Academy newcomer Jeremy Rafanello picked up where he left off last season at Continental FC, scoring the first two goals of his Philadelphia Union career in a 6-0 win over Richmond United on Saturday.
Rafanello, of Delran, N.J., led Continental with 20 goals in 24 games last season and took just 46 minutes in his first game for the Union to open his scoring account. He added his second five minutes later.
Darius Lewis opened the scoring in the 31st minute while Iverson Brisma added a goal in the 63rd minute and Liam O’Brien had a brace of his own with goals in the 73rd and 87th minutes.
Kristopher Shakes kept the clean sheet in goal while Benjamin Ofeimu made his U19 debut after missing half of last season with an injury and Rafanello’s former Continental FC teammate Ramzi Qawasmy made his Union debut on the back line.
The lopsided win for the U19s was one of several on the day for the Union as they had their first full slate of games for the season.
Highly-touted newcomer Shaynder Borgelin opened his scoring account for the U17s with a goal in the 89th minute while Cole Turner scored his second in the 67th minute and a Richmond United own goal in the 18th gave the Union an early lead. Turner’s goal held up as the winner after a 46th minute equalizer from Eli Carr.
The 3-1 win was the first of the season for the U17s after a 1-1 draw to start the season at home against Virginia Development Academy.
The U15s improved to 3-0-0 with a 3-0 win behind a brace from Marco Silva, the fifth goal of the season already for Selmir Miscic and a clean sheet from Jason Grandizio in his first start of the season.
Nelson Pierre, a 2005 playing up an age group, sparked the U14s to a 6-2 win with a hat trick. Pierre scored 43 goals in 28 games for the U12 team in his first season with the Union last year.
Jason Barragan, Anthony Derk and Ryan Lau added goals in the U14s season opener.
The U13s also connected for a half dozen goals in a 6-1 win with a hat trick from Marcelo Mazzola, a brace from Beckham Aiman and a single goal from Jack Travis.
With the exception of the U12s, which play Continental FC at The Proving Grounds at 10 a.m., the Union teams will all return home to YSC Sports to take on Bethesda SC this Saturday.
The U13s play at 11 a.m., followed by the U14s at 1 p.m., the U15s at 3 p.m., the U17s at 5 p.m. and the U19s at 7 p.m.