Derrick Amaniampong and Sebastian Elney each had first half braces and Morgan Hackworth scored on a wonder strike from distance in the second half to lead the U-18 team to a dominating 7-1 win over Continental FC Delco in Conshohocken on Saturday afternoon.
Amaniampong and Elney both spent time in Florida with the senior team in preseason and the time training with the big club appears well spent as both were a handful in the first half of a fixture the Union needed a late goal from Elney to win back in November.
Center back Will Campbell opened the scoring for the Union and second half substitutes Hackworth and Michael Swift added to the offensive explosion. Midfielder Zach Zandi drew a penalty in the box that set up Amaniampong's second goal.
Frederick Gil Jr. made his debut for the blue and gold, replacing Zach Perez at left back in the second half. Gil comes to the Union from Florida, where he played for American Heritage in Plantation. Elney and U-16 midfielder Raheem Taylor-Parkes also hail from Florida.
Conor Bradley made his season debut as a second half substitute, returning to the Academy after playing prep school soccer for Haverford School in the fall. Chidi Iloka also subbed in in the second half for starting goalkeeper Cameron Keys.
The three points put the Union level with PDA in third place in the East Conference with 27 points, six behind second place DC United and nine points behind Conference leader New York Red Bulls.
Justin McMaster scored in the 30th and 69th minutes and Jack Skahan (pictured above) curled a free kick around the wall into the back of the net in the 75th minute to put the finishing touches on a 4-1 win for the U-16s. Freeman Dwamena opened the scoring in the third minute.
The win kept the Union within two points of New York Red Bulls in the East Conference standings.
The U-14 team was held to a scoreless draw in their game.
The U-18 and U-16 teams travel to Richmond next Saturday to face Richmond United. The U-18 team plays at 11 a.m. and the U-16 team at 1:30 p.m. at Ukrop Park Union. The U-14 team will host Lehigh Valley United at 3 p.m. at YSC Sports.