GA Cup | U17s knock off Atlas; U15s draw KRC Genk in Group Stage Openers


Philadelphia Union Academy saw its run at the 2024 Generation adidas Cup start with a pair of positive results as the U17s knocked off Atlas FC, 2-1, while the U15s battled KRC Genk to a 2-2 draw.

U17s open GA Cup run with win over Atlas FC

With the international spotlight via a MLS Season Pass on Apple TV broadcast audience, Philadelpiha Union Academy’s U-17 side went toe to toe with one of Mexico’s best and emerged victories by a 2-1 margin.

The matchup saw a battle of contrasting styles with the Union’s high pressing system and direct play going up against Atlas FC’s patient but physical style. The two sides were locked in a chess match that saw neither side generate many scoring chances in the first half and were deadlocked at the break.

The final half saw the margins and pressure tighten with a Union corner giving the Boys in Blue the momentum they needed. Looking for Neil Pierre in the box for a headed effort, the Union II defender was fouled in the 18 with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Anisse Saidi stepped to the spot and delivered to put the Union ahead 1-0. The Union bagged an important insurance goal off a late counter as Luca Mazzola finished off a late chance to make it 2-0. That goal proved to be the difference as Atlas earned a PK attempt of their own in stoppage time to bring the match to the final scoreline.

The defending GA Cup champions continue their group stage play tomorrow afternoon when they go up against FC Cincinnati at 4:30PM ET.

U15s battle KRC Gent, fall in PKs in GA Cup opener

Philadelphia Union Academy’s U-15 side showed its grit and determination to battle back from a one-goal deficit but fell in a penalty kick shootout to KRC Genk in Belgium.

Henry Apaloo’s side faced a tough test in its first group stage match at the 2024 Generation adidas Cup, facing a physical and larger U-15 side compared to other squads within the Union’s division. Despite the size difference, the Boys in Blue held their ground to see the opening half finish scoreless.

The second half saw the offense erupt for both sides as they traded goals and leads. Genk was the first to strike but the U15s turned to their leading scorer in Malik Jakupovic as the forward responded with an equalizer in the 32d minute of play. Jakupovic added a second goal to put the Boys in Blue ahead in the 40th minute but at the death Genk found the back of the net to force a penalty kick shootout.

In the extra period of play with a second point for the table on the line, the two teams traded goals back and forth until the final round with Genk pulling out the 5-4 win.

Philadelphia Union’s U-15s have little time to focus on the result as they continue Group I play on Sunday morning against FC Dallas. Kick off from Florida is set for 9AM ET.