When C.J. Dos Santos signed with Benfica in Portugal last month, it created an opportunity for another goalkeeper to step up into the starting role he would have had for the Philadelphia Union U18s.
Kristopher Shakes did just that on Saturday, registering a clean sheet in his first start for the U18s in their opener on the road against D.C. United. Shakes, who joined the Academy from Coral Springs, Florida last year, is just 15 but is coming off a stellar performance in the LIGA MX International Tournament in Mexico and recently trained with the first team.
The starting XI for the Union had just one holdover - midfielder Dawson McCartney - from when the teams met in June in a game that also ended in a draw. Freeman Dwamena, Evan Godfrey, Isaiah Holquist and Brandon Golden started in front of Shakes while Omar Ayala and Alexander Soto joined McCartney in the midfield. Tiger Graham, Issa Rayyan and Darius Lewis started as forwards.
Kalil ElMedkhar, Rayshaun McGann, Patrick Murphy, Manny Perez and Iverson Brisma came on as substitutes.
Elian Nalerio scored with less than six minutes remaining to give D.C. United the opening weekend win over the Philadelphia Union U16s.
Liam O’Brien had equalized for the Union in the 64th minute after D.C. scored a pair of unanswered goals in the first half to cancel out Daniel Bloyou’s opening salvo in the 14th minute.
Kyle Davis and Bryce Orsini scored the two goals for the home side two minutes apart.
The starting XI for the Union included Tomas Romero, Benjamin Ofeimu, Nykolas Sessock, Andrew Taber, Seth Kuhn, Brendan Aaronson, Carter Emack, Michael Pellegrino, Nicholas Blacklock and Daniel Bloyou. O’Brien, Jason Aoyama, Aziz Saidi and James Simpson came off the bench.
Kevin Paredes scored a hat trick and Jeremy Garay added a pair of goals to lead D.C. United to a 5-0 win over the U14 team.
The starting XI for the Union included goalkeeper Lukas Burns, defenders Zachary Golden, Sean Jennings, Cole Verrico and Zachary Wagner, midfielders Paxten Aaronson, Jack de Vries, Cole Sotack and Tianshuo Wang and forward Zephyn Brokert-Kress.
Julian Anderson, Ramir Cofield, Christopher Hackley, Adam Lenges, Justin Shaffer and Tiron Shatku came off the bench.
Jack Roberto scored a hat trick to lead the U13s to a 4-0 win over D.C. United in the first-ever U.S. Development Academy match for the team.
Micah Cain also scored for the Union.
The U12 team opened their first-ever U.S. Development Academy season going 3-1 in games against Cedar Stars Academy and Players Development Academy.
They swept Cedar Stars in matches on Saturday 5-2 and the second 12-1 and split games with PDA on Sunday, losing 3-2 in the first game and winning the second 5-0. Marcelo Mazzola had five goals over the weekend while Nelson Pierre and Timothy Madden each had four.
Ian Abbey, Anthony Derk and Jackson Gilman added two goals while Beckham Aiman, Jason Barragan and Paulo Kampala each had a goal a piece. The U12s outscored their opponents in the four games 25-5.