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Youth Soccer: Impressive Weekend for Lions in Generation Adidas Cup

Despite narrowly missing out on the championship bracket, an undefeated weekend in Generation Adidas Cup event marks positive improvement for young Lions.

Orlando City SC

The second leg of the Generation Adidas Cup wrapped up play in Orlando Monday afternoon with the Orlando City SC U-16 squad winning on penalties over the top-ranked Toronto FC squad after a 2-2 draw at full time. Jonathan Brasiliano and Justin Bauer both netted goals in response to Toronto FC tallies to ensure the draw and send the game into penalty kicks.

It was the Lions' second penalty kick victory over the weekend, as their match against D.C. United ended after ten rounds of PKs, 6-5. Appropriately it seems, it took David Loera capitalizing on a penalty kick when the Lions Nathaniel Adamolekun was taken down inside the box to bring City even with D.C. and take the match into the penalty kick frames.

Orlando City had opened the President's Day weekend events with a 2-1 victory over the boys from New England Revolution. With the regulation win and the two PK victories, the Lions finished the weekend undefeated.

Unfortunately, however, the impressive weekend just was not enough to overcome their two losses in the opening round of the Generation Adidas Cup held back in October in Pennsylvania. A regulation loss to the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 10, followed by a PK loss to the Philadelphia Union boys on Oct. 13, proved just a little too much to overcome.

The boys from Toronto and Philadelphia will join squads from FC Dallas, Sporting KC, San Jose Earthquakes, and Real Salt Lake to compete for the Generation Adidas Cup over Easter weekend. Last year, the GA Cup was won by the international side Stoke City.

While failing to qualify for the championship bracket is certainly disappointing, the turn-around made from the Columbus Day event in October is definitely one to celebrate. The idea and purpose of the tournament is to develop the athletes and build young soccer players into players ready to step up to the next level of competition.

Scores are kept and championships awarded, true, but the success of the tournament is determined not by which squad wins but by the growth experienced by all squads over the course of the events.

In that aspect, Orlando City has contributed well to continuing the value of the Generation Adidas events. It may seem like small consolation now but the coaches and players understand the ultimate goal is greater than just the weekend's matches.

The hope of Generation Adidas contracts and the potential to become the next "Homegrown" player is an ever present motivation surrounding the academy programs, but the joyous celebration of National Signing Day just a few weeks ago is also a reminder that these players are the future of the sport and that the real purpose and goal lies ahead.

GA Results

Games Played

Wins

Losses

Ties

PK wins

Orlando City

5

1

1

3

2