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Local Soccer Notebook: Redshirt champion; West Chester United wins state cup

Philadelphia Union Academy grad Andrew Aprahamian experiences national championship as a redshirt freshman; West Chester United beat their reserve team to capture a state amateur cup

Andrew Aprahamian training with Stanford at the Power Training Complex in Chester on December 7, 2017
Matt Ralph

While he didn’t see the field at all in 2017, Malvern, Pa. native Andrew Aprahamian became a national champion when Stanford beat Indiana 1-0 in double overtime in the College Cup final at Talen Energy Stadium last Sunday.

The Philadelphia Union Academy grad has taken a redshirt year this season, which has enabled him to train with the team but not play in games.

“For me, being part of this program is something I’ve worked so hard for. I’m very grateful to be here. As you can see the guys worked their tails off every game and it’s something I saw coming into the program,” Aprahamian said after Sunday’s game. “Being back here in Philadelphia on my home field it’s pretty cool, a lot of fans, a lot of family I know.”

The 2017 Malvern Prep graduate said training daily with the team has helped him grow as a player and gives him plenty of motivation looking ahead to next year and the new quest to match Virginia’s run from 1991 to 1994 as four straight national champions.

“There’s no better way to see what you can do than what they did today culminating with a national championship,” he said. “For me that’s the goal for the future and to get there it’s now visible for me.”

Aprahamian will have ample opportunity for playing time next season with the Cardinal losing two defenders in center back Tomas Hilliard-Arce and right back Bryce Merion to graduation. Aprahamian played both as a right back and central defender with the Union.

West Chester United won its ninth state cup title in eight years for their men’s elite amateur programs when their USL of PA Majors team defeated the Reserves in the final of the Robert O’Neill Amateur Cup on Sunday.

Woodbury, N.J. native Tyler Miller was the first player taken in Tuesday’s Expansion Draft by Los Angeles Football Club. A graduate of Bishop Eustace, Miller spent the summer of 2012 playing for Ocean City No’reasters in the PDL and has been with the Seattle Sounders organization since 2015.

Yardley, Pa. native and Reading United alum Jimmy Ockford was signed earlier this week to the San Jose Earthquakes after a standout year in USL with Reno 1868. Ockford played his youth soccer with Yardley Makefield Soccer and played college soccer at Mount St. Mary’s and Louisville. He was previously with the Seattle Sounders organization, playing for both their first team and USL club, and on loan with New York Cosmos.

Reading United alum Scott Parkinson was named assistant coach of the Utah Royals NWSL team. Parkinson played at Reading United while a student at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and was a volunteer coach on former head coach Brendan Burke’s staff in 2012.

Fellow Reading United alum Justin Portillo is also heading to Utah, having signed with Real Monarchs for the 2018 season after four seasons with Charleston Battery.

Another Reading United alum, Reading native Corey Hertzog, is leaving Pennsylvania to join Saint Louis FC.

Robert Bussiere (Archmere Academy) and Gerald Lynch (Lower Dauphin) were named United Soccer Coaches regional high school coaches of the year.

Campbell’s Field, the former home of the independent Camden Riversharks baseball team, will be razed and replaced with athletic fields for soccer and other sports, according to a resolution passed by the Rutgers University of Governors. Rutgers will dedicate $7.5 million toward the project and maintain the facilities while the City of Camden will own it.

Hershey, Pa. native Christian Pulisic was named the 2017 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year.

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