The U17 team has taken nine points out of nine in its last three games, all played in the New York area. A positive and promising end to the 2022 regular season before the winter break.

New York Red Bulls: a well executed plan

Head coach Maxime Leconte and his players were eager to show another side of themselves against a strong MLS academy after the disappointments against New England Revolution and Toronto FC. Facing the Red Bulls, a team that is comfortable in transition, the U17s started off with a bang with an early goal from Emrik Fotsing thanks a powerful shot into the back of the net from the edge of the box. They didn't stop there as Antoine N'Diaye doubled the lead with a well-placed shot. Luca Dominaco further marked their dominance with a goal of his own, volleying home a cross from Fotsing.

With a three-goal lead, the hardest part of the last 45 minutes was still to come. The second half was more defensive, with Montreal keeping the same intensity despite conceding a goal. Final score: 1-3.

"We applied what we had set up tactically in the first half very well," analyzed Maxime Leconte. “We knew they were a team that was going to apply a lot of pressure, and we managed to draw them in to play behind them. Our pressure also bothered them when they were moving the ball up. We hurt them and that's why we scored three goals quickly. We were able to keep it together in the second half, not suffering and defending well with intensity, character and toughness."

Starting XI : Mastias Hammache – Dylan Pierre Alexis – Alessandro Biello (cap.) – Étienne Godin – Gaël De Montigny – Emrik Fotsing – Antoine N’Diaye – Luca De Montigny – Sébastien Udell Joseph – Luca Domanico – Marc-Alexandre Happi Emaga

Substitutes : Ewan Derrien-Lairet, Franco De Cicco, Tim Arnaud, Jesse Saputo, Joaquim Coulanges, Rafael Coulanges, Antony Alexis

Goals :
CFM – Emrik Fotsing (5th)
CFM – Antoine N’Diaye (15th)
CFM – Luca Domanico (32nd)
NYRB – Curtis Ofori (77th)

New York City FC: a successful performance

The U17's didn't have time to savour as another MLS academy, New York City FC, was waiting for them the next day in Queens, on the field of St John's University. The first half was well balanced with few clear-cut chances. After the break, the attacking play was sharper. Marc-Alexandre Happi Emaga scored from close range just before the hour mark after a great effort by Fotsing.

CF Montréal continued to push forward with numerous shots before Jesse Saputo's winning goal in the last two minutes. The two defensive substitutes Franco De Cicco and Quélou Ayemi contributed greatly to seal a well-deserved win. Final score: 0-2.

"It was a different style of play than the previous game. The game came down to which team was better at setting up their game because both teams like to keep the ball and play," said Maxime Leconte. “We brought a lot of variety, and we were rewarded in the second half, without being troubled defensively. It was a successful performance.”

Starting XI : Mastias Hammache – Dylan Pierre Alexis – Alessandro Biello (cap.) – Étienne Godin – Joaquim Coulanges – Emrik Fotsing – Antoine N’Diaye – Tim Arnaud – Rafael Coulanges – Jesse Saputo – Antony Alexis

Substitutes : Ewan Derrien-Lairet, Franco De Cicco, Gaël De Montigny, Quélou Ayemi, Sébastien Udell Joseph, Luca Domanico, Marc-Alexandre Happi Emaga

Goals :
CFM - Marc-Alexandre Happi Emaga (56th)
CFM – Jesse Saputo (88th)

New York Soccer Club: patience paid off

This confidence boost with six points against MLS academies was to be confirmed a week later against a private academy where the U17s have often encountered difficulties. The trip to New York Soccer Club was an opportunity to reverse the trend.

But Montreal’s slow start was penalized by New York's early opening goal. "Unlike Oakwood (2-2 draw), we didn't panic. We knew how to set up our game and impose our style progressively", said Maxime Leconte.

It was therefore logical that Happi Emaga equalized before half-time with a beautiful volley. "That goal was good for us. Afterwards, I asked the players to be patient, to continue to control without rushing. The opponent chased the ball and eventually broke down," explained the head coach.

Sébastien Udell Joseph cut in at the near post from a Luca De Montigny cross for the second goal before a penalty kick was converted by Antoine N'Diaye. Final score: 1-3. A third consecutive victory abroad for Maxime Leconte and his players: "It's a deserved victory. The newcomers have done well again. It is a good dynamic game, where all the players are involved. A good team effort. The result is there but the manner in which the results were earned was equally impressive. You are rewarded when you work well, and this is what the group has been doing for several weeks."

Starting XI : Mastias Hammache – Dylan Pierre Alexis – Alessandro Biello (cap.) – Étienne Godin – Joaquim Coulanges – Emrik Fotsing – Antoine N’Diaye – Tim Arnaud – Rafael Coulanges – Jesse Saputo – Antony Alexis

Substitutes : Ewan Derrien-Lairet, Franco De Cicco, Gaël De Montigny, Quélou Ayemi, Sébastien Udell Joseph, Luca Domanico, Marc-Alexandre Happi Emaga

Goals :
NYSC – Steven Arias (4th)
CFM – Marc-Alexandre Happi Emaga (40th)
CFM – Sébastien Udell Joseph (56th)
CFM – Antoine N’Diaye (77th PK)

Next up for the U17s in California is the MLS NEXT Fest tournament, a Generation adidas Cup qualifier, December 2-6. Montreal will face Columbus Crew FC, Inter Miami FC and Portland Timbers FC.