MLS NEXT Cup | 17s advance with another PK win


Kellan LeBlanc converted a free kick in the final seconds of regulation to send the Philadelphia Union U17s to a penalty kick shootout against Real Salt Lake where they emerged victorious for the second-straight evening at MLS NEXT Cup in Tennessee.

The two-time defending Generation adidas Cup Champions were tested for the second night in a row at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, but like champions they rose to the occasion. Peter McDonnell's side found itself behind by a 2-0 margin inside the first 10 minutes of their Round of 16 contest with goals from RSL's Zavier Gozo in the fifth minute and Omar Marquez in the ninth. The Baby Snakes clawed their way back however as Jordan Griffin battled for a second ball inside the box after a Union corner kick and scored in the 26th minute of play.

The second half saw both teams battle to put the game away with a 2-1 margin on the scoreboard before the Union earned a free kick. Despite the difficult angle, LeBlanc hit a perfectly weighted shot with his left boot that snuck under the crashing goalkeeper to send the U17s to a penalty shootout for the second straight night.

The penalty kick shootout continued the hectic nature of the contest as both sides traded goals and misses. In round 3 the Baby Snakes took the lead as Luca Mazzola scored right after a miss from Real Salt Lake. The momentum swung right back however in round 4 as RSL converted and then got a diving save to set up a sudden death situation for both sides. Goalkeeper Gavin Atkinson came up huge once again, making a big save to his right to set the stage for Nehan Hasan to covert the game-winning goal once more.

The Union's U17s will be back in action for the third convsecutive day as they face off against Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, June 19th at 3:15PM ET.