With several regular starters out of the lineup, the Philadelphia Union U19s needed a big performance last Saturday from players who haven’t spent a lot of time in the lineup this season against the unbeaten New York Red Bulls.
They got just that.
U17 midfielder Nick Blacklock scored from long range in the 37th minute and Carter Emack and Iverson Brisma both added goals in the final 10 minutes to seal the 3-0 win over New York Red Bulls at Power Training Complex in Chester. Brady McSwain became just the second goalkeeper this season to keep a clean sheet against the Red Bulls.
Blacklock’s goal, which is up for goal of the week for the Development Academy, was his first for the U19 team and fourth overall this season. Emack’s goal was his first in his sixth appearance after missing the better part of the season with an injury.
The loss was the first of the season for the Atlantic Division leaders, which went 19-0-0 to start the season before playing Empire United to a scoreless draw a week earlier. With the win, the U19s improved to 18-2-3 on the season with the fourth best win percentage in the league. The Red Bulls are first in that category (they improved to 20-1-1 with a 4-1 win over Cedar Stars on Wednesday).
With so many players playing up an age group — A.J. Cousins, Cole Turner and J.D. Wagner have all been playing up regularly of late — the U17s struggled in their game, falling down 2-0 in the 60th minute. Michael McKeown pulled a goal back in the 75th minute, but the Red Bulls held on to win and improve to 21-1-1 and 15 points clear of the second place Union (14-4-7) in the Atlantic Division standings.
The U15 and U14 teams also fell with the U15s losing 2-0 and the U14s finishing on the wrong side of a 4-3 scoreline. The U14s had the lead with goals from Sawyer Koza, Nelson Pierre and Safiyy Harris but Juan Gonzalez scored twice in a six-minute stretch in the second half to lead the visitors to the win.
The loss was the second in a row for the Union U15s, which were shut out 1-0 a week earlier by New England Revolution. Leading goal scorer Selmir Miscic played up with the U17 team both weekends.
The U13 team extended their unbeaten streak to 13 with a 4-0 win over the Red Bulls at YSC. Matt Reed opened the scoring and Rafi Sanjuan added a goal before halftime while Beckham Aiman and Luke Martelli added goals in the second half. Aiman and Marcelo Mazzola are now tied for the team lead with 13 goals each. Connor Cresswell had the clean sheet.