By finishing second in their respective groups in Maryland, our U15 and U17 teams were unable to secure their playoff berths despite positive performances on the field.
The performances of the other MLS academies in the Northeast Division help the U15s to qualify mathematically via the Pro Pathway regular season standings— a first for our Academy since the creation of the MLS NEXT. The U17s still have two more away games on the calendar to qualify, but they will depend on the results of other teams.
U15: A deserved qualification
FC Dallas 1-3 CF Montréal
CF Montréal 0-1 Orlando City SC
SC Del Sol 2-4 CF Montréal
U15 head coach Esteban Landazabal said: "We performed very well in a very difficult group, even against Orlando where the game was decided by a piece of individual brillance by Orlando to score the winning goal.This tournament confirms that we are ready for the playoffs and ready to face any team. The last two regular season games will be a good preparation and an opportunity to show that our playoff spot is not a coincidence because we are a competitive team. Playing in the playoffs will increase the team’s motivation but we will also have to raise our standards to prepare the team as best as possible for the knockout games. We're not setting any limits for ourselves."
U17: It's all about June
Orlando City SC 1-2 CF Montréal
CF Montréal 0-3 Sockers FC
Albion San Diego SC 1-1 CF Montréal (8-9 on penalty shootout)
U17 head coach Maxime Leconte said: "The context of this tournament was very particular, the stake of a qualification for the playoffs often override the game. Our first game against Orlando was hard fought. We started badly but the players reacted well before keeping the lead. We lacked freshness the next day against Sockers FC, an aggressive and well organized team. We wanted to finish the last game well against Albion, another private academy. We opened the score early against a low block but we could not close the game and they equalized on their only chance. The penalty shootout win is a positive outcome and I think our second place in the group is deserved. The group is still young and lacks maturity. Everything is still possible to qualify but we will have to wait for Philadelphia Union’s score to know if we will play a final against them on June 3rd. We will continue to work and prepare for this game."