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Philadelphia Union Academy sweeps local rivals Continental FCD

The Union Academy U18, U16, and U14 teams continued their dominance over Continental FC DELCO with three wins on Saturday in Conshohocken.

It wasn't always pretty, but the Philadelphia Union Academy U18 team earned a hard-fought win over local rivals Continental FC DELCO behind a goal from second-half substitute Raheem Taylor-Parkes on Saturday afternoon.

Taylor-Parkes, who ended a season-long scoring drought with a second-half brace against Baltimore Armour last week, beat goalkeeper Charles Van Orden in the 86th minute to break the deadlock. First-half substitute Anthony Fontana added his second goal in as many games with the U18s minutes later to make the final score look a lot more comfortable than it was.

In fact, as you expect in a local rivalry between players who know each other on and off the field, temperatures were high both on the field and the sidelines. Six cards were shown in the match, including two to CFCD defender Senan Farrelly, who was sent off with a second yellow card in the 67th minute.

Farrelly's first card nearly led to a penalty when he took down forward Jerren Nixon near the 18' in a play that ultimately resulted in a free kick on the edge of the box.

For a spell after the sending off, the home side looked rejuvenated, absorbing pressure to create a counter attack through their big target forward Leon Maric, who was repeatedly harassed and fouled by a Union back line that included U16 defenders Nykolas Sessock and Rayshaun McGann. A tussle between Union left back Frederick Gil and Leon Maric nearly resulted in a brawl when midfielder Yosef Samuel stepped in after Gil's take down. Both Gil and Maric, a former Union player, were shown yellow on the play.

The shoving match seemed to bring the Union to life as they pushed for a winner with fresh legs off the substitute bench in Conor Bradley and Shane Bradley, who won an independent school title with The Haverford School the last time they played at The Proving Grounds.

In the end, the Union offense wore down the CFCD defense and had too much space to work with. Taking advantage of width, Yosef Samuel on the left, and Taylor-Parkes on the right, the Union were able to spring Taylor-Parkes with his pace and skill on the ball to weave through the defense and past the keeper to finish on an empty net.

It was Taylor-Parkes' first game-winner for the U18 team after he made a habit of scoring dramatic goals for the U16s last year (his biggest was a last-second goal in Generation adidas Cup qualifying over New York Red Bulls).

The starting XI for the Union in the game was Andrew Verdi (GK), Frederick Gil (LB), Rayshuan McGann (CB), Mark McKenzie (CB), Nykolas Sessock (RB), Joseph DeZart (MF), Dawson McCartney (MF), Josue Monge (MF), Abu Winter (F), Yosef Samuel (F) and Jerren Nixon (F). Fontana, Taylor-Parkes, Tiger Graham and the Bradley brothers came off the bench.

The starting XI for Continental FCD was Charles Van Orden (GK), Ronald Williams (D), Mark Palage (D), Braden Miller (D), Senan Farrelly (D), Dontrim Namani (MF), Chad Poarch (MF), Diallo Simon-Ponte (MF), CJ Smolyn (MF), Cody Wax (MF) and Leon Maric (F).

U16s

Daniel Bloyou's 40th minute goal held up as the winner in the U16s 3-1 victory over CFCD. His third goal of the season came five minutes after leading goal scorer Justin McMaster found the back of the net for the ninth time this season in U.S. Development Academy play.

Darius Lewis gave the Union insurance with his fifth goal of the season in the 67th minute after Joseph Martini cut the lead in half in the 54th minute.

The starting XI for the Union was Carlos dos Santos (GK), Evan Godfrey (D), Isaiah Holquist (D), Benjamin Ofeimu (D), Omar Ayala (MF), Seth Kuhn (MF), Kurtis Orrson (MF), Issa Rayyan (F), McMaster (F), Bloyou (F) and Kalil ElMedkhar (F). Brenden Aaronson, Brandon Golden, Chad Letts, Lewis and Patrick Murphy came off the bench.

The starting XI for CFCD was Carter Stuck (GK), Alessio Marchio (D), Raimondo Partito (D), Ramzi Qawasmy (D), Hudson Reid (D), Kevin Smolyn (MF), Alexander Hajj (MF), Nicolas Kane (MF), Joseph Martini (MF), Jacob Mittman (F) and James Simpson (F). Jacob Lemelin, Kyle Tucker and Jayson Vandermark came off the bench.

U14s

Nicholas Blacklock scored in the 35th minute and Michael Pellegrino doubled the lead just before halftime to lead the U14s to a 2-0 win.

Up Next

The U18, U16, and U14 teams return to action in U.S. Development Academy play on Sunday, April 3, at PA Classics in Manheim. The U16 teams travels to Frisco, Texas, to compete in the consolation Premiership Division of the Generation adidas Cup March 18-26.

The U13 team kicks off its spring schedule against Continental FC Delco on Friday, March 18, at 6:15 p.m. at YSC Sports. The U15 team kicks off the second half of its season on Saturday, March 19, away at Baltimore Armour in the Northeast Pre-Academy League.