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Recap: Everton Under-18s Down Philadelphia Union Under-18s 2-0

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The Philadelphia Union under-18s (right) and Everton under-18s line up for the American and English national anthems. (Photo by Scott Kessler)
The Philadelphia Union under-18s (right) and Everton under-18s line up for the American and English national anthems. (Photo by Scott Kessler)

The Philadelphia Union beat Everton 1-0 in what was the premier match of the day, on Wednesday, but it was the game that was viewed as just a youth game that was the better match.

Without star players Christian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin, the under-18s struggled early on to handle their Everton opposites early on. In some ways it looked like Everton's youth were already men prepared for the English Premier League and the Union's squad was still a bunch of kids.

A defensive lapse, in the thirteenth minute, lead to Everton's first goal, an open look clinical finish finish from Everton's number 9 Christopher Long. Receiving the ball down the left side of the field after a Union player misplayed the ball, Long beat the remaining Union defenders into the upper left side of the box. Long then used his left foot to whip the ball into an upper part of the right side of the net.

The young striker displayed a style of play similar to a predecessor at Everton notable to most soccer fans - Wayne Rooney. Playing alone at the top of Everton's formation, the small striker, at most 5'8" and 140 pounds, Long was successful in terrorizing the Union defense all game long.

Everton's number 7, Femi Orenuga, a right sided winger, was the most impressive player on the English side, using a silky smooth set of on the ball skills to move in-and-out of the Union defense. To stop him, the Union resorted to trapping him within a triangle defense of their left center back, left back and either their left midfielder or left center midfielder. His play led to Everton's second goal, as well.

Long struck again in the thirty third minute, again because of a defensive mistake by the Union defense. The ball was not cleared properly out of the box and fell to Long, who then put his head down and found the back of the net.

The remainder of the game was much more even, as substitutions and tactical changes moved the later parts of the match in the Union's favor. Cristiano Francois, the Union's number 9, was brought on and immediately showed off his speed and technical skills. Combining with Darius Madison, the play maker of the team at number 10, and Melvin Snoh, the equally talented number 7, Francois and the Union found themselves hitting the Everton defense and goalkeepers hard.

Despite their many changes over the last 20 minutes of the game, the Union under-18s could not come back from the 2-0 deficit that Long and the other Everton under-18s put them into.