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Philadelphia Union U18 & U16 teams both lose opening games in DA playoffs

The U16s lost 2-1 to LA Galaxy and the U18s 2-0 to Real So Cal in Indiana on Thursday

Matt Ralph

Group play in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs didn’t start off well for the Philadelphia Union U18 and U16 teams on Thursday as both teams lost to opponents from southern California.

The U16s were unable to overcome a two-goal deficit to LA Galaxy in a 2-1 loss. Jonathan Estrada and Justin Jovel scored seven minutes apart midway through the first half for the Galaxy. Substitute Iverson Brisma closed the gap early in the second half, but the Union were unable to find an equalizer.

The U18s, which entered the playoffs with the third best overall record, were held in check by Real So Cal in a 2-0 loss. Several key players from the team weren’t rostered, including defenders Matthew Real and Mark McKenzie, midfielders Anthony Fontana and Josue Monge and forward Tiger Graham.

A poor clearance from the back set up the first of Taylor Jacob Davila’s two goals on the day with four minutes left in the first half. Davila got his second on the day in the 65th minute and the defense in front of goalkeeper Benjamin Mitchel Roach limited the Union’s chances the rest of the way.

Both teams will have the day off today to regroup for games on Saturday. The U18s play Lonestar SC at 6:30 p.m. and the U16s take on Vancouver Whitecaps at 3:30 p.m. Saturday as group play continues at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.

U18 Lineup: Jahmali Waite, Brandon Golden (67’ Emmanuel Perez), Freeman Dwamena, Evan Godfrey, Nykolas Sessock (84’ Isaiah Holquist), Rayshaun McGann, Omar Ayala (84’ Patrick Murphy), Dawson McCartney (84’ Max Sakiewicz), Issa Rayyan, Darius Lewis (57’ Justin McMaster), Kalil ElMedkhar

U16 Lineup: Tomas Romero, Kevin Escobar, Michael Pellegrino, Andrew Taber (70’ Olu Ogunwale), JD Wagner, Marco Bla (70’ Liam O’Brien), Seth Kuhn, Brenden Aaronson, Axel Picazo, Nick Blacklock (41’ Iverson Brisma), Daniel Bloyou (41’ Chad Letts)