Soccer isn’t played in a vacuum and the Philadelphia Union Academy had a mixed day on a windy Saturday against determined FC DELCO teams. 

The U12s were paced by Tyler Anderson’s brace as they collected a 5-1 win over FC DELCO at the first team’s training complex. In spite of heavy winds, the 12s managed to change the point of attack well and picked up two late goals as the first half wound down to knock DELCO back. Anderson and Joey Schottlander were standout performers and the team will aim to become more cohesive in attacking transitions as they prepare for Real Jersey next weekend. 

The U13s couldn’t convert their chances as they fell 2-1 to FC DELCO. Timo Gbalajobi nabbed a second half goal and Sean Corbett played a strong match, but DELCO controlled the game and came out winners. 

The U14s and U15s struggled on the attacking end against DELCO sides that adjusted to the 20 mph winds better than the home sides. The U14s fell 2-0 in an even match with few chances created by either side. A penalty within the first minute and a miscommunication in back handed DELCO their goals and the Union couldn’t find a path to a comeback with the wind pushing the ball away from runners in transitions in the second half. The 15s drew 0-0 as Gabriel Wesseh, Peter Doran, and Mateo Gallegos stood out in difficult conditions. The Union worked DELCO’s goalkeeper and held strong defensively as they worked through different tactical options to manage the wind. 

The U15s and U17s fared better on Sunday as they both picked up big wins against Alexandria on the road. Once again, the wind played a big factor, but Wesseh and Connor Murphy picked up goals as the Union were adaptable in how they broke down Alexandria’s defensive unit, trying both short, direct passes and penetrating runs to create chances. 

Sal Olivias scored in the 8th minute and Devon Decourte doubled the lead in the 16th to give the team a chance to control the match and dictate how it played out. Diego Rocio and Antonios Horozoglu picked up second half goals to pick up a massive win, and the biggest issue for the group was transition defending around the box. That can be a focus for training this week as the 17s gave up three goals but still held on for the late victory.