Players Development Academy rolled into YSC over the weekend to face Philadelphia Union’s academy teams, and the Union once again rose to the occasion.
The Union Under-13s played a back-and-forth first half against PDA and both teams picked up an early goal. In the second half, the Union U-13s stuck to their gameplan and wore down PDA, picking up a penalty in the process. Head coach Phil Karn’s ability to get effective play from his substitutes made a big difference for the 13s as they wrestled control of the second half and held on until the end.
Two goals four minutes apart in the first half helped the Union U-14s in their match against PDA as they continued to show that they can hold on after strong opening halves.
A pair of free kicks — one in the opening moments of each half — put the Union U-15s under pressure to play from behind without opening themselves up. Head coach Chris Brewer’s squad was patient and controlled where the match was played, displaying the mental fortitude and grit to come from behind twice behind Quinn Sullivan’s goals.
The Union U-17s met a PDA side that stuck to a composed and organized 4-1-4-1 shape, pushing Philadelphia wide and then looking to squeeze space on the flanks. Gary Lewis’ team played through Zephyn Brockert-Kress and Jack de Vries on the left in the first half, with de Vries looking confident on the dribble. Julian Anderson was influential throughout the match from the attacking midfield role and he set up Patrick Bohui’s opener in the 35th minute with a mazy run down the left channel. In the second half, PDA needed to come out and press to get back into the match and this gave the Union a new challenge to overcome. Brockert-Kress’s long curler and Bohui’s second of the match were eventually enough to hold off the visitors, with both Max Brown and Dante Huckaby putting in strong defensive performances and spreading the ball well.
A breathless match between the Union U-19s and PDA saw Ryan Becher’s 89th-minute goal break a 3-3 draw. Once again, PDA was compact and organized and challenged the Union to break them down. Union signee Brenden Aaronson had two goals for the second straight week as the Union remained dedicated to their gameplan and created chances by occupying wide areas and crossing the ball into the box.
This weekend, the Union welcome Cedar Stars academy to YSC and the Power Training Complex. Union fans can come out and see their Under-15s, U-17s, and U-19s in action at Power beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 17.