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Philadelphia Union (U-17) and Valencia CF (U-15) Earn Illustrious Generation adidas Cup Titles

April 8, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

NEW YORK - In its 15th edition, the 2024 Generation adidas Cup featured the most global and competitive field in the tournament's history and saw the Philadelphia Union take home the championship in the U-17 age group, while Valencia CF (Spain) earned the U-15 age group title after seven days of high-quality play in Bradenton, Fla.

MLS academies have won six of the past eight titles at the Generation adidas Cup dating back to the 2019 tournament. Sunday's victory by the Philadelphia Union in the U-17 age group marked the second consecutive Generation adidas Cup title for the club. The Union join Seattle Sounders FC (2019 and 2022) as recent MLS clubs to win the U-17 age group in consecutive editions of the tournament. Valencia CF became the first international club to win the U-15 age group since the tournament format changed to a U-17 and U-15 format in 2022.

The Union earned back-to-back U-17 championships by virtue of a dynamic attack featuring Jamir Johnson, Diego Rocio, Anisse Saidi, and Cavan Sullivan. After scoring twice in the semifinal, Rocio broke the title game against the LA Galaxy open in the 31st minute, capitalizing on a loose ball in the 18-yard box and volleying a one-time finish into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. The Galaxy fought back at the start of the second half with two goals in a three-minute span, as Dylan Vanney, son of Galaxy first-team head coach Greg Vanney, tied the game up in the 38th minute and Adam Dunbar gave the Galaxy the lead when a saved shot fell to him and he tapped in his finish from close range just two minutes later.

Trailing 2-1, the dynamic duo of Johnson and Sullivan combined again as Johnson evaded defenders and played a cross for Sullivan to tap into the net to level the game in the 47th minute. Despite chances for both teams in the second half and extra time, the game progressed to penalty kicks. Union goalkeeper Gavin Aktinson made a crucial save on the Galaxy's third penalty and he forced LA to miss their sixth penalty to give Philadelphia the victory, 2-2 (5-4 in penalty kicks).

Philadelphia has captured three Generation adidas Cup titles in their history - 2024 (U-17), 2023 (U-17), and 2012, tying D.C. United and River Plate (Argentina) for the most in the competition's history.

Valencia CF showed their dominance throughout the tournament and the theme continued in the U-15 championship, as the Spanish club defeated Toulouse FC (France) by a score of 2-0. After recording a brace in the semifinal, standout midfielder Marc Martinez opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Santiago Del Ríó found Martinez in space and the midfielder opened his body and placed his effort just past the outstretched goalkeeper. Valencia doubled their advantage in the 35th minute after a one-two passing combination between Jerry Amaldife and Amadouh Kanteh , which Kanteh fired into the back of the net. A strong Valencia defense in the second half helped preserve the 2-0 victory and the Generation adidas Cup title.

In the Premier brackets, MLS sides won both age groups, as Inter Miami CF defeated LAFC, 1-0, to take home the honors in the U-17 age group and Chicago Fire FC was victorious over Sporting Kansas City in the U-15s.

MLS NEXT also announced the award winners in the U-17 and U-15 age groups of the 2024 Generation adidas Cup. After numerous man of the match performances, the Union's Diego Rocio was named U-17 Generation adidas Cup Most Valuable Player after scoring five times in the knockout stages. Philadelphia's Gavin Atkinson also took home Generation adidas Cup Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate honors for his standout performances throughout the tournament and in the penalty shootout of the championship match. The U-17 Generation adidas Cup Top Scorer was FC Cincinnati's Stefan Chirila , who recorded five goals and won the award via tiebreaker (goals per minute) for a Cincinnati team that advanced out of their group for the first time in club history.

In the U-15 age group, Toulouse FC midfielder Aymen Amaaouch was named the U-15 Generation adidas Cup Most Valuable Player after leading his side to the final, becoming the first French team to do so in the U-15 age group. Victor Lanlo from Toulouse was named the Generation adidas Cup Best Goalkeeper presented by Allstate after producing three clean sheets and winning two shootouts throughout the competition. The U-15 Generation adidas Cup Top Scorer went to Valencia's Marc Martinez who found the back of the next six times in the competition, including three scores in the semifinal and final.

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