The Red Bulls were able to dominate possession the rest of the way and kill off the match, ensuring a victory.

The Red Bulls U16s now advance to the final on Saturday, July 18th to play FC Dallas at 8 p.m. at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Dallas advanced to the final after beating the Philadelphia Union, 3-0.


Starting lineup: Xavier Kennedy, Kyle Perno, Mason Deeds, Rodrigo D'Andrea, Omir Fernandez, Jared Gilbey, Jeanpaul Marin, Ryan Mingachos, Noah Powder, Brian Saramago, Sean Teixeira

Substitutes: Kyle Casey, Kevin O'Toole

Unused substitutes: Zaire Bartley, Vincent Borden, Wojciech Gajda, Kazu Shigenobu, Richard Wolf