Philadelphia Union II picked up its second win of its preseason with a 2-0 result of FC Motown at the Power Training Complex on Sunday afternoon. Playing in gusty conditions that saw winds hit over 40mph, Union II converted a pair of set pieces as Jackson Gillman and Jack Jasinsiki each netted goals as the club improved to 2-0-0 in preseason matches.
“We were pretty good today with our attacks coming from really good defending and we pressed really well,” Philadelphia Union II Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “We are very young with quite a bit of the U-17s to balance us out but all together we were very good. Our pressing is good and it is leading to some attacks.”
With the match split into three, 30-minute periods, the two sides battled back and forth in the opening 15 minutes with the first shot on frame coming just before the midway point of the opening salvo from Caden Stafford. Union II’s pressing scheme continued to create chances on the offensive side of the pitch and resulted in four corners in the first 30 minutes.
Union II cashed in on its third opportunity as Anthony Ramirez connected with defender Jackson Gilman to put the Boys in Blue ahead 1-0 over their older opponents in the 26th minute.
Union II rallied with the momentum in the next period of action and nearly scored on a breakaway but Ramirez was fouled just outside the 18-yard-box. Ramirez nearly scored from 20-yards out as his shot rang off the right post but fell directly to Jack Jasinski who headed it home for the two-goal lead.
Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc made some changes over the final period shifting from the club’s diamond midfield to a 4-2-3-1 down the stretch which put more stress on FC Motown’s backline. The pressure and quick counter attacks nearly made it 3-0 for the hosts but the NESL side made a penalty kick save in the 78th minute.
“Our foundation right now is trying to solidify our defending because last year we conceded far too many goals. Our philosophy demands us to press, be compact and to be cohesive as a unit. I think with the talent we have going forward, we will score goals but it is just making sure we are not scoring goals at the sacrifice of good defending.”
Philadelphia Union II returns to the pitch next weekend with another closed-door scrimmage. The club will face off against NESL side Vereinigung Erzgebirge on Sunday, March 21st.
PHI – 26’ Jackson Gilman (Anthony Ramirez)
PHI – 40’ Jack Jasinski
Union II Lineup (1’-30’):
Trialist GK; Anton Sorenson, Ben Ofeimu, Mani Diop, Jackson Gilman; Dante Huckaby, Diego Lopez, Jack Jasinski, Sean Bettenhausen; Caden Stafford, Anthony Ramirez.
Union II Lineup (31’-60’):
Ben Martino; Anton Sorenson, Ben Ofeimu, Mani Diop, Jackson Gilman; Dante Huckaby, Diego Lopez, Jack Jasinski, Sean Bettenhausen; Jake Spadafora, Anthony Ramirez.
Union II Lineup (61’-90’):
Mitch Budler; Anton Sorenson, Samuel Jones, Mani Diop, Jackson Gilman; Dante Huckaby, Jack Jasinski, Sean Bettenhausen (Ben Ofeimu 73’), Bajung Darboe; Anthony Ramirez (Jake Spadafora 73’), Ian Abbey.