Academy experiences mixed results in rivalry showdowns against Red Bulls


After some incredible results across the board last week for the Philadelphia Union Academy, the squads were put to the test in home rivalry matchups against the New York Red Bulls.

The 15s, fresh off a 4-0 thrashing against Charlotte FC, saw similar results in a 3-0 win over the Red Bulls at The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken, Pa. Henry Apaloo’s side felt in control throughout the entire match, not looking flustered in such an intense match against a fierce rival. The Baby Snakes were able to get on the scoresheet in the first half, when a mishandled corner kick until led to Cavan Sullivan finding the back of the net. The squad was able to add two more goals in the second half, sealing an important three points against a formidable opponent.

Meanwhile, the 14s, who were playing simultaneously, came back from behind for a 3-3 draw against the Red Bulls at YSC Sports in Wayne, Pa. Phil Karn’s men were able to take an early lead from the penalty spot. However, the visitors equalized moments later after a great ball led the attacker to a 1 v. 1 opportunity, which they were able to capitalize on. The second half started in chaos for the squad, conceding two goals in the early stages. However, the Baby Snakes were resilient, ultimately scoring two goals, one coming from a perfectly executed free kick, in the later stages of the half to come out with a home draw.

To close off the action under the Friday night lights, the 13s suffered a 5-4 shootout loss versus the Red Bulls. After Willy Topp’s side got things started with a penalty to take the early lead, the visitors closed out the first half with a free kick opportunity that they ultimately scored on. The second half was pure chaos, just what was expected in a matchup between two heated Northeast rivals. In a 40-minute span that saw two squads that were putting blood, sweat and tears to get the three points, the Baby Snakes ultimately were unsuccessful to continue their winning ways in a home loss. Although they were able to continue their hot scoring streak, it was their first loss since March 26, when they fell 1-0 at the Baltimore Armour.

On a day that featured key matchups against a rival, there were some highs and lows for the Academy. Before the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs commence, the 15s will host CF Montreal on June 3 at 10 a.m. ET. As for the 14s (2 p.m. ET) and 13s (4 p.m. ET), they begin preparations as PDA comes to town next Saturday as well.