It was a tale of two halves for the U17 Philadelphia Union Academy, as they battled the U17 New York Red Bulls yesterday in their first match of the Generation adidas Cup this year.
The Red Bulls started out aggressively on the ball, pressing the Union’s backline from the opening whistle. In the fourth minute, Balthazar Saunders netted a goal for Red Bull from just outside the 18.
At the half, the Union made adjustments by moving Cole Turner and Michael Pellegrino into central midfield, Nicholas Blacklock from the left of midfield into the No. 10 position and Jason Aoyama into the left wing.
The format change allowed the Union to dominate on the pitch in the second half. They were rewarded for their pressure with an equalizer from Turner after the midfielder got possession of the ball and hit a left-footed shot from 30-yards, flying over the goalkeeper to tie the game.
Both teams had chances to get the go-ahead goal in the final minutes of play, but the match concluded in regulation as a 1-1 draw. Red Bulls would ultimately earn the extra point by winning in winning in penalty kicks (4-2).
The U17 Academy will continue in the Generation adidas Cup this weekend when they take on U17 D.C. United on Feb. 17