In their biggest test of the season, the Union held Player Development Academy (PDA) U18's - one of the best teams in the country at their age group - to a 1-1 draw. PDA opened the scoring in the first half, but went down a man when midfielder Brett Giuliana picked up his second yellow card. Young forward Neicko Williams equalized in the 63rd minute, and for the first time in the fall PDA U17/18's failed to register a win. Goalkeeper Cameron Keys, who is on the U15/16 roster but starts for the U17/18 team, had a terrific game and helped the Union salvage a point. For his extraordinary efforts the US Soccer Development Academy recognized Keys as the Player of the Week for his performance against PDA.
Next the U17/18 team traveled to Maryland to take on 2nd place Bethesda Soccer Club. The Union fell 2-0 to drop to 5th in the table with their last regular season match in the calendar year this Saturday against PA Classics.
Last time we saw the exploits of star forward Brandon Levano for the Union Academy as he prepared a highlight reel for prospective college coaches. This week we get video of fullback Joe Harding.
The middle group has cooled off this month after a hot start, losing 3-2 to East leaders PDA and playing Bethesda SC to a scoreless draw last weekend. Goalscorers in the PDA match were Isaiah Young and Abu Winter. Chris Gomez assisted on the Young goal. The Under 16s play PA Classics in Wayne, this weekend before traveling to Florida next month for the Winter Showcase.
The youngest batch of Doopers started off the month with two dominant wins. They started November with a 7-0 blowout of Soccer Association of Columbia in Maryland. Juan Infante scored a hat trick while Jake Silverstein added a brace. This was the second meeting with the boys from Endicott City, MD; the Union put 11 past Soccer Association of Maryland in September.
A week later the Union returned to the YSC Complex and defeated local rivals FC Delco 6-0. Colin Brezniak scored a hat trick, while Omar Ayala, a former FC Delco player, added a goal in the second half against his former club. In fact, as many as ten players on the Under 14 roster played for the Conshohocken-based FC Delco before coming to the Union.
Last weekend the US Soccer Development held their East Regional Showcase for all Under 14 clubs in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Union played 2 matches in 2 days, drawing 1-1 with the New York Red Bulls and losing 2-0 to South Florida-based club Weston FC. Colin Brezniak was the lone goal scorer.
Winter Showcase Schedule Announced
Next month the Under 18's and Under 16's will be traveling to Sarasota, FL to play in the Developmental Academy's annual showcase for the country's best youth clubs. This is one of the rare occasions where the Union will be able to play some Western U.S. clubs such as DeAnza Force and Real Salt Lake (2013 USSDA U16 Champions), who routinely produce some of the best young players in the country. US Soccer will also produce highlights on their YouTube channel, so we'll be able to see how our young Doopers perform in action against the country's best. The schedule is as follows:
U18's Winter Showcase Schedule
- 12/11: Union vs. San Jose Earthquakes
- 12/12: Union vs. Montreal Impact
- 12/14: Union vs. DeAnza Force
U16s Winter Showcase Schedule
- 12/12: Union vs. Chivas USA
- 12/13: Union vs. Capital Area Railhawks
- 12/15: Union vs. Real Salt Lake
Zach Pfeffer named to U-20 USMNT roster for friendlies in Italy
The Union's first Homegrown player, Zach Pfeffer (aka Pfeff Dogg) was named by U-20 head coach Tab Ramos to the 22-man roster for a few friendlies in Italy. Pfeffer, who is currently playing in Hoffenheim on loan, was selected along with Hoffenheim teammate Russell Canouse, FC Dallas defender Kellyn Acosta, and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Junior Flores. In their first match (video below) on November 13th the US lost 4-1 to Hellas Verona Primavera, the academy squad for the Serie A club. Zach played 45 minutes before being subbed out at halftime. The young team rebounded from that loss six days later with a 4-1 win against Atalanta Primavera. Details of that match weren't released, although Zach was not one of the team's goalscorers. Pfeffer returned to Hoffenheim on Tuesday for training.