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GENERATION ADIDAS CUP RECAP: Red Bulls U-16s finish in sixth place of Championship Division, including 1-1 draw versus Mexico U-17

 
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The Red Bulls U-16s traveled to Dallas, Texas, for 10 days to participate the most competitive U-17 tournament in the country, the Generation adidas Cup Championship Division. The Red Bulls were grouped with the LA Galaxy, defending champion River Plate (Argentina) and Aspire (Qatar).

New York emerged from the Group Stage with a 1-1-1 record and qualified for a shot at fifth place in the playoffs. In the first round of the playoffs, the Red Bulls took on Valencia FC U-17 (Spain). New York tied Valencia and won in penalty kicks, 3-0, to earn a shot at fifth place against Mexico U-17 Men’s National Team. In the fifth place game, the Red Bulls and Mexico could not be separated and went to penalty kicks where Mexico prevailed, 7-6.

New York Red Bulls U-16 1 (3) vs. LA Galaxy U-16 1 (4)

(March 18, 2016) - The Red Bulls U-16s came out strong in the first game against the Galaxy. Omir Fernandez and Ben Mines created havoc on the wings for the Red Bulls as they created many good chances on goal. 

Midfielder Vince Borden put the Red Bulls ahead with a 30-yard blast into the lower corner. The Red Bulls entered halftime leading, 1-0, and would have a strong wind at their backs for the second half. 

Despite a strong start to the second half for New York, the game drastically changed when the referee issued Mines a straight red card for a tackle on a LA defender. As a result, the Red Bulls had to play down a player for 30 minutes. 

The game remained the same until the final 10 minutes when the Galaxy hit a shot from 30-yards away. The Red Bulls goalkeeper couldn’t hang onto the shot and LA scored the rebound to tie the game, 1-1.

The game ended in a draw, 1-1, but the Galaxy would receive two points for winning on penalty kicks, 4-3. The Red Bulls received one point for the tie.

River Plate U-17 (2) vs. New York Red Bulls U-16 (1)

(March 20, 2016) - The Red Bulls U-16s took on defending GA Cup Championship Division champion, River Plate, in their second game of the Group Stage. 

River Plate came out strong and dominated the first 20 minutes of the game before the Red Bulls settled down. New York still created the best scoring chance during the opening stretch when Omir Fernandez got in behind the River Plate defense, but slid his shot just wide. 

River Plate capitalized on a missed clearance by a Red Bulls defender to snatch a one-goal lead before halftime.

The Red Bulls came out flying in the second half and were able to tie the game on a goal by Willy Rojas. New York continued to dominate the first 20 minutes of the second half and were unlucky not to take the lead.

River Plate retook the lead on a volley from 25-yards out that went under the diving Red Bulls goalkeeper with 12 minutes to play. New York was unable to find the equalizer and fell to the Argentinean side, 2-1.

New York Red Bulls U-16 (2) vs. Aspire U-17 (0)

(March 22, 2016) - The Red Bulls U-16s faced Aspire who already tied the Galaxy and also lost to River Plate, 2-1. 

New York came out and dominated from the start of the game and finished with a 12-2 advantage in shots. Nick Schimbeno and Chris Bermudez scored the goals for the Red Bulls who earned the clean sheet.

With the victory, New York finished in third place of Group B with four points and qualified for a shot at the fifth place game in the GA Cup Playoffs. They would play Valencia FC, who finished in third place of Group A, and meet the winner of LA Galaxy and Mexico U-17 in the fifth place game.

Playoffs – Round 1 | 5th place semifinal: New York Red Bulls U-16 1 (3) vs. Valencia FC U-17 1 (0)

(March 24, 2016) - Following the conclusion of the Group Stage, the games did not get any easier as the Red Bulls U-16s, who were matched up against Valencia FC.  Valencia entered the match after a convincing win against Toronto FC, 6-3.  

Valencia came out strong and got on the board in the fifth minute off a header. The Red Bulls would once again bounce back and started to dominate the La Liga powerhouse. 

New York tied the game when Ben Mines beat his defender and slid a low cross to Omir Fernandez who finished it. As the match continued, the Red Bulls were unlucky not to take the lead after creating more quality chances.  

The game ended in a tie, 1-1, and New York won in penalty kicks, 3-0, to advance to the fifth place game against Mexico U-17.

Playoffs – Round 2 | 5th place final: New York Red Bulls U-16 1 (6) vs. Mexico U-17 Men’s National Team 1 (7)

(March 26, 2016) - The Red Bulls U-16s finished the tournament against another great opponent, the Mexico U-17 National Team who lost only one game heading into the clash with the Red Bulls.  

Both teams came out and attacked, creating multiple chances on goal. It was a physical game that saw seven yellow cards handed out.

The Red Bulls took the lead right before halftime on a great individual effort from midfielder JP Marin as he beat two Mexico defenders before burying a shot in the top corner.

Both teams continued to press for goals in the second half and it was Mexico that scored the equalizer on a corner kick with 15 minutes left. The Red Bulls dominated the rest of the way and thought they scored the game winner, but the goal was called back on an offside call. 

The game ended in a draw, 1-1, and Mexico claimed fifth place, winning on penalty kicks, 7-6.

The Red Bulls finished the 2016 Generation adidas Cup with just one loss in five games against top international academies in the Championship Division, the top-flight tournament of GA Cup.

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