The addition of the U15 age group to this year's Generation adidas Cup regionals (only the U17s will advance to the finals in the spring) added a new and exciting component to the annual tournament hosted by Major League Soccer.
A player as young as 12 - Philadelphia Union forward Nelson Pierre - had a chance to make his GA Cup debut over the weekend, and plenty of other players had a chance to introduce themselves to a larger audience at the Power Training Complex in Chester, Pa.
For host Philadelphia Union that meant getting high fives from first team technical director and former USMNT star Earnie Stewart after one of their games and for all the players an opportunity to use the first team training facilities and interact with some of the Union first teamers.
Like their U17s, the hosts found a lot of success, outscoring opponents 13-1 over three games, but New York City FC also had a strong showing in their two games with a win and a draw to finish two points behind the leaders with a game in hand. D.C. United was arguably the most entertaining team to watch with a win and two draws, producing plenty of drama from last gasp equalizers to penalty kick shootout heroics in the process. Aside from their electric play as a team, their goal celebrations weren't too shabby either.
In total, four of the nine games in the U15 division went to penalties, including all three of Atlanta United's games and two of D.C. United's.
Below are some of the players that stood out from the long holiday weekend.