The Philadelphia Union Academy U-18 team played their first game of the 2015 US Soccer Development Academy playoffs today, facing off against the number one seed in the tournament, the Montreal Impact.
The starting lineup presented by the Union was similar to the one that was seen last week in their warm-up game against Reading United A.C. The team set up in a 4-1-4-1 lineup, with Sebastian Elney up top and Cameron Keys in goal.
The game was tight for both teams until the Impact managed to score in the 30th minute. They then score again in the 37th minute after they got a head to a corner kick. The score remained 2-0 going in to the half, with possession being split nearly 50-50. The game continued to be played close until the 70th minute when Derrick Jones came onto the field as a substitute.
After Jones was subbed on, the Union began to attack in full force, throwing everything they had at the Impact. After a succession of chances, the Union finally scored off of a Sebastian Elney free kick to make the score 2-1 with only stoppage time remaining.
Now, with a chance of getting a draw, the Union turned it up to a gear that they have rarely shown before and hammered the Impact until they finally made a mistake and conceded a penalty. Jones stepped up and slotted the ball past the keeper, leveling it up at 2-2. The referee blew his whistle shortly after kickoff.
This is a huge win for the U-18 team as they managed to get a draw against the toughest team in their group. This gives them hope to make it out of the group stage, as only the winner can advance to the quarterfinals.
The Union U-18’s had previously lost to the same Montreal team early May, losing 4-1.