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Philadelphia Union Academy teams go 8-1-1 in busy weekend against Richmond United, others

The U18 and U16 swept a two-game set against Richmond United and Empire United

Tiger Graham
Matt Ralph

A two-game sweep of Richmond United and Empire United moved the Philadelphia Union Academy U18 team back into first place in the Atlantic Division of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Rebounding from a weekend where they only managed one point from two games, the U18s beat Richmond United at YSC Sports 4-1 on Saturday and followed that up with a 1-0 win over Empire United on Sunday.

On Saturday, Tiger Graham opened the scoring in the 20th minute and added his team-leading 20th of the season five minutes later in the first half. Brandon Golden then extended the lead with a brace of his own, scoring his first career goals for the Union in the 29th and 57th minutes.

On Sunday, Darius Lewis lifted the Union with his third game-winner and seventh of the season in the 36th minute. Tomas Romero recorded his second clean sheet for the U18s this season.

With the wins, the U18s improved to 17-4-2 on the year - first in the Atlantic Division and third overall - with three tough games remaining against Montreal Impact on the road and D.C. United and New York Red Bulls at home the first weekend of June.

The U16 team beat Richmond United and Empire United by identical 3-0 scorelines over the weekend to move into third place in the Atlantic Division and in the 19th playoff spot overall.

Brenden Aaronson scored in the 8th minute and Liam O’Brien and Chad Letts added goals in the second half behind Tomas Romero’s clean sheet on Saturday.

On Sunday, it was Kristopher Shakes recording his third clean sheet of the season for and Seth Kuhn with a brace to lead the offense with goals in the 48th and 65th minutes. Letts added his sixth of the season two minutes after Kuhn opened the scoring. Letts has three goals in his last five matches, including one for the U18 team in a win over PA Classics and 15 goals in all competitions this season.

The U14 team was the lone team to come up short against Richmond United over the weekend.

Academy newcomer William Burnett had his first Union goal in the 29th minute to cancel out Zakky Johnston’s 13th minute strike, but Maddux Reece gave the visitors a win with a goal in the 68th minute that made it 2-1.

Jack Roberto had a brace and Quinn Sullivan scored his fourth game-winning goal of the season to lead the U13s to a 3-1 win over Richmond United.

Roberto leads the team with 11 goals on the season while Sullivan is tied for second with 11.

The U12 team had an 8-0 win and 2-2 draw against PDA on Saturday and 17-0 and 8-0 wins over Cedar Stars Academy Monmouth on Sunday.

Francis Westfield led the way in goals with four in one game while Anthony Derk and Marcello Mazzola had hat tricks and braces were recorded by Timothy Madden, Beckham Aiman, Conrad Brady, Safiyy Harris and Sawyer Koza. Ryan Lau, Nicolas Rubio, Andrew Johnson, Jackson Gilman, Paolo Kampula, Owen Moore and Julian Pittaoulis also found the back of the net.