Academy sweeps Real Jersey at WSFS Bank Sportsplex


Philadelphia Union Academy netted a perfect weekend in MLS NEXT play with the U17s, U16s and U15s putting on strong performances in their wins over Real Jersey.

With winter weather pushing through the area on Saturday morning, the matches were delayed two hours to allow ample time for the grounds crew to clear the snow on the Widener University Turf Fields at the WSFS Bank Sportsplex. The U17s under the direction of Peter McDonnell came on out of the gates on fire to melt the remaining bits as well with two early goals to set the tone of the contest. The oldest MLS NEXT team collected another clean sheet, its 10th of the season as Luca Mazzola, Henry Bernstein, Kellan LeBlanc and Anisse Saidi paced the offense. It was Bernstein who stole the highlight reel with a first-half olympico.

While the 17s were putting on a show, Head Coach Henry Apaloo's U15 side was doing the same with an impressive 3-0 victory over the MLS NEXT rival from New Jersey. It was a strong performance from the opening whistle for the Baby Snakes, with the Union imposing their style of play up and down the pitch for the entirety of the contest to limit chances from the opposition.

The U16s completed the Saturday sweep with a 4-1 win over Real Jersey. The Union jumped out to a strong start like in the previous matches as the opening half saw the Baby Snakes gather a 2-0 lead. With strong winds to contend with throughout the entire match, Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza's team kept on battling to pick up their seventh win in MLS NEXT play. All four goals came from different players with Luis Oliveira, Nehan Hasan, Brett Seemuller and Jax Benton finding the back of the net.

Philadelphia Union Academy faces a busy weekend on the horizon with its first doubleheader of the MLS NEXT spring season. The U17s and U15s will head to the Sunshine State to battle Inter Miami and Orlando City while the U14s and U13s host Real Jersey on Saturday before making the trip south to battle Baltimore Armor the following day with the U16s accompanying the younger sides for their own league contest on Sunday.