Before Philadelphia Union Academy heads out west for MLS NEXT Fest, we're celebrating the top performers from November as selected by the coaches.
November saw the Baby Snakes continue their strong form in MLS NEXT play as they racked up 11 wins and claimed their first trophy of the season courtesy of Head Coach Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza's U16 squad.
Check out some of the stand out performers from the Union Academy from the past month.
Rocio couldn't be stopped in front of goal during the second full month of the season with eight goals and an assist to continue the U17s unbeaten streak. Rocio notched a hat trick against rivals D.C. United with an 11th minute finish to set the tone early before scoring a pair in the second half in the 4-0 shutout.
"Diego is a player who not only has a desire to be brave in the box and finish chances created by his teammates, but will gladly lead our line against the ball," U17 Head Coach Peter McDonnell said. "His instincts lead to creating problems for the opponent's build and thus lead to many moments of transition for the squad."
Griffin played nearly every minute of the U16s busy schedule in November as he helped lead the side to its first-ever trophy at the Empire Fall Classic in Maryland. The outside back elevated his game when the time called for it, picking up two assists and scoring a critical game-tying goal at the death to help the team continue its unbeaten form in MLS NEXT play.
"[Jordan] displays what we strive for players to show at the Union academy," U16 Head Coach Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza said. "Aggressive defensive pressing, quick play in attack and a remarkable athletic ability. The most important thing is his character and leadership inside the dressing room."
Ferreira earns the October Player of the Month recognition for the U15s where he earned three assists and added a goal from the midfield.
"For a creative player, Willyam’s work rate off the ball has been exceptional," U15 Head Coach Henry Apaloo remarked. "He helps connect the team from back to front, and is involved in a lot of the good attacking moments the team has. He has also stepped up and helped the U16s, scoring and creating goals."
Defender Sean Corbett earned his team's nomination after helping the U14s to a perfect 3-0 record in November and extend their perfect form to 12-0 in all competitions. A defensive anchor at center back, Corbett was a lock down defender in high pressure situations with multiple key stops against rival D.C. United to help the team remain perfect.
"Sean had himself an excellent month that was certainly highlighted with his top performance against D.C. United," U14 Head Coach Phil Karn said. "We value Sean’s positive attitude, consistent play, and ability to be versatile positionally, and all were present this month. He's quiet kid off the field but does all his talking with the effort he brings every week in training and games."
The final recipient of the Union Academy's November Player of the Month is Tyler Anderson. The midfielder's consistency and versatility were on display all month as he helped guide the U13s to a perfect month too.
“He has been very consistent with his level and He can play in all diamond positions and always does it in a good way," U13 Head Coach Willy Topp said. "He leads the team with assists and that comes from his good vision of the game and good technique. He is improving his game off the ball, by adding some aggressiveness and forward defending which will only elevate him even higher."