The Union academy followed up a three win weekend against PA Classics with an even more impressive five win weekend in Richmond, VA against VA-based clubs Richmond Kickers and Richmond Strikers. The victories were especially crucial for the two older units who are fighting to qualify for the Developmental Academy playoffs that will take place in June.
The Under 18s beat both Richmond squads in the same weekend back in September by a combined score of 12-0. This time the could only manage a 11-0 scoring, trouncing the Strikers and Kickers 6-0 and 5-0 respectively. Princeton-bound midfielder Matt Greer, Brandon Levano, and Noah Snyder each scored a brace in the first match. Forward Doyle Tuvesson tallied three assists, In the second match five different Union players scored in a 5-0 win over the winless Kickers. Levano, Derrick Amaniampong, Brett Glasco, Noah Snyder, and Chris Gomez each scored while Tuvesson added another three assists to his tally. The two wins leave the Under 18's the top team in the nation outside of the wildcard pool for the Developmental Academy playoffs. The top 32 academies in each age group qualify for June's DA playoffs. Under the guidance of points per games played, 19 clubs (at least three from every region) and 13 wildcard clubs will play in an elimination-formatted tournament in Westfield, Indiana starting the week of June 23-27. The Union U17/18s are 0.02 Pts/GP behind Southeast-based club Weston FC for the final wild card slot.
This week's highlight reel will feature midfielder Zach Zandi of the Under 18's. Zandi has scored 4 goals in 17 appearances.
The U15/16s continued the DOOPing onslaught by winning both of their matches by a 5-0 scoreline. Derrick Amaniampong scored a brace in the first match, including a 25 foot rocket for the game's first goal. Abu Winter, Matthew Real, and Isaiah Young rounded out the scoring against the last place Strikers. On Sunday the Union scored five goals again; this time led by Conor Bradley's brace. The Under 16s stayed near the top of the wildcard pool with the two wins with a 1.89 pts/GP average.
The little monsters were not their usual dominant selves, managing a draw against the Strikers before defeating the Kickers the next day. The draw was a surprising result, especially considering that the Strikers were without Nicholas Taitague, rated by Top Drawer Soccer as the top player in the country in his age group, and lost to the Union 8-0 earlier in the season down at YSC Sports Complex.. But the Strikers managed an early goal before colin Brezniak responded with an equalizer 10 minutes later. The next day Juan Infante scored his team-high 15th goal of the season to help the Union top the Kickers 2-1. Kurtis Olsson was the other Union goalscorer.
Will Campbell, Sean Wilson, and Morgan Hackworth each played 90 minutes for the Union reserves in a closed door Sunday scrimmage against NASL side New York Cosmos. Hackworth and Campbell have been mentioned in this series before as regular contributors on their respective academy units. Sean Wilson has only managed 4 appearances this season for the Union, but he is one of the highest rated prospects in the Academy system according to Top Drawer Soccer. Also involved in the scrimmage were former Academy product and inaugural Homegrown Player Zach Pfeffer and current midfield veteran Fred.
Defender Andrew Aprahamian trained with the U15 Boys National Team and played 90 minutes in a 2-1 friendly win over California-based club FC Golden State. Aprahamian is rated as the 129th best player in the Class of 2017, so congratulations to him on his first national team experience.