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Philadelphia Union Academy U18s win division, U16s qualify for playoffs

The U18 and U16 teams swept D.C. United and New York Red Bulls in the final weekend of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy season

Seth Kuhn (right) congratulates Chad Letts on his goal in a game at Villanova University on June 4, 2017
Matt Ralph

The Philadelphia Union Academy teams closed out the U.S. Soccer Development Academy regular season in grand fashion with a sweep for the U18 and U16 teams over rival MLS academies from D.C. United and New York Red Bulls.

A 3-1 win over D.C. United on Saturday at YSC Sports and a 1-0 win over New York Red Bulls at Villanova University on Sunday was enough for the U18 team to win the Atlantic Division for the first time. Their 19-5-2 mark heading into the playoffs is the third best in the country.

Dawson McCartney and Kalil ElMedkhar opened the scoring with goals a minute apart inside 10 minutes on Saturday and Issa Rayyan put the game away in the 83rd minute after Taofik Lucas-Walker pulled a goal back for the visitors.

Tiger Graham’s 22nd goal of the season in the 54th minute was all the offense the Union U18s needed to beat New York Red Bulls 1-0 on Sunday. Goalkeeper Matthew Freese was forced to leave the game with an injury in the ninth minute, but Kristopher Shakes kept the visitors off the board the remaining 81 minutes to complete the clean sheet.

The U16 team secured a spot in the playoffs with their two wins, finishing the season third in the division and 19th overall with a 14-6-6 mark.

Brenden Aaronson, Chad Letts and Seth Kuhn scored the goals for the U16s on Saturday at YSC Sports in a 3-2 win and Sean Smolyn and Chad Letts found the back of the net for the Union in a 2-0 win over New York Red Bulls on Sunday. Goalkeeper Tomas Romero recorded the clean sheet.

The U14 closed out their regular season schedule with a 3-3 draw against Virginia Development Academy and a 2-1 loss to New York Red Bulls.

Paxten Aaronson, Justin Shaffer and Ennis Stewart had the goals on Saturday and Selmir Miscic had the lone goal on Sunday.

The U13s drew Virginia Development Academy 2-2 and edged New York Red Bulls 1-0.

Micah Cain had the goal on Saturday (the other was an own goal) and Jarmin Reilly scored the winner on Sunday.

The U12 team swept a two-game set against PA Classics on Saturday with 4-0 and 3-0 wins. Nelson Pierre had a hat trick in the first game and Marcello Mazzola had a brace and Nicolas Rubio a goal in the second game.