Chivas USA's U15 Team Wins Generation Adidas Cup

CARSON, CA - JULY 18: Fraser applauds - perhaps he's congratulating the U15 team for winning the Generation Adidas Cup. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Good news on the youth development front! Chivas USA's U15 Academy team won the 2012 Generation Adidas Cup for their age group Thursday, after defeating Toronto FC's U15s 2-1 in added extra time. A brace by Jorge Ruiz made the difference for the junior Goats, but in his match report of the final, J.R. Eskilson of Top Drawer Soccer noted the impact of Ivan Gutierrez in the creation of both goals for Chivas.

The Generation Adidas Cup is a tournament between MLS Academy teams and exists separately from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy season and tournaments, including the the playoffs and finals week that the Chivas U17 team was involved with earlier this summer. Although Chivas sent both U17 and U15 teams to the Generation Adidas Cup this week in Seattle, the U17 squad did not progress as far as the U15 group.

The 2012 GA Cup is Chivas' first in Academy history, and continues a very good year for the Academy. Although the U17/18 team got the headlines in the USSDA playoffs this summer, in many respects there are bigger expectations for the younger cohort, and Eskilson's match report featured a quote from U15/16 coach Mike Munoz that many of the players involved in this tournament were still learning the ropes of the Academy system. If this group performed so well and featured many youngsters getting adjusted to the system, that certainly bodes well for Chivas' future.

It is also worth noting that Chivas' Academy approach has been to play the best young players in a higher age bracket, in order to give them a bigger test. Certainly, this has been the case for players like Marky Delgado, who got experience with the U17 team before training with the senior team reserves and eventually being signed as a homegrown player to the senior roster. There's no guarantee that a young star will make it at the senior level, but considering the new heights that the Academy has reached in 2012, there's reason for considerable optimism. Congratulations boys!

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