With former Union academy striker Shanyder Borgelin picking up his first goal for Bethlehem Steel last weekend and current academy striker Patrick Bohui continuing to make a strong case for himself with Steel, the Union academy returned to action determined to send more pro-ready talent up through the ranks.
Phil Karn's U13s used a pair of goals three minutes apart in the first half to pull away from Richmond. Jax Pinkston and Stefan Chirila opened the scoring in the 13th and 16th minutes and three more tallies were added before the final whistle blew on a 5-0 finish. Karn was focused on his team's compactness and pressing triggers, and while he was happy with what he saw, the man that recently led last year's U13s to the ScotiaBank Concacaf U13s championship sees plenty of room for growth. "Overall, it was a good start to the season," Karn said. "Now we look to improve each week."
The U14s used a seventh minute goal from one of the stars of that U13s championship run, Gael Medrano, to get in the driver's seat early against Richmond. Medrano sandwiched a second goal around Sam Graham's 32nd minute strike before the teams traded goals to finish out a 4-1 match. Head coach Fred also had his eye on the team's pressing, and while he pushed his charges to dominate the match with their energy he felt it was a good early test for the 14s. "I told them to play with pressure from the start to the end," Fred indicated. "I know it's hard to do for 80 minutes, but I think we did it most of the game."
Kleberson's U12s split into Gold and Navy groups to face off with Cedar Stars - Monmouth. Navy came away 5-3 winners while Gold ran off with a 7-0 victory. "The players did a great performance and scored a couple of nice goals," Kleberson enthused. He pointed to a mixture of excitement, fun, and focus as the keys to the U12s strong start to the year.
Next weekend, the Union hosts DC United in the new DA Cup. Get all the details on the DA Cup, as well as the full list of academy games and results on PhiladelphiaUnion.com's new academy site.