Philadelphia Union Academy’s U-13s squad spent the Memorial Day weekend busy with action on the pitch as they played four contests and emerged a pair of wins at the Players Cup in Downingtown, PA.
The U13s began the event with what former Union mifielder and current U-13 Head Coach Kleberson called the best performance of the season with a 3-1 win over Doral Elite. After giving up an early goal, the Boys in Blue battled back with quick passes and combinations to create scoring opportunities. That effort was rewarded with goals from Jordan Griffin, Peter Doran and Matteo Zambrano.
The second match of Saturday saw fatigue play a role as the squad got saw a first-half lead slip away in a 2-1 loss to FC Europa. Zambrano netted his second goal of the afternoon to put the Union ahead at the break. The final half saw Europa’s depth and energy rise to the top with a pair of goals as heavy legs affected the Union’s ability to complete runs in the box.
The final day of the event saw the Union start off strong once more, racking up a 2-1 win over a defensive-minded Penn Fusion. Showcasing their own defensive organization, the Union dominated their opponent with great speed on the that created goals for Zambrano and Jamir Johnson.
The finale saw the Union face a great challenge according to Kleberson with the squad doing well to complete good passes and apply the high press against the Villanova Soccer Academy. The physicality of the opposing side proved too much as they claimed a 2-0 win over the Union despite creating some goal scoring chances.
The U13s begin the final stretch of MLS NEXT action this weekend with a trip to play the Cedar Stars Academy of Monmouth on Saturday, June 5th.