Entering the second half of the Development Academy season on opposite ends of the division standings, there was very little to separate the Continental FC and Philadelphia Union U19 teams in their first match against each other this season on Saturday.
Tonny Temple, who has been showing well in preseason with Bethlehem Steel FC, opened the scoring in the match in the 25th minute after a long stretch of possession for the visitors, but Continental defender Jack Bonas equalized just before halftime for the home side.
The goal, the first of the year for Bonas in his U19 debut, underlined an emotional undercurrent to the game as Bonas ripped off his shirt to celebrate and revealed a black shirt beneath with the words “Liddy Strong” on it. The shirt, worn by all of the Continental players on Saturday, refers to their teammate Nicholas Liddy, who is still recovering from serious injuries sustained in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in December.
YSC Academy senior Jalen Weatherspoon continued the momentum into the second half when he put Continental up 2-1 with his third goal of the season in the 56th minute. The score stayed 2-1 until Iverson Brisma snatched a point for the visitors with his third goal of the season in the 85th minute. It was Brisma’s third of the season.
Bonas, who started 14 games for the U17 team in the fall, was one of three Continental players who made their U19 debut in the game. Ramon Gallegos and Emmanuel Ikeocha both also made their DA debuts. On the Union side, Cole Turner made his U19 team debut playing all 90 minutes in the midfield next to Seth Kuhn.
The 2-2 draw was the only result Continental FC teams were able to get in the derby matches.
- The Union U17s won 2-0 behind a Kris Shakes clean sheet, a penalty kick goal from Tony Antek Sienkiel and the fourth goal of the season from forward Shanyder Borgelin. Brian McDaid and Keah Tobey both made their DA debuts for Continental.
- Selmir Miscic continued his assault on the DA with four goals in a 5-1 win for the U15s. That brings his haul to 21 in 12 league games to go along with the six he scored in five GA Cup matches. Patrick Bohui also scored in the match, his 10th of the season in seven games. Connor Anton scored his second of the season for Continental. Dominik Gedek made his DA for Continental in the match.
- Nelson Pierre, who still only turns 13 later this month, scored his ninth of the season in eight matches for the U14s in a 3-0 win. Andrew Johnson had the winner in the 13th minute and Sawyer Koza added a goal in the second half. Logan Gildea, who joined the Union from Yardley Makefield Soccer, had the clean sheet in his debut.
- The Union U13s won 7-0 behind a brace from Marcelo Mazzola and goals from Thomas Hastings, Dylan Lacey, Nate Stewart and Francis Westfield. Mazzola leads the team in scoring with 10 goals. Ryan Carella and Thomas Kaplan both made their DA debuts for Continental.