Dominant performances see Union Academy sweep PA Classics


The second weekend of MLS NEXT play was much like the first as Philadelphia Union Academy maintained their perfect start to the fall season with dominant performances at PA Classics.

The U17s set the tone for the weekend with a 6-0 rout in Lancaster, PA. Diego Rocio opened the scoring in the 19th minute of play but the hosts were able to hold on to just a one-goal deficit going into the break. The dam broke however in the second half as the Union offense became more clinical in the attack with Peter Doran doubling the lead before Anise Saidi bagged a brace in a two-minute span. Andrew Craig and Cavan Sullivan added late goals to round out the scoring to push the result to the final scoreline for Head Coach Peter McDonnell.

The newly formed U16s kept their program unbeaten with a 2-0 result. The result could have been much higher for the Head Coach Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza’s side but remarkable goalkeeping from PA Classics had the match scoreless going into the break. The Union finally broke through in the 47th minute when Daniel Dixon finished off an attack and Aaron Wesseh notched his first goal of the fall season with five minutes left to collect the dub.

The U15s continued their fine form, building from a 6-0 thrashing of CSA-Monmouth with a 3-1 win in difficult conditions. With rain coming through the area, forward Malik Jakupovic didn’t let it hold him back with goals in the third and 11th minute to collect a first-half brace. PA Classics battled back to trim the deficit to one but Jason Hunt added the insurance goal in the 76th to claim the result for the Union AcademyThe Baby Snakes put on an impressive showing as the team showed continuous effort up and down the pitch with pressure on the Classics.

The U14s earned the largest result of the schedule with a 9-0 thrashing over the Classics. The offense effort showed its class as Javi Linares, Timoni Gbalajobi, Jayden Kouadio, Liam Holtzman, Miles Smith, Isaac Sparling, and Hayes Cooney all added their names to the score sheet. The defense was just as dominant as the attack, as Head Coach Phil Karn’s side kept the opposition limited to one shot the entire game. The team looks confident as they stay undefeated in their two opening games. 

Lastly, the weekend wrapped up with the U13s as they won 6-1 against the PA Classics. Building momentum off a 5-0 against CSA-Monmouth, Iain Heyward bagged a hattrick, while Jan Michalowski, Tyler Anderson, and Joey Schottlander also added their names to the scoresheet. Sully Palazzari also impressed throughout the game, as Head Coach Willy Topp’s side stayed focused and energetic to attack the Classics from behind defensive lines to dominate in attack.

As the strong start to the 2023-24 campaign from all teams moves forward, Philadelphia Union seeks to continue this momentum into next weekend as all five teams face travel to Germantown, Maryland to take on the Bethesda SC at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Be sure to stay tuned to and the Academy's social media channels for streaming information closer to Matchday 3.