Academy turns in dominating performances at MLS NEXT Fest


Three teams represented the Philadelphia Union Academy at MLS NEXT Fest in Phoenix, Arizona last week, taking part in a competitive tournament that featured over 350 teams from across the United States and Canada.

During their time in the desert, the Philadelphia Union Academy squads in attendance impressed with eight wins over eight days. The U-17s and U-16s emerged undefeated, each tallying three wins, while the U-15s picked up only one loss during the trip.

Recap the action here!

Best of 2023 MLS NEXT Fest 
MLS NEXT Fest Results
Dec. 5
U17s vs. Sporting KC
W, 3-1
Dec. 6
U17s vs. Columbus
W, 3-1
Dec. 7
U16s vs. Tampa Bay United
W, 2-1
Dec. 7
U15s vs. LA Galaxy
W, 2-0
Dec. 8
U17s vs. Real Salt Lake
W, 3-0
Dec. 9
U16s vs. SC Del Sol
W, 1-0
Dec. 9
U15s vs. Chicago Fire
L, 2-0
Dec. 10
U16s vs. Silicon Valley SA
W, 4-1
Dec. 10
U15s vs. Minnesota United
W, 5-0

Dec. 10 | Academy conclude tournament with pair of wins

Philadelphia Union Academy concluded its run at the 2023 MLS NEXT Fest as the U-16s and U-15s put up a pair of dominant performances. The 16s capped off a perfect tournament run with a 4-1 victory over Silicon Valley SC. Meanwhile, the U-15s bounced back from their loss the previous day with a 5-0 rout of Minnesota United.

Dec. 9 | 16s keep rolling

Philadelphia Union Academy's U-16 team kept its unbeaten record against MLS NEXT opponents on Saturday afternoon with Gunnar Graham providing the offense in a 1-0 win over SC del Sol. The goal highlighted a tremendous defensive performance by the squad as they picked up their first shutout of the event.

The U-15s faced off against a high-powered Chicago Fire team that had knocked off Red Bull a few days earlier and fell to the side from the Windy City by a 2-0 margin.

Dec. 8 | 17s earn sweep

After a recovery day in Arizona, the Philadelphia Union U-17s are headed back to the City of Brotherly Love after a perfect conclusion via a 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake. The fireworks came in the final minutes of the first half as Anisse Saidi and Neil Pierre scored within two minutes of one another and then in first half stoppage time Cavan Sullivan turned on the jets to force an own goal.

Dec. 7 | 16s and 15s earn debut victories

After supporting the U-17s the past two games, Philadelphia Union saw both the U-16s and U-15s take to the field in Arizona and follower their teammates' success with debut wins.

The U-16s opened the action on Thursday with a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay United to continue their successful inaugural campaign under the direction of Head Coach Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza.

A couple hours later the U-15s delivered a statement win of their own with November's Player of the Month Willyam Ferreira accounting for both goals in the Union's 2-0 win over LA Galaxy.

Dec. 6 | 17s keep rolling

Philadelphia Union Academy's U-17 squad showed no fatigue on Wednesday evening as they delivered their second-consecutive win in as many days via a 3-1 margin over Columbus Crew. November's Player of the Month Diego Rocio set the tone early with a 14th minute finish and followed it up with a long-range golazo in the 31st to collect a brace in the first MLS NEXT event of the calendar. Cavan Sullivan notched a goal of his own at the hour mark with the Crew spoiling the clean sheet with a late goal in the 85th minute.

Dec. 5 | 17s open MLS NEXT Fest with win

Philadelphia Union Academy's U-17 team opened the club's participation at the 2023 MLS NEXT Fest with a 3-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday evening. The Union offense under the direction of Head Coach Peter McDonnell saw goals scored by Jamir Johnson, Lennon Harrington and Anisse Saidi.