Revolution Academy U-19s win second consecutive MLS NEXT Cup Championship

6_25_23 MLS NEXT Cup champions Under-19

FRISCO, Texas – The New England Revolution Academy Under-19s won the 2023 MLS NEXT Cup Championship on Sunday after defeating FC Delco 2-1 in the MLS NEXT Cup Final. Revolution Homegrown defender Peyton Miller (2007 – Unionville, Conn.) and forward Alex St. John (2005 – Needham, Mass.) both tallied in the second half to secure New England’s second consecutive MLS NEXT Cup Championship.

U-19 Head Coach Brad Knighton, a former Revolution goalkeeper who played 12 years in New England, led the team to their second national title after joining the Revolution Academy at the beginning of the spring season. Max Weinstein (2004 – Montpelier, V.T.) earned Goalkeeper of the Tournament honors for the second straight year after starting all five matches and earning two clean sheets and two shootout victories. Forward Jason Zacarias (2004 – Billerica, Mass.) started all five matches, tallied the game-winner in the semifinal, and was awarded Player of the Tournament.

“This is a proud moment for the Revolution and our entire program,” Revolution Technical Director Curt Onalfo stated. “To win consecutive championships at the U-19 level, after qualifying three teams into the MLS NEXT Cup playoffs, is a testament to the incredible talent and commitment to excellence we have throughout our organization and especially in our academy, from Rob Becerra on through every member of the coaching staff. Congratulations to all the players, coaches, and staff for this incredible achievement.”

FC Delco found the scoresheet first with Kaio Reis’ tally in the 44th minute. New England entered the second half down a goal and substituted in Gianluca Armellino (2005 – Plainville, Mass.), Alexi Karalis (2005 – Belmont, Mass.), and 15-year-old Miller, who immediately made his presence felt, equalizing in the 50th minute with a left-footed rocket from just outside the 18-yard box for his second goal of the tournament and first with the U-19s.

Defender Jack Burkhardt (2005 – Sutton, Mass.) was issued two yellow cards in the 43rd and 77th minutes of the match, as New England played the final 13 minutes down a player. Defender Alex Parvu (2005 – Cumberland, R.I.) sent a cross from the right wing directly to Alex St. John (2005 – Needham, Mass.) for a first-time finish just inside the near post for the lead, marking St. John’s second game-winning tally of the postseason. Delco kept the pressure on throughout stoppage time, but the 10-man Revolution held on to claim their second MLS NEXT Cup Championship.

“For us to go back-to-back and be the first academy to ever do it is something special. It’s a testament to the staff, it’s a testament to the organization, to the Krafts, to Brian Billelo, to Curt Onalfo, everyone that’s bought in and been a part of this ride,” Knighton said. “The last two years have been something special, and we’re going to continue. We’re producing great players from young ages all the way through and that’s why we’ve given ourselves the opportunity to compete for championships.”

The U-19s’ victory caps off an MLS NEXT Cup tournament that saw all three of New England’s eligible squads qualify through the MLS NEXT Flex tournament. The U-15s opened their postseason vs. Columbus Crew and rounded out the tournament with Showcase action vs. LA United Futbol Academy and Southern Soccer Academy. The U-17s earned their way to the quarterfinals after defeating Florida Rush and Nashville SC in their opening matches. The U-19s’ road to the Final went through FC Golden State, Strikers FC, Players Development Academy, and FC Dallas before meeting FC Delco in the final.

New England Revolution U-19s vs. FC Delco U-19s 
Sunday, June 25, 2023 – Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
New England Revolution 2, FC Delco 1

Scoring Summary:
DEL – Kaio Reis 44’
NE – Peyton Miller 51’
NE – Alex St. John 80’

Revolution U-19s: Max Weinstein; Steban Lopera (Peyton Miller 46’), Jack Burkhardt, Garrett Holman (Alexi Karalis 46’), Alex Parvu; Brandonn Bueno (Ezra Widman 76’), Tyler Flowers, Gabriel Chavez (Gianluca Armellino 46’); Jason Zacarias (Alex St. John 67’), Bryce Flowers (Olger Escobar 67’), Marco Dos Santos (Jack LaBelle 84’)

Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Christensen, Felipe Vieira De Andrade.