U16 MLS Next Cup: Capretto leads Delco

U16 MLS Next Cup: Capretto leads Delco
by Victor Olorunfemi
June 24, 2024
Players featured in this article:
F | FC Delco
F | FC Delco
MF | FC Delco

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In a matchup of two non-professional academies, Michael Capretto proved the difference as FC Delco defeated Real Colorado 3-0 to win the MLS Next U16 championship. It marks the first title for the Pennsylvania-based team whose legendary run to the final included victories over professional academies FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union.

At kickoff, all eyes were on Capretto, who led the tournament in goals with seven in four games. However, Remy Tshibangu, another talented teammate, opened the scoring in the 37th with a well-placed finish following a few failed clearances from the Real Colorado backline.

That goal set the template for FC Delco to utilize counter-attacking opportunities for Capretto and his remarkable ability to lead the attacking line with pace, dribbling, and energy. That paid off in the 65th minute, with the Delco star seeing his deflected cross loop onto the head of Seamus Lannon for a wide-open header.

Not to be outshined, Capretto would get one in the 70th minute on a brilliant solo goal where he beat his defender and unleashed a rocket into the roof of the net. It was a well-deserved strike for a player who gave his all, whether chasing down hopeless balls, setting up a teammate, or leading the press.

Capretto would become the first player in MLS Next Cup history to win MVP and top scorer in the same tournament.

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