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Union Academy face local rivals Continental FC DELCO

The Union Academy will renew its rivalry with local derby matches against Continental FC DELCO's U18, U16 and U14 teams on Saturday at The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken.

Frederick Gil and the Union Academy U18 team playing Continental FC DELCO in November 2015
Frederick Gil and the Union Academy U18 team playing Continental FC DELCO in November 2015
Matt Ralph

As local soccer rivalries go, few pit teams as familiar with each other as the fixture between the Union Academy and Continental FC DELCO.

Dozens of players have featured for both teams in their club careers and a couple players from CFCD are classmates with the Union players at YSC Academy.

Leon Maric, who leads CFCD in goals this season with 12, played for the Union Academy in 2013-14 and is heading to Virginia this fall with Union forwards Jerren Nixon and Raheem Taylor-Parkes. Midfielder Diallo Simon-Ponte played for the Union U16s in 2013-14 and attends YSC Academy. Other current players who used to play for the Union Academy include Cody Wax, Defrim Namani and Donny Namani.

Senan Farrelly played high school soccer at The Haverford School with Union Academy defender Shane Bradley and forward Conor Bradley and was also a member of the Union Juniors Select team. Rammy Abbas, Owen Rhydderch and Mark Palage also spent time with the Union Juniors Select team.

And that's just at the U18 level. Several other connections can be found when analyzing the rosters for both clubs at other age levels.

Current Union Academy U18 players Abu Winter, Andrew Verdi, Matthew Real, Dawson McCartney, Tiger Graham and Freeman Dwamena played with CFCD before joining the Union Academy. U16 players Omar Ayala, Isaiah Holquist, Nykolas Sessock and Carlos dos Santos and U14 players Jason Aoyama, Obafemi Awodesu and Donovan Wu did the same.

The teams last played in November at YSC Sports with the U18s rescuing a draw with a late goal by Nixon, the U16s winning 6-1 led by braces from Issa Rayyan and Kalil ElMedkhar and the U14s winning 5-1 led by a hat trick from Michael McKeown.

The Union have dominated the rivalry in its short history.

Since the Union Academy joined the U.S. Development Academy for the 2013-14 season, the Union have won a total of 11 games and drawn five times. Union teams have outscored CFCD 55-10. The U18 team is 2-0-3, the U16s 4-0-1 and the U14s 5-0-1.

The games kick off Saturday with the U18 and U14 games at noon, and the U16 game at 2:30 p.m. at The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken.