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Second half goals lift Philadelphia Union U19s over local rival PA Classics

Jeremy Rafanello had the breakthrough in the 57th minute and Darius Lewis followed with an insurance goal four minutes later

Matt Ralph

The Philadelphia Union U19 team continued its strong run of form, picking up a fourth straight clean sheet and seventh straight win behind a couple of second half goals at PA Classics on Saturday.

The Union controlled a bulk of the possession throughout, but were unable to find a breakthrough until the 57th minute when leading goal scorer Jeremy Rafanello gave the visitors the lead with his 22nd goal of the season. Darius Lewis followed up with his sixth goal of the season four minutes later.

Brady McSwain did well on a few dangerous set pieces to keep the clean sheet in his fourth start of the season.

With the win, the Union improved to 15-2-3 on the season, but remain nine points behind first place New York Red Bulls (19-0-0) in the Atlantic Division standings.

They’ll look to keep the momentum going with a pair of games in New England this weekend against New England Revolution and FC Greater Boston Bolts ahead of a showdown with the Red Bulls at Power Training Complex on May 12.

You can check out some photos I took at the U19 game below:

In other academy action last weekend:

  • The U17 development team beat Junior Lone Star FC Young Stars 6-0 in the U19 division of the Atlantic Premier League to improve to 4-4-2 on the season and seven points behind first place FC Montco Die Mannschaft.
  • Shanyder Borgelin and Nick Blacklock scored and Kris Shakes held the clean sheet in a 2-0 win for the U17s over PA Classics. The shutout was the team’s third straight and stretched their unbeaten streak to 10. The U17s are nine points behind the New York Red Bulls in the Atlantic Division standings with a 13-2-7 record.
  • The U15s overcame a first half deficit with a pair of second half goals by Paxten Aaronson and Jack Roberto to edge PA Classics in their game in Manheim. Michael China put the home team up 1-0 with a goal in the 15th minute. The win was the 13th straight for the Union, which improved to 16-1-3 and are in first place in the Atlantic Division on points per game.
  • The U14s were held to a scoreless draw against PA Classics in a game that saw Dylan Lacey and Luke Martelli make their U14 debuts and Beckham Aiman make his second appearance at the higher age level.
  • The U13s won for the fourth straight time behind goals from Dominic Wilson, Thomas Hastings, Connor Budniak and Matt Reed and a clean sheet from Noah Schlosser. Wilson’s goal was his team-leading 14th in 14 games for the U13s (he has 21 in 10 games for the U12s this season).