Playing up a level didn't hold stop the Philadelphia Union Academy U16 side as they claimed their first title as a team at the Empire Fall Classic in Maryland over the weekend.
Competing in the U17s Boys Elite Division, Head Coach Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza's side came out of the gates on fire against the older competition with a 4-1 result against FC Ballyhoo. The Boys in Blue then played their second-straight match just two hours later and looked like they'd see out a 1-1 draw to secure their spot into the knockout bracket. However on the final build up of the contest by SAC/BA's Pre-Academy team they were awarded a penalty kick to grab a 2-1 victory in their first match of the day.
Despite the late setback, the U16s didn't hang their heads and battled back with a renewed sense of determination as they would advance to the KO rounds via other results in the group stage. The Union set the tone early with a 5-0 semifinal rout of SAC/BA's United Blue squad to set another another battle against the squad that had barely defeated them 24 hours earlier.
Nick Greer and Daniel Dixon provided the offense and the Union's defense rose to the occasion with another clean sheet on Sunday to see the U16s claim a 2-0 win and their first championship in team history.