Academy Update: Union Are Headed To The Playoffs!

This week's update includes results from the Union's two matches with New Jersey Soccer Association (NJSA) '04, and a look at a new set of rankings and where the Union's academy members fall on these lists.

The Philadelphia Union Developmental Academy season has finally ended after 8 long months (with a 3 month break in between), and all three units will be traveling to Indiana this month. The Under 18s and Under 16s will be wild card participants in the Developmental Academy playoffs, while the Under 14s will be participating in the Summer Showcase since the United States Soccer Developmental Academy (USSDA) does not hold an official postseason for the Under 14 age group.

U17/18s

In a physical affair that involved six yellow cards and a Union player sent off, the Union and NJSA '04 played to a 2-2 draw at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, NJ. Tyler Skwara and Matt Greer were the Union goalscorers while defender Patrick Berneski was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. The team's third draw in four matches enabled the Under 18s to take the 9th wild card playoff spot. One of four teams in the East to qualify for Westfield, Indiana, the Union finish the season with 10 wins, 4 losses, and 11 draws.

U15/16s

Highly touted prospect Raheem Taylor-Parkes scored his first goal in a 2-0 Union win over NJSA '04. Isaiah Young, who finished as the team's leading goalscorer with 13, opened the match with a goal in the 10th minute. With the win, the Union locked up the 8th spot in the wild card playoff pool.

Taylor-Parkes joined the Union academy over the winter. Even though he has played sparingly for the Union Under 16s, he is seen by multiple outlets as one of the country's most promising prospects in his age group. I would expect him to see a lot more playing time for him next season.

The Under 14s return to action next week after a bye week this past week. They will travel to Maryland to play Baltimore Bays Chelsea in their final game of the season before traveling to Indiana to play Real So Cal in the USSDA Summer Showcase five days later.

Other Notes

- Youth soccer blog O When The Yanks released a top 100 prospects for the classes of 2015 and 2016. Syracuse-bound defender Chris Gomez slotted at 47th on the 2015 list, while forwards Raheem Taylor-Parkes and Isaiah Young made the 2016 list at 10 and 61 respectively.

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