Academy notebook: Union divisions dominate, inaugural YSC Academy Cup and more news
The first team will get its first look of the season at D.C. United (4 p.m., purchase tickets), but for the boys of the Philadelphia Union’s youth academy it’s been there done that as all three teams squared off against United in U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy play last weekend.
The U18s battled to a 1-1 draw in Maryland behind a goal from Noah Snyder. The U18s are enjoying a seven match unbeaten streak as head coach Peter Fuller’s squad has found a solid rhythm as the USDA season draws to a close.
In a recent discussion with Fuller he noted that it was important that his club start putting together more consistent matches.
“We certainly learned a great deal from the first half of the season where we wanted to be during this second half,” Fuller said. “I think the guys responded well and we have some players that have taken sound advice to heart and are becoming great contributors.”
The U16s suffered a 4-1 loss to United, but on the flip that was the final score for the U14s who behind a pair of goals from Colin Brezniak made light of United’s group. The win marked the fourth in a row in which the Union U14s won by three goals or more and back-to-back weeks the U14s took a 4-1 victory against an opponent.
Even with the commanding success, head coach Chris Brewer is preaching humility as the Academy continues to grow
“The tale for us is caution,” Brewer said in a recent interview with philadelphiaunion.com. There’s evidence of too much [success] too soon and we don’t want to lack the inability for us to project far into the future basing largely on the success our players are having now. Having said that, we have a clear plan in the Academy in terms of the kinds of players we’re looking for – the kind of culture we’re trying to create. I believe we have laid the ground work for that with this current group and we’re starting to implement even more through our scouting. The opportunity to look for guys that fit both the culture and the talent piece is big and it’s something we take a lot of pride in.”
YSC Academy Cup
In an effort to continually raise funding for the nonprofit school designed to provide quality youth soccer talent a chance to learn and grow their soccer career, the Union Academy in conjunction with YSC Sports in Wayne have announced the inaugural YSC Academy Cup, a 7v7 tournament to be held on Thursday, June 12 from 7-10 p.m. at YSC Sports in Wayne. A team roster can have a max of 12 players but must have at least two female players. Each team is guaranteed a minimum of three group matches and a potential max of six.
Compete to become the first ever champion of the Cup and know that in doing so the proceeds of your registration (which will be tax deductible given their intended purpose) help to grow the sport in this region and ultimately could help spawn the next great first team player.
How cool would it be as a 10-year-old soccer fanatic to be able to tell your friends you got a chance to train and play at one of the most storied venues in the world? That’s exactly what happened to 10-year-old Sawyer Koza, who through the Union Juniors program got the chance to do just that during a five-day trip to the Netherlands to hone his skills at the famed Ajax Academy. Not only did Koza tell his friends, but his story was told late last week by the Bucks (Co.) Local News via this in-depth feature.
Pretty cool stuff; one that’s definitely worth a read.
Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org