They had to sit out a lengthy rain delay in their van and switch to a turf field to finish the game, but the U-16 team finally did get to celebrate a perfect start to the Development Academy playoffs with a 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo on Friday afternoon.
Tiger Graham opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, finishing after a Matthew Real cross and lay off from Auston Trusty. The Union held the 1-0 lead into the 53rd minute when a storm came and forced a lengthy delay. Two minutes after play resumed on a turf field, Raheem Taylor-Parkes made it 2-0 and the back line and goalkeeper Andrew Verdi held the Dynamo in check the rest of the way.
The Number 2 overall seed in the tournament finished group play with a 3-0-0 record and head home for a knockout round with New England Revolution on July 8. The four winners of the knockout round will advance to the semifinals of the Academy Championships in Carson, California on July 16.
Earlier in the day, the U-18 team ended their season with a 1-0 consolation win over LA Galaxy to finish group play with a 1-1-1 record.
Yosef Samuel scored the goal for the U-18s in the 8th minute.
With the season over, many of the U-18 players will look ahead to reporting to college in August. Sebastian Elney heads to Maryland, Sean Wilson and Will Campbell to North Carolina, Morgan Hackworth to Syracuse, Garrett and Cameron Keys to La Salle, Zach Zandi to Villanova, John Schroeder to Delaware, Zach Perez to Rutgers, Mohamed Conde to University of Mobile, Kevin Carvalho to Northeastern and Brandon Levano and Nicholas Jachwak to Loyola.