The Philadelphia Union Academy finished up a competitive 2017 schedule with matches against Cedar Stars. Following these matches, each team will play friendlies, except for the U17s and U19s, who are competing in the Development Academy Winter Showcase. Here's a look at where each team sits heading into the new season in January.
U13s: 9-0 win
It was a great opportunity for the young team to play at Power Training Complex and take in the professional environment in Chester. The squad jumped all over Cedar Stars, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes, and winning by nine. The team displayed complete control of the game, playing with style and to their level. Playing up a year, Dominic Wilson scored three goals, while the squad balance was evident from six players in all bagging a goal. This match finished the 2017 calendar year for the U13s, who only lost once. They’ll face NYCFC and D.C. United in friendlies to close out the year and build on the impressive outings against MLS competition at the Fall Showcase in North Carolina.
U14s: 7-0 win
The U14s similarly embraced the opportunity to utilize the Steel FC locker rooms and see how tangible the “Pathway to the Pros” is for the Union organization by playing at Power Training Complex versus Cedar Stars. The team put in an overall team performance, displaying a depth of understanding of their individual roles that comprise the Union style of play. The U14s have created opportunities in all of their matches, but displayed the finishing that can make them dominant. The U14s will also finish the calendar year with friendlies against NYCFC and D.C. United.
U15s: 4-2 win
Despite missing four players at U.S. National Team Camp, the U15s didn’t miss a beat and continued their goal-scoring ways versus Cedar Stars. With the opportunity for other players to step up, Sean Bettenhousen and Jack Roberto specifically drew praise, not only for their play in the match but for their work each week on the training ground. The U15s will finish off the year with a friendly against NYCFC and a Generation adidas Cup game against New York Red Bulls. The U15s are currently top of the Eastern Regional table for Generation adidas Cup, with a whopping goal differential of 14-1.
U17s: 2-1 loss
The U17s dropped their match against Cedar Stars, but retain a strong position both in the Development Academy and in Generation adidas Cup, where they top the table for the Eastern Region. Despite the loss, Axel Picazo continued to display his attacking prowess in scoring his third goal in three games. The U17s will try to regain momentum with big matches over the next week at the Winter Showcase.
U19s: 3-1 win
The U19s were pleased with their overall performance, but especially with the team’s play in possession of the ball. Throughout the 90 minutes, the U19s were able to consistently create goal scoring opportunities, leading to Jeremy Rafanello’s 13th and 14th goals of the season and a composed finished from Michael Pellegrino. Tonny Temple was a constant threat with his speed and work-rate, while Ben Ofiemu and Olu Ogunwale were extremely composed as a central defensive partnership. The U19s finish off 2017 with three big matches at the Winter Showcase against outstanding opponents.