Philadelphia Union’s academy engaged in a variety of contests over the past weekend, with the U19s facing both Columbus Crew and DC United in a mini-tournament over Saturday and Sunday.
The Union U19s took part in a mini-tourney with Columbus Crew and DC United. They opened with a strong performance against the Crew, holding a lead and keeping composure to hold off a talented opponent. With these games a test of the team’s early progress, it was positive to see a confidence in possession once the lead was secure. The Union won 5-1.
The showdown with DC United went back and forth on the scoreboard, though the Union were the team that always looked like controlling the rhythm of the match. With an early lead, though, Philly made a few mistakes in back and let DC come into the game before pulling even again. In the final minute of the match, the Union still had the legs to push for a winner but DC cleared the chance off the goalline to hold a 2-2 score.
U13s and U14s
In a match that featured four goals in the opening twenty minutes, the Union U13s showed the ability to create and finish chances but also tended to be a bit impatient going forward. This talented side can overpower an opponent and, as such, may not need to attack with a fervor that can leave it open in back. Dominic Wilson was a hat trick hero for a side that has been creative all season and finally tied that chance creation to finishing. This clear sign of growth is a big positive, and now they will look to pair it with more confidence in possession so they can allow their ability on the ball to shine through. This group looks to be developing positively week to week.
The U14s also came out on top while emphasizing their forward zonal pressing and aiming to eliminate opponent passing lanes. In any dominant performance, the question is whether the team can stay focused on the defensive end and continually return to the idea that the sport should be a fun experience. Head coach Fred da Silva saw smiles on the faces of his young charges, indicating they were enjoying their time on the pitch.
Next weekend, the Union academy faces development academy affiliate FC Continental Delco at the U12 through U19 levels.