Union II

Anderson and Vazquez power Union II to resounding win over rivals Red Bulls II


Led by two breakout performances, Philadelphia Union II kept on with a 5-1 victory over rivals New York Red Bulls II on Sunday afternoon.

David Vazquez and Markus Anderson each scored twice in the road victory that pushes Union II back atop the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference table. Vazquez delivered goals in both halves with a pair of left-footed lasers while Anderson made the most of his 30-minute shift which saw the Union forward score a diving header.

The Boys in Blue needed little time to break open the scoring with Union Academy forward Eddy Davis III finding the back of the net in the 10th minute of play. After both sides exchanged half chances that went wide, Union II connected on a quick build up that started with CJ Olney gaining possession from a long diagonal volley. With a 2v1 overload on the left side, the midfielder took advantage of the numbers with a pass to Frankie Westfield on the overlapping run. The Vice Captain whipped in a cross right to the penalty spot that connected with Davis for his team-leading fifth goal of the year.

For the second-consecutive match, Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc was forced into an early substitution with Giovanny Sequera on the receiving end of a hard tackle from Curtis Ofori that earned the opening yellow card of the match. The Venezuelan attempted to play through the challenge but ultimately couldn’t continue with Kyle Tucker entering in the 24th minute. Red Bulls II sought to take advantage of the change in chemistry as Julian Hall broke free on the right side of the Union II defense however the shot from a wide angle went well away from goalkeeper Andrew Rick.

With summer like temperatures in North Jersey, a hydration break gave both teams some a little extra boost around the half hour mark. Out of the break Red Bulls II attempted a long-range blast from Steven Sserwadda but the effort went right into the hands of Rick. The keeper quickly punted it forward and saw a fortunate bounce send Davis in past the Red Bulls defense. Battling with the last man back, Davis nearly added to his scoreline but saw his cutback to his left saved by the keeper on the turf.

Union II were eager to double their lead before going into the locker room and dominated the six minutes of first half stoppage time. David Vazquez was the catalyst with a threaded ball into the box for Leandro Soria that required a fingertip save to deflect the ball wide of the post and out for a corner. Philly kept up the pressure as Sanders Ngabo reclaimed the half clearance from the Red Bulls defense and hit a pass forward for Kyle Tucker near the corner flag that saw the midfielder fouled. With a pair of defenders out of position, Union II quickly resumed play as Tucker played the ball to Vazquez for a one-time blast that beat everyone for the 2-0 lead.

Despite the two-goal lead, Union II youthful lineup weren’t content as they nearly added to their advantage early in the final half. Again it was the pace of Davis III as he broke into the box but was denied by goalkeeper Aidan Stokes two minutes in.

Just after the hour mark both sides made changes to the lineup with first team signees Cavan Sullivan and Markus Anderson entering in place for Leandro Soria and the goalscoring Davis III. Meanwhile Red Bulls sent on Frank Ssebufu who quickly made an impact that got the home side on the scoreboard. Red Bulls punted the ball toward the corner flag but Ibrahim Kasule was able to turn the corner before it crossed the endline and picked out the substitute inside the box. With the Union II defense scrambling, the sub laid off a pass to Mohammed Sofo for the forward’s fourth-straight match with a goal and trim the game to a 2-1 margin in the 68th minute.

Union II turned up the pressure and delivered as they broke open the scoring in the 77th minute with clinical defense to offense. Sanders Ngabo intercepted a pass and charged up field before laying off a pass to Olney. Positioned right at the edge of the box, the midfielder scooped the ball over the defense to an unmarked Anderson who launched himself toward the ball and into the back of the net to re-establish the two-goal lead.

Six minutes later another goal came for the Boys in Blue as Vazquez earned the brace with a brilliant free kick finish. Lined up against a three-man wall, the 18-year-old delivered a left-footed blast perfectly along the turf that bounced around the wall and off the far post and in.

Bouyed by the growing lead, Anderson joined in on the scoring once more with a breakaway finish late in the match. Going direct in Union fashion, it was end to end action as Olwethu Makhanya hit a clearance centrally. After a series of passes, Ngabo collected the ball and pushed past the center stripe before hitting a pin perfect pass into the feet of Anderson in stride. Two touches later, the MLS forward had made it 5-1 against the rivals.

Union II returns to Subaru Park for a pair of home matches in June starting off with Columbus Crew 2 on Sunday, June 2nd. Kick off is set for 5PM with tickets for the match available for purchase by clicking here.