The Philadelphia Union Academy U18 and U16 teams learned who they will face in the group stage of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs in Indiana later this month.
U.S. Soccer revealed the playoff draw on their Twitter account Wednesday. The Union were one of 23 clubs to have teams from both age divisions qualify. .
The U16 team will face Vancouver Whitecaps for the second year in a row and MLS academies from LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo in Group C. The Union won the meeting with the Whitecaps last season but missed out on advancing to the group stage on goal differential despite a pair of wins and a draw.
The Whitecaps were the eighth overall seed, having finished first in the Northwest Division with a 20-9-2 record. LA Galaxy were 15th with a 20-8-8 record and a third place finish in the Southwest Division. Houston Dynamo made it in as a wildcard after finishing fifth in the Frontier Division with a 13-7-6 mark.
The Union finished third place in the Atlantic Division - 19th overall - with a 14-6-6 record. They lost to the Whitecaps 4-0 in a match in Florida in December, but will face LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo for the first time this season.
The U18s drew Crew SC Academy Wolves, Lonestar SC Academy and Real So Cal in Group E.
The Union beat Real So Cal 2-1 at a match in Florida in December but have not played the other two teams this season. The Wolves finished second in the Mid-America Division and 12th overall with a 12-8-1 mark. Lodestar was third in the Frontier Division and 16th overall with a 14-7-5 record and Real So Cal was third in the Southwest Division and 21st overall with a 18-11-7 record.
The Union U18s won the Atlantic Division and finished third overall with a 19-5-2 mark.
Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana will host the group stage games June 22, 24 and 26. The Union will also send a team to Indiana for the U14 showcase on June 20, 21 and 23. A certain number of “feature games” from the showcases (including a U16 age group) and playoffs will be streamed live on USSoccerDA.com.
Group winners from all eight groups for each age division will advance to the quarterfinals (aka knockout round). Quarterfinals will be played at academy host locations on July 6 for the U16 age division and July 7 for the U18s.
The Union have hosted a knockout round game each of the last two years - the U16s beat New England Revolution at Power Training Complex in 2015 and the U18s fell to Players Development Academy there last July.