In a busy weekend for the Union academy, the Union Development Squad fell on penalties in their playoffs match while other teams faced off with DC United. 

Fred’s UDS fell to NJ Alliance 2-2 (2-4) in penalties, knocking them out of the UPSL-Northeast playoffs in heartbreaking fashion. After a season when they dominated many matches but didn’t find the level of consistency they aimed for, this was a difficult finish. 

At the youngest age group competing last weekend, the Union controlled the match from start to finish. After Tyler Anderson broke the U12s match against FC DELCO open within two minutes, Sully Palazzari, Christian Braccili, and Zak Oldadunmoye added braces and Cody Sand knocked in one of his own for a 8-1 win. Gabe Keene kept the defense strong as the finishing did the rest up front. 

Even with DC United’s goalie standing on his head and — and DC looking physically larger across the pitch — the Union’s U14s drew 1-1 thanks to a strong mentality that helped them fight through a difficult opening half. DC scored when a deflected clearance popped free to the back post, and Willyam Ferreira’s creativity in the center couldn’t produce an opener for the Union. But in the latter frame, Declan Lannon ran onto Lewis Dalby’s throughball and punched it home to even things up. The U14s continue to look for rhythm with the ball even as they show their workrate and persistence are clear strengths throughout the side. 

Anisse Saidi continues to score at will at the U15 level and knocked home two goals to pace his side to a 3-1 win. Nehan Hasan, Peter Doran, Connor Murphy, Matteo Zambrano, and Jamir Johnson stood out as well as the Union shook off a physical, bruising first half and asserted themselves in the latter frame. An own goal rounded out the scoring for Philly. 

The end of the first half belonged to the U17s as they powered three goals home in 13 minutes to finish the opening frame. Diego Rocio’s fine form continued as he shook the net in the 36th minute, and Devon Decorte clipped two penalties past DC’s goalie to close out the half and the match. The shutout was a particular point of pride for the U17s as they prepare for Red Bull next weekend.