Academy sweeps Saturday slate in final MLS NEXT regular season matches


On the final day of regular season matches in MLS NEXT play, the Philadelphia Union Academy dominated on Saturday, winning all their matches at YSC Sports in Wayne, Pa.

The 17s, who recently booked their ticket to the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs after a 5-1 thrashing against rival New York Red Bulls, got to a kick start after a nice give-and-go play ultimately led to Edward Davis finding the back of the net in the 10th-minute. They wound up closing the game in the second half, when Peter Doran (55’) received a nice through ball to seal a 2-0 win over CF Montréal. The Baby Snakes played with passion and energy throughout the entire match, a great way to finish off the regular season as the side looks to defend their 2022 title, along with adding more silverware to an impressive 2023 campaign.

For the 15s, who have been on a tear for the past month, squeaked out a 2-1 victory over CF Montréal. Henry Apaloo’s side took the lead after a great square ball ultimately led to a goal in the latter stages of the first half. The squad was able to get their game-winning goal in the second half after a mistake in the back, causing the Baby Snakes to pounce on the opportunity to extend the lead. The visitors did end up cutting the deficit in half after a perfect free-kick delivery found the head of an attacking player, but it wound up being mere consolation. Although it was the first goal allowed since their 2-0 loss at Toronto FC on April 29, it was a promising end to the regular season.

Meanwhile, the 14s, fresh from some impressive comeback efforts in their 3-3 draw against the New York Red Bulls last week, were to secure a 2-1 win against PDA. For Phil Karn’s side, they were able to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games, having not loss since their 2-1 defeat at Springfield SYC on April 16. Also, it was a chance to avenge their last meeting at PDA, where they were held to a 2-2 draw on May 7.

Lastly, the 13s cruised to a 4-1 win over PDA. It was a much-need victory after suffering a heart-breaking 5-4 defeat against the New York Red Bulls last week, their first since March 26. The story recently for Willy Topp’s side has been their ability to clinical in the final third, and Saturday was no difference. In the past 10 matches for the Baby Snakes, they have scored a whopping 50 goals in that span. Also, in their two games against the PDA this season, they have outscored them 9-2 (won their last matchup 5-1 at PDA on May 7).

Overall, it was a great way to conclude the MLS NEXT regular season for the Union Academy. For the 17s and 15s, they begin preparations for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs, which will be held from June 17 to 25 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.