The Philadelphia Union Academy U-16 team dropped a key match in the Generation Adidas East regional against Toronto FC on Saturday by a demoralizing 3-0 scoreline after an opening game victory the day before over D.C. United at Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Florida.
With the win, Toronto FC moved to the top of the East Region standings and clinched a spot in the finals to be held Easter weekend. Toronto's three goals were scored by Kevin Timachy, Richie Ennin and Cyrus Rollocks.
Red Bull Academy drew their match against New England Revolution later in the day but lost on penalty kicks so they are a point behind Toronto in second place and three points clear of the Union, which now have six points from four games - they had 1 point from a scoreless draw with New England and 2 points from a 1-1 draw and penalty kick win over Orlando City SC in the first leg held in Conshohocken in October.
Teams are awarded two points for a penalty kick win and one point for a tie in regulation. Games go straight to penalty kicks after two 35-minute halves.
The Union's starting XI for Saturday's match included Andrew Verdi, Rayshaun McGann, Freeman Dwamena, Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie, Jack Skahan, Lamine Conte, Andrew Aprahamian, Alexander Soto, Justin McMaster and Tiger Graham. McGann is a member of the U-14 team and all but Aprahamian, McKenzie and McMaster were born in 1998.
Saturday's let down followed a hard fought 1-0 victory over DC United on Friday afternoon. Jerren "J.J." Nixon delivered the game-winning goal in the game on an assist from Graham.
Friday's starting XI was Verdi, McKenzie, Trusty, Joseph DeZart, Matthew Real, Soto, Skahan, Conte, Josue Monge, Nixon and Graham. Trusty, a North Carolina commit (along with Skahan), wore the captain's armband. All but Real, Monge and McKenzie from Friday's starting lineup were born in 1998.
The team now gets a day to regroup before playing New York Red Bulls on Monday at 9 a.m.
The top two teams in the group at the end of the Presidents' Day Weekend will advance to the competition's "GA" bracket, a final group stage for the national event being held over Easter weekend in April.