Union II

Sullivan makes history as Union II complete sweep of New England


Cavan Sullivan became the second youngest goalscorer in MLS NEXT Pro history as Philadelphia Union II defeated New England Revolution on Saturday night.

With both the Union and Union II in action on Saturday night, questions were asked as to who would make the trip north and what kind of lineup Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc’s would be able to field. About an before kick the answers came with Union II fielding a solid lineup featuring first team signees David Vazquez, Sanders Ngabo, Cavan Sullivan and Olwethu Makhanya. Depth was limited however with Mike Sheridan the only keeper on the matchday roster for the Boys in Blue while U17 standouts Jamir Johnson and Kellan LeBlanc featured as attacking options on the bench.

Union II once again needed little time to break open the scoring. The Boys in Blue earned the first corner of the contest and were immediately awarded a second. With a second bite at the apple, the squad turned to a play from the WSFS Bank Sportsplex training grounds. CJ Olney resumed the action quickly with a hard pass to Berdecio on the left side of the Union attack. Using the decoy run by Olney on the give and go, the Bolivian whipped a cross into the box that crashed off Revs II defender Damario McIntosh and into the back of the net as Frankie Westfield went up for the header.

Union II didn’t have to wait long to extend its advantage as league history was made on Saturday night in the 18th minute of play. Again it was Olney involved as he received a pass booted up the pitch on the left flank. Dragging the defense with him, he threaded the needle to put the ball at the feet of Cavan Sullivan. The 14-year-old put on a shot, slicing through the New England defense before delivering a clinical finish to become the second youngest goal scorer in MLS NEXT Pro history at 14 years, 9 months and 8 days.

Just like last time out in Toronto, Union II’s defense was pristine and locked in as they once again allowed zero shots on target. They nearly escaped the first 45 without allowing even a shot however the Revs launched a pair of one-man counter attacks from Gevork Diarbian. Both times the attacking No. 11 drifted out wide but ran into recovery runs from Makhanya to prevent a scoring chance.

New England came out of the break committing numbers forward and it proved successful as they trimmed the deficit to one four minutes into the final half. Again, it was play going through Diarbian as he popped up at the top the box and ripped a shot. Philly’s defense pushed forward to block the shot on the turf but saw the rebound fall right to the boots of Patrick Leal who put it past Sheridan.

Union II regained control of the contest after absorbing the early pressure applied from New England as they sought to take back a two-goal advantage. In the 55th minute it was Sullivan with back-to-back attempts on target that were turned aside. That would be the last bit of action for the Union homegrown as Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc inserted Nick Pariano and Randy Meneses just past the hour mark in place of Sullivan and Ngabo.

Shortly after the change, the Boys in Blue again kept the foot on the pedal offensively as Vazquez had a go from the top of the 18 that forced a save by goalkeeper JD Gunn. Set pieces continued to pester the Revs as Vazquez hit a cross that fell to Makhanya inside the box for a one-time shot from the center back. The South African nearly made it two goals in two games at Mark A. Ouellette Stadium but saw it blocked near the goal line. Five minutes later it was another set piece chance that went short as Pariano timed his run perfectly into the box to take a pass from Vazquez that was turned aside.

Union II returns to Subaru Park for a top of the East clash against Chattanooga FC on Thursday, July 11th. Kick off from Chester is set for 6PM with the match broadcast exclusively on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.