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BSFC friendly a preview of future ACC match-ups

Three ACC-bound players from the Philadelphia Union Academy featured in Bethlehem Steel FC's friendly against ACC team Syracuse on Sunday.

While Sunday's friendly between Bethlehem Steel FC offered a first glance for fans of the new USL club, it was also a sneak peak for college soccer fans of some future match-ups in the always powerful Atlantic Coast Conference.

Three of the four Philadelphia Union Academy players who came on in the second half of the match are headed to ACC schools either this fall or next.

Auston Trusty, who played center back, is heading to North Carolina this fall where he will join former Academy teammates Will Campbell and Sean Wilson. Mark McKenzie, who played right back, and left back Matthew Real have both verbally committed to Wake Forest for the 2017 season. Lamine Conte, who also played on Sunday, has not committed to play college soccer.

Sunday was McKenzie's first appearance for Steel FC. Trusty and Real both played in a friendly against Junior Lone Star at YSC Sports on February 26. Real scored a goal in that game.

On Sunday, he went head to head with some Syracuse players he'll be battling against in college as rivals. Steel FC found the back of the net in the first minute and never really looked back on Sunday, besting a College Cup team minus its two stars (DC United midfielder Julian Buescher and Portland Timbers forward Ben Polk) 5-0.

Chris Gomez and Kenny Lassiter, bpth of whom spent time with the Union Academy, played in the match but Academy alumnus Morgan Hackworth did not start at right back as expected.

Current Academy players who have committed to the ACC include U18 forwards Jerren Nixon and Raheem Taylor-Parkes (Virginia), defender Robert Campbell (Clemson) and defender/defensive midfielder Joseph DeZart (Wake Forest).

Former Academy players Michael Swift (Clemson), Jack Skahan (North Carolina), Leon Maric (Virginia) and Isaiah Young (Wake Forest) are also headed to ACC schools this fall.