FARIBAULT, Minn. (Feb. 21, 2023) - The Chicago Fire Academy returned to MLS NEXT play after the holiday break over the weekend, with both the U-15 and U-17 teams resuming the regular season on the road.
One of the most exciting teams in all of MLS NEXT picked up where they left off. In their opening match against Minnesota United FC, the offense showed its strengths with a 4-2 victory over Minnesota to kick off the weekend. Goals from Oscar Pineda, Vitaly Hlyut, Liam Healey and Andrej Ilich headlined the victory, with helpers coming from Robert Turdean and Parker Amoo-Mensah.
The weekend didn’t conclude there for the U-15’s, with a match the following morning against a strong Shattuck-St. Mary’s team that sits in third place of the Mid-America Division. The U-15’s would go on and record a 2-0 clean sheet victory led by goals from Liam Healey and Aaron Ineh.
With the pair of victories, the U-15 Academy extended their undefeated streak to 12 games. Their overall record of 9-0-0 in MLS NEXT Flex play has them tied for first in their division with a game in hand over Columbus Crew. The U-15’s look to make it 13 straight against the Michigan Jaguars on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 12:30 p.m. CT.
The oldest of the four academies couldn’t carry the momentum in their favor. Last Saturday, the U-17 academy dropped their first of two matches on the weekend in a 3-0 loss against Minnesota United FC. Offensive woes from the day before would unfortunately carry over to the following match in a 1-0 loss against Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
Following the weekend’s results, the U-17 academy dropped to fifth place in the Mid-America Division with an overall record of 5-2-2. The U-17’s are still searching for their first victory in MLS NEXT Flex play however, with an 0-3-0 record thus far this season.
The U-17’s look to rebound this weekend against the Michigan Jaguars on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Eastern Michigan Dome in Ypsilanti, Mich.