Philadelphia Union's academy teams faced both Cedar Stars academy and Baltimore Armour in a full weekend of action at YSC Academy and the Power Training Complex.
The Union's Under-14s took care of business with two goals on either side of halftime. The team has looked increasingly cohesive during the month of November and has been looking to close the door on opponents to complement what has grown into a strong attack. This shutout was their first of the month after collecting a quite a few in October.
In a back-and-forth match that saw them go down at halftime but recover by falling back on a compact, aggressive system, the Union U-15s got Second-half goals from winger Million Evans and defender Sam Jones helped them climb back into a match that featured a sending off and a seemingly endless amount of hard running on both sides.
The U-17s continue to look like they will prove formidable challengers at the second half of the GA Cup in January. A shutout victory over Cedar Stars was driven by strong play up the spine as the Union broke down yet another opponent that sought to sit back and counter. Jack De Vries put in another strong performance and has proven a wonderful addition to the starting eleven following Selmir Miscic's move to Bethlehem Steel and current stint with the U-19s. Danny Flores was dominant once again in the center of the park and finished a penalty kick after Patrick Bohui burst into the box and was taken down. Flores' goal doubled the scoreline after Aboubacar Camara had put Philly in front with a gorgeous left-footed strike. In back, Dante Huckaby's control in defense helped protect Lukas Burns in net.
NC State-bound Tonny Temple evened the scoreline eight minutes after Cedar Stars went ahead in the second half as the Union U-19s finally saw star man Brenden Aaronson kept off the scoreboard. Bethlehem Steel regular Ben Ofeimu and recent Steel FC signee Selmir Miscic both started for the 19s as they continue to improve while rotating many names through the lineup.
On Sunday, the Union U-13s got two second-half goals in the span of six minutes to knock off Baltimore Armour, and the U-14s followed that up with a surge past Armour after giving up the opening goal of the match.
Scoring between the 60th and 69th minute was the theme of the day as Quinn Sullivan remained in scintillating form and the U-15s got a second goal from Marcelo Mazzola as they continued rolling toward the GA Cup in January. Dante Huckaby's fine weekend continued as he had the lone goal in the U-17s match. Brenden Aaronson's younger brother Paxten made a cameo appearance late in that match for the Union. And finally, the U-19s drew with Armour as Brenden Aaronson and Ben Ofeimu both rested. Tomas Romero, who started for Bethlehem Steel at Indy 11 late in the season, was between the pipes as the Union came back after giving up a pair of second-half goals.
Next up for the Union U-17s and U-19s is a trip to Bradenton, Florida to face off against other top MLS academy sides such as Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, and FC Dallas. Check back at PhiladelphiaUnion.com to find out how they do.