Recap: Academy starts MLS NEXT play with strong offense

Philadelphia Union Academy got its 2020 fall season off to a strong start racking up 34 goals and going undefeated against in three matches TSF Academy while the U22s knocked off PA Classics.

Head Coach Jason Lages’ U13s put up the most impressive result of the weekend with 14 goals and a clean sheet to begin their MLS NEXT campaign. Gunnar Graham, James Soler and Peter Doran led the way for the Union offense with all three netting a hat trick on their home grounds at YSC Sports.

The U14s also racked up a shutout on Saturday afternoon with a 8-0 victory over TSF. Kellan LeBlanc played the role of goal scorer and creator with a pair of goals and assists in the win while Jordan Griffin too picked up a brace meanwhile goalkeeper Gavin Atkinson registered the clean sheet.

“It's early in the season but the group is beginning to implement the club methodology,” U14 Head Coach Kevin Coleman said. “Their reading of pressing cues and transitional play helped control the match against TSF. The attacking duo of Kellan LeBlanc and Jordan Griffin showcased their technical and tactical abilities.”

The U15 side also began its MLS NEXT season with a win, taking down TSF by a 6-1 scoreline. Zakary Kandoussi opened the scoring early in the first half but the visitors responded with a goal of their own shortly after. The Union turned up the pressing after the goal racking up five-straight goals to pull away led by a pair of assists from Henry Bernstein and a two-goal afternoon from Alex Perez to close out the result.

On the youngest side of the Academy, Head Coach Phil Karn’s U12s put up a 6-3 win over PA Classics to begin the action in Wayne, PA.

“Very good in the build, showed good signs of improvement from last couple of weeks,” Karn said. “We created many chances but not good enough around the goal. The goals we gave up were a bit careless and poor marking but that could have been the result of our central mids getting tired as the game progressed and as a result we struggled defensively.”

The Union Academy returns to action this weekend with a busy slate that features games against FC Delco and Real Jersey FC. The U17s, U15s will play FC Delco on Saturday morning while the U14s, U13s and U12s will face off against Real New Jersey. Both the U14s and U13s will take to the pitch once more on Sunday for clashes against FC Delco to wrap up the weekend.


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