The Philadelphia Union Academy U18 and U16 teams will look to put added pressure on division leaders New York Red Bulls when they face the New Jersey Cedar Stars Academy in back-to-back matches on the training fields outside Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday.
The U18s kick off at 10 a.m. against a team that has struggled to score goals. NJCSA's U18 team is last in the Atlantic Division with a 2-16-2 record and have found the back of the net only 11 times in 20 games. The Union won 3-0 in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, back in October on a hat trick from forward Michael Swift, who is no longer with the team.
While the Union have two pointsfewer than New York Red Bulls, the division standings are determined by points per game played. The Union at 11-3-4 have played two more games than the first place Red Bulls, which host New England Revolution on Sunday.
They are riding a three-game win streak since starting the second half of the season, outscoring opponents 11-0 in that stretch.
The U16s will be looking to avenge a 1-0 loss to NJCSA the last time the teams met back in October in North Jersey. Denir Radoncic's 53rd minute goal was the difference in that one.
The Union and NJCSA are much closer in the Atlantic Division standings in the U16 division. Seven points separates second-place Union and fourth-place NJCSA. The Union (11-3-4) are two points behind New York Red Bulls in the standings with two more games played.
They kick off at noon on Sunday.
The U14 game will be the lone U.S. Development Academy match on Saturday at 3 p.m. at YSC Sports near King of Prussia.
The U14s beat NJCSA, 5-2, the last time they played, in September at YSC Sports. Jason Aoyoma picked up the winner in the 28th minute and Michael McKeown had a brace in the game.
The team is riding a five-game winning streak and hasn't lost since October 24, outscoring opponents 20-3 in that stretch.
The U13 team is scheduled to play NJCSA at 11 a.m. in a Northeast Pre-Academy League match. The U15 team will play the same time as the U18 team on Sunday in Chester.