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Craig, Miscic lead Union Academy teams to wins over NYCFC

The U19s suffered the only defeat for the Union in their season opener last Saturday

Brandan Craig and Selmir Miscic each had a brace in wins for the U15 and U17 teams over New York City FC, but the U19s were unable to complete a sweep, losing 2-1 after having two players sent off in the Development Academy season opener at YSC Sports on Saturday.

The visitors struck first in the 13th minute in the U19 game on a floating ball sent in by Veljko Petkovic that found the back of the net, but Tonny Temple responded in the 39th minute on a quick strike four minutes after Colman Kim was shown red. Unfortunately for the Union, they had issues of their own with cards in the second half, losing Ben Ofeimu to a second yellow in the 71st minute. Five minutes later Sal Rasizzi scored the eventual game winner.

Forward Leo Afonso was also sent off in the 90th minute in his Union debut. Afonso joined the Union over the summer after scoring 25 goals in 37 matches last season for Boca United FC.

The starting XI for the U19s for their first game of the season: Tomas Romero, Tyger Evans, Ben Ofeimu, Ryan Becher, JD Wagner, Michael Pellegrino, Cole Turner, MD Myers, Nick Blacklock, Tonny Temple and Leo Afonso. Evans, Becher and Afonso all were making their Union debuts while Myers made his U19 team debut.

Moving up to the U17s from the U15 level appears to have not impacted Miscic’s ability to find the back of the net. Down 2-1 on an own goal and a 59th minute strike from Harrison Robledo, Miscic converted a penalty and bagged a game-winner in the 77th minute for a thrilling 3-2 victory.

Julian Anderson also had a goal for the Union in the win.

The starting XI for the U17s on the day: Lukas Burns, Zephyn Brockert-Kress, Ian Graham, Zachary Wagner, Cole Sotack, Dante Huckaby, Adam Lenges, Selmir Miscic, Julian Anderson, Patrick Bohui, Aboubacar Camara. All 11 players are returners to the Union from last season.

Earlier in the day, Brandan Craig converted a free kick goal on each side of halftime to lead the U15s to a 4-1 win. Nelson Pierre and Quinn Sullivan also added goals. Damien Barker John scored the lone goal for the visitors in the 73rd minute.

Academy newcomer Dominic Dubon, a former Baltimore Celtic player, scored four goals in his Union debut in a 10-0 win over Lehigh Valley United. Caden Grabfelder had a brace against his former club and Connor Budniak also scored a pair of goals. Former Orlando City SC player Favian Loyola also scored in his Union debut and Rafi Sanjuan added a goal.

John Andrus had a hat trick and Dylan Falcone also scored in a 5-0 win for the Union U13s over Lehigh Valley United. LVU also conceded an own goal in the 33rd minute.