The Earthquakes Academy boys’ U13s, U14s, U15s, and U17s kicked off their 2022-23 MLS NEXT season in September. The Quakes are off to a fast start in all competitions as we approach the end of October. The U14s (6-0-0) and U17s (4-0-0) both hold perfect records while the U13s are an impressive 5-1-0 as well. The U15s are currently 1-2-1 heading into this weekend.
All four squads hosted Sacramento Republic FC last Sunday, Oct. 23 at Ohlone College. The U14s and U17s both prevailed by a 3-1 score line, the U15s tied 1-1, and the U13s fell 4-3.
After their 3-1 victory, U17 head coach Steven Sosa discussed his team’s performance.
“It’s always good to beat Sacramento Republic FC because they are one of the top teams in the league and obviously a big rival, so for us we feel good about the win. I felt the first half we played really well. We were executing a lot of actions that we work on in training.”
U15s head coach Erin Ridley, who was also previsouly an assistant coach for the U17 U.S. Women’s Youth National Team, also shared her thoughts on her team’s status after their 1-1 draw.
“We wanted to move the ball through the thirds of the field. We wanted to rotate the ball well, find clear advantages. We thought we would get chances to score, which we did. And the boys fought hard, really hard.”
The U15s and U17s return to action this weekend to face two opponents on the road. Both teams will first take on Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, Oct. 29, before facing the Portland Timbers on Sunday, Oct. 30. The U13s and U14s will have a bye week and resume play in November.
The U15s and U17s will then travel to southern California to compete in 2022 MLS NEXT Fest from Dec. 2-8. The showcase features 300 of the top youth teams across the United States and Canada. The seven-day event provides an opportunity for North America’s top youth talent to be seen by college, national team, and professional scouts/coaches in a single location and determines 2023 Generation adidas Cup qualifiers.
As his squad prepares for the matches ahead, Sosa hopes to accomplish multiple goals for the season, both in the short and long term.
“I think the goals would be obviously to make playoffs, have a nice run at the 2023 Generation adidas Cup, which is really results based, and get as many players pushed up to the first team or second team as possible.”
Similarly, Ridley wants her U15 players to focus on results and growth this season as well.
“It’s very much a developmental year,” Ridley explained. “Collectively, we want to compete and win in every game, of course. Also, we want to make sure that players are growing in a way that helps them really make sure that they are best prepared for whatever the next steps are or whatever opportunities they may receive.”