Coach Chris Little's Seattle Sounders' team came into the final against Atlanta United having scored at least three goals in each of its playoff games. The Sounders made it 27 goals in six games with its 5-1 final win. Ray Serrano's hat trick gave him 22 goals for the season. Seattle's Marlon Vargas and Atlanta's Victor Delgado were red-carded in the 43rd minute, with the score tied, 1-1. Serrano scored just before halftime to give the Sounders the lead and made it 3-1 in the 64th minute. Alfonso Ocampo Chavez, who set up two goals, and Azriel Gonzalez added goals in stoppage time.
The Sounders reached the final with a 4-1 semifinal with over Arizona's Barca Academy, the only non-MLS club that reached the final four at either age group. Barca Academy won the third-place game, 3-1 over the Montreal Impact.
July 10 in Kansas City
New York City FC 0 LA Galaxy 0 (NYCFC won on PKs, 5-3)
Following 120 minutes of scoreless play, James Sands converted NYCFC's fifth spot kick after NYCFC keeper Johan Penaranda saved the Galaxy's fourth attempt to give NYCFC the title in its first season at the oldest age group.
Since joining MLS in 2015, NYCFC started with U-13 and U-14 teams and added age groups year by year. Sands, who arrived at NYCFC via affiliate New York Soccer Club, became NYCFC's first MLS Homegrown signing last year.
The Galaxy had also finished runner-up last year, and runner-up at U-15/16 in 2016.
In the 2018 final, the Galaxy star trio of 16-year-old Efrain Alvarez, Ulysses Llanez (17) and Alex Mendez (17) went up against NYCFC's midfield duo of 15-year-old Gio Reyna and 16-year-old Justin Haak, who were backed up by a superb performance from 2000-born 17-year-old Ghana-born central defender Kwaku Owusu. (Alvarez, Llanez, Reyna and Haak were playing up, still eligible for U-16/17).
The Galaxy, coming off a 2-0 overtime win over Vancouver in the semifinals two days earlier, struggled to find its rhythm as Reyna and Haak controlled the midfield for much of the game.
NYCFC, coached by Matt Pilkington, had reached the final with a 1-0 semifinal win over the Columbus Crew, which beat Vancouver, 2-1, for third place.
All-time Boys Development Academy Champions
2018 Seattle Sounders
2017 Atlanta United
2016 FC Dallas
2015 FC Dallas
2014 LA Galaxy
2013 Real Salt Lake AZ
2012 New York Red Bulls
2011 LA Galaxy
2010 Chicago Fire
2009 Derby County Wolves**
2008 Carmel United*
2018 New York City FC
2017 Texans SC Houston
2016 FC Dallas
2015 Chicago Fire
2013 New York Red Bulls
2012 FC Dallas
2010 Vardar SC
2009 Carmel United*
2008 Baltimore Bays
* Now Indiana Fire. ** Now Crew Soccer Academy Wolves.